Duplicate citations

Hi,

I've just merged two documents, both with citations created via Zotero 5. Nevertheless, on refreshing the bibliography some papers are cited twice e.g. number 1 and number 5. The paper is the same, the citation the same, there is no duplicate in my Zotero library, yet Zotero has allocated two different citation numbers? Why has this happened?
  • When you click the Open in My Library button in the citation for each item, does it take you to the same item?
  • I'm not sure I have that button? Zotero for Mac, Word 2016?
  • When you edit the citation, if you click the blue bubble for the citation, you see the fields for page numbers, affixes, and that button.

    See Customizing Cites here:
    https://www.zotero.org/support/word_processor_plugin_usage
  • Thanks - so in one document this button is visible and goes to correct item. In the other, the button is not visible? Does that mean that document isn't linking properly to Zotero?
  • Okay, so what that means is that the one without a button is an "orphan" citation that isn't linked with Zotero. This is likely because it was linked with an item in Zotero that you deleted, rather than merged (it could also be a version that was inserted by another author on the the document). In any case, just replace all of the instances of that version of the citation with citations to the one that is properly linked with Zotero.
  • That's exactly what it means, yes. It just draws on item data saved in the document.
  • Thanks for this - I am concerned this is just one instance when I noticed this problem. Are you working on a fix to identify unlinked citations automatically? It is concerning this could very easily go unnoticed.
  • Is there a way to search for / highlight any citation that is not linked correctly to Zotero in a document?
  • edited October 6, 2017
    It’s generally not a problem, as the document can generate references using the data embedded in the document. So I really wouldn’t worry too much here. And you should almost never end up with orphaned references at all in the course of normal Zotero usage.

    There is not currently a function to identify orphaned citations.

    @rmzelle Does Reference Extractor do this at all?
  • edited October 6, 2017
    No, Reference Extractor doesn't touch the local or online Zotero library at all, and as far as I'm aware the document itself holds no information that gives a hint as to which citations are orphaned. You could probably query the API or logged-in online library somehow with the extracted item IDs, but that's above my pay grade.

    (@bwiernik, that's also not my handle here :) )
  • I do think we need to think about a proper solution for this. It comes up too often. The Word add-on is the right place for it -- it's unreasonably complicated for an external tool as Rintze points out.
  • I have a lot of these unlinked citations. I think they came in because I pasted paragraphs containing citations from a document that I created on another computer with an older version of Zotero with a DB on that computer.

    I agree it would be nice to identify the unlinked citations, even nicer to help semi-automatically re-link them. By "semi-automatically" I mean that Zotero could relatively easily be programmed to show old and new author, date, title, etc., then ask me to accept the match. This would be a lot like the merging of duplicate records in the library.
  • I have concluded I should start at the top of my paper and check every citation to see whether it is linked or not. I originally took the entire paper off another computer that had a local DB on it; the fact that I pasted in some such paragraphs now looks like a red-herring; every citation in my paper needs checking because all the citations started out unlinked. At least now I know how to check; too bad it's all tedious though.

    Given the large quantity of citations that are unlinked, it would be convenient if I could relink them en-masse, with a GUI similar to the Duplicate Items pane in Zotero Standalone.

    Sometimes after deleting an unlinked citation, when I start replacing it, I am given a list of possible references based on the words I type into the Add/Edit Citation bar. I sometimes see two possible choices in the Cited section--one with the author's name, and the other without the author's name. The trick is that to insert the first linked citation, I need to select neither of those, and instead go down to the My Library section and select that one. For ensuing citations, I need to select the choice from Cited that includes the author's name. It took a little trial-and-error but I think I have figured out the workaround steps for now.

    Yes, @adamsmith, a proper solution would be very convenient for me.
    Thanks so much! :)
  • After systematically checking enough of my citations, and replacing unlinked ones, I no longer am presented with multiple Cited choices of the same reference. Now only the one showing the author's name is presented in the Cited section of choices.
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