bibtex numbering changed when syncing


I am using zotero with the native sync solution (with my account) on two different pcs. I was using multiple subpages of a website as citations. Because the author was the same and there was no date, the bibtex creator created a file with labels like:
Unfortunately, on the other PC, the numbering changed, e. g. item 2 did now referred to item 1.

This is problematic because in LaTeX using biber, the labels are used to refer to the citation, so that the citations were confused.

Is there an option to change the labeling output, or is there another possibility to preserve the numbering during the synchronization process?
  • edited October 30, 2019
    Are you using the stock BibTeX output or Better BibTeX? For a BibTeX-based workflow, you want to use the latter, which lets you set custom citation keys that would avoid this sort of problem.

    Zotero syncing doesn't have anything to do with BibTeX specifically, but it's possible that BibTeX output, either stock or BBT, relies implicitly on the internal ordering of items in the database, which isn't guaranteed to be stable between machines. (I think this came up in a comment on GitHub. @emilianoeheyns might remember.) I'm not sure what we're doing at the moment, but we should probably sort items for export either in a fixed way (e.g., Date Added + Title + Date) or based on the current sort column.
  • edited October 30, 2019
    Many thanks for this useful hint!
    I was using the stock BibLaTex output.

    I just installed Better BibTex and used the "pin BibTeX key" option for the problematic citations. This stores the key in the "extra" section of the citation, which is synced.
    I only had to remove some colons in a few keys used in the LaTeX document.

    Now the keys remain stable on different PCs!
  • @maatias remove colons where? In the output generated by BBT? Do you have a sample? BBT aims to fully automate the export so that no manual editing is required -- if you say "colon in keys", do you mean the citation keys, or field names? Colons in fieldnames shouldn't happen unless you have them in extra, colons in citation keys are possible but you can filter them out; it would depend on the citekey pattern you've set up.
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