Long references preventing sync


It seems a number of imports from Medline and PsycInfo with multiple and many authors are preventing my Zotero from syncing. There are 1000s of imports, and I fear it may take too long to go through each one and shorten the references.

I'm getting sync error messages such as: "The name ‘Van de Perre P, Ekstrom EC, Meda N, Tumwine JK, Ka…’ is too long to sync...Search for the item with this name and shorten it. Note that the item may be in the trash or in a group library."

Is there are workaround for this? Is there a maximum number of authors that Zotero can handle?

  • The problem isn't that there are many authors on an item -- Zotero can handle at least 1000 for a single item -- but that they are all imported as a single author, which is then longer than the 200 characters or so Zotero allows for a _single_ author.

    My guess would be that they were imported from a format like RIS and they were all in a single author field. OVID (I'm guessing that's what you're using?) does some atrocious things on Metadata export.

    How exactly are those items imported? Might be feasible to fix on import if that's an option. Otherwise fixing them manually is the only way to go.
  • For that item, it's not that there are too many authors, it's that all of the authors got improperly imported as 1 author. This can happen if the data source had their data formatted incorrectly (this seems to happen sometimes with Medline especially). Use Advanced Search to search for 'Creator' 'contains' 'Van de Perre P, Ekstrom EC, Meda N, Tumwine JK' and correct that record.
  • Hi, thanks for this. Yes I'm importing them as a RIS file from OVID. Actually, looking at it, it's the editor field that's causing the problem - it imports all the names as a single editor. The author fields are fine. Is there are way to just remove the editor fields from all the Medline imports in one go? I currently have them all in one sub-collection. Or might I need to re-import these if there's a way to fix on import?
  • Batch editing in Zotero isn't great currently (it requires writing javascript code and even then isn't available in Standalone), so I'd recommend fixing this on (re-)import if possible. Could you paste a sample RIS from OVID here?
  • Hi there, here is sample from the RIS - one of the refs that is causing the error - see line A2. Thanks again.

    TY - JOUR
    ID - 23638126
    T1 - Susceptibility to transmitting HIV in patients initiating antiretroviral therapy in rural district hospitals in Cameroon (Stratall ANRS 12110/ESTHER Trial).
    T3 - [Erratum appears in PLoS One. 2013;8(7). doi:10.1371/annotation/8963fb4d-336a-4607-8fd9-c3404414ff9c Note: Carierri, Maria Patrizia [corrected to Carrieri, Maria Patrizia]]
    A1 - Ndziessi, Gilbert
    A1 - Cohen, Julien
    A1 - Kouanfack, Charles
    A1 - Marcellin, Fabienne
    A1 - Carrieri, Maria Patrizia
    A1 - Laborde-Balen, Gabriele
    A1 - Protopopescu, Camelia
    A1 - Aghokeng, Avelin Fobang
    A1 - Moatti, Jean-Paul
    A1 - Spire, Bruno
    A1 - Delaporte, Eric
    A1 - Laurent, Christian
    A1 - Boyer, Sylvie
    A1 - Stratall ANRS 12110/ESTHER Study Group
    A2 - Biwole-Sida M, Koulla-Shiro S, Kouanfack C, Bourgeois A, Delaporte E, Laurent C, Peeters M, Laborde-Balen G, Dontsop M, Kaze S, Mben JM, Aghokeng A, Edoul MG, Mpoudi-Ngole E, Tongo M, Boyer S, Carrieri MP, Marcellin F, Moatti JP, Spire B, Abe C, Abega SC, Bonono CR, Mimcheu H, Ngo Yebga S, Paul Bile C, Abada S, Abanda T, Baga J, Bilobi Fouda P, Etong Mve P, Fetse Tama G, Kemo H, Ongodo A, Tadewa V, Voundi HD, Ambani A, Atangana M, Biaback JC, Kennedy M, Kibedou H, Kounga F, Maguip Abanda M, Mamang E, Mikone A, Tang S, Tchuangue E, Tchuenko S, Yakan D, Assandje J, Ebana S, Ebo'o D, Etoundi D, Ngama G, Mbarga Ango P, Mbezele J, Mbong G, Moung C, Ekotto N, Nguemba Balla G, Ottou G, Tigougmo M, Beyala R, Ebene B, Effemba C, Eyebe F, Hadjaratou MM, Mbarga T, Metou M, Ndam M, Ngoa B, Ngock EB, Obam N, Abomo AM, Angoula G, Ekassi E, Essama, Lentchou JJ, Mvilongo I, Ngapou J, Ntokombo F, Ondoua V, Palawo R, Sebe S, Sinou E, Wankam D, Zobo I, Akono B, Ambani AL, Bilock L, Bilo'o R, Boombhi J, Fouda FX, Guitonga M, Mad'aa R, Metou'ou DR, Mgbih S, Noah A, Tadena M, Ntcham, Ambassa Elime G, Bonongnaba AA, Foaleng E, Heles RM, Messina R, Nana Ndankou O, Ngono SA, Ngono Menounga D, Sil SS, Tchouamou L, Zambou B, Abomo R, Ambomo J, Beyomo C, Eloundou P, Ewole C, Fokom J, Mvoto M, Ngadena M, Nyolo R, Onana C, Oyie A, Antyimi P, Bella Mbatonga S, Bikomo M, Molo Bodo Y, Ndi Ntang S, Ndoudoumou P, Ndzomo L, Ngolo SO, Nkengue M, Nkoa, Tchinda Y
  • edited March 20, 2017
    If you open the whole RIS file in a regex capable text editor like Notepad++ and search & replace in regex mode (with . match new line _unselected_) for
    \r\nA2 - .+ replacing it with nothing, that should do it

    edit: that's on Windows. I think *nix linebreaks are different, so the \r\n part would vary
  • Thanks. Can this be done in a Mac using Textedit? I'm not that tech savvy unfortunately!
  • probably -- but I don't know anything about text editors on a Mac. Someone else would have to say. You could also probably find something online.
  • edited March 20, 2017
    No, sorry, TextEdit doesn't have full regex support.

    Sublime Text is a nice text editor with regex support:

    If you don't mind a little manual editing, you can use TextEdit's partial regex support:

    Search for
    (LineBreak)A2 - (Any)

    then delete each line where you get a hit.
  • Atom (https://atom.io/) is also a good option.
  • Thanks guys, brilliant feedback.
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