APS Translators temporarily break (irreproducible)

A while back I had an issue when the Zotero translators for the American Physical Society (APS) journals had to be updated because the APS website was changed.


The solution was some combination of restarting chrome and forcibly inducing the new version of the translators to get downloaded and installed locally.

Today I had a similar problem with adding articles from the APS website using the Zotero Chrome plugin. Not only was Zotero making no attempt to download the PDF (and, like last time, this was *not* an issue with the Captcha), but multi-author papers were being added to Zotero with only the first author listed in the citation. Here's an example of a paper generating the error.


After adding half a dozen papers, I noticed the error. Restarting Zotero and Chrome fixed the problem. However, that makes this problem irreproducible. If I hadn't noticed the error, I might have added many incorrect citations to my database.

I am running Zotero standalone on MacOS 10.12.3.
  • Do you still have the item that imported incorrectly? Does it have anything in the "Library Catalog" field? If not, then Zotero didn't recognize the page as APS and tried to import COinS, which is on the site but not complete.

    I can't tell you why that didn't work -- could be an ad frame, could have been outdated translators in your Zotero.
    I'm afraid there's no way for us to prevent that from happening or warn you about it, sorry.
  • There is nothing in the Library Catalog field. Earlier APS articles have "APS" in that field, which I assume is correct behavior.

    You could add some red text in the box that appears in the lower right hand corner of the Chrome window when translating that reads "Website translator has stopped working...Defaulting to COinS." You could do this only when a given domain has used a special translator in the past that stops working.

    Probably more trouble than it's worth, though :) Thanks for your comment.
  • I have had intermittent problems with APS journals (as well as Wiley journals) for the past 4 to 5 days. I attribute the problem to slow page loading related to ad-server problems. Sometimes the pages never fully load and the Zotero import icon never moves to journal article status. This is a real issue but may be unrelated to the problem here.
  • It now looks like I can reproduce this error when I use my institution's library proxy in order to get off-side access. When I don't use the proxy, Zotero correctly uses the APS translator, and when I go through the proxy, Zotero defaults to COinS. I am pretty sure this didn't use to happen; the correct translator was used even over the proxy.

    The proxy is through the University of Waterloo. It transforms this URL


    to this one


    In the past, I recall it always taking


    to the formulaic


    Is it possible this new url construction is confusing Zotero?
  • yes, that's absolutely the problem. Zotero doesn't recognize the URL when it's hyphenated. The 5.0 version of Zotero, due out soon, is able to handle that.
  • Glad to track down, and to hear a solution is in the pipeline. Thank you for your help.
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