Adding new citations to Google Doc deletes all old citations

I have inherited a Google Doc with Zotero citations that needs to be updated. The original author had used Zotero to add in a bibliography of references cited, and she shared access to the Zotero database with me. If I select an individual citation, the Zotero interface appears and I can replace the citation with a new one. But if I try to add a new citation, the entire list of references cited (79 sources) is deleted and replaced with the new item. I'm by no means an expert in Zotero so it's possible I'm missing something really obvious.

A few things that might be relevant. The original author was essentially trying to create endnotes in the absence of official endnote support in Google Docs. So the end of the document is a numbered list of all of the citations, and then in the main text she just entered plain text references to the matching number in the list of citations (e.g., "Scholars disagree on the meaning.[25]"). As a result, my hope in the short term is to just add new citations to the end of the list of existing citations, so that I don't upset the existing number scheme. The existing numbering scheme seems to have no discernible order, so a longer term goal would be to add citations and then reorder the entire list into alphabetical order or in order of the citations in the main text. But for the moment I'd be happy to just be able to add new citations to the end of the list.

A colleague has suggested that maybe the issue relates to the fact that the original citations were added by a different account, as opposed to my own account, and that's why adding one citation just replaces them all. But he wasn't sure and suggested I ask here.
  • If I select an individual citation, the Zotero interface appears and I can replace the citation with a new one.
    But the citation you've selected appears in the citation dialog? The dialog isn't just empty?
    A colleague has suggested that maybe the issue relates to the fact that the original citations were added by a different account, as opposed to my own account, and that's why adding one citation just replaces them all.
    That shouldn't matter. The Google Docs plugin is designed to be able to be used by different people.
  • @dstillman While using Safari, yesterday when I selected the citation I got a popup that said "Edit with Zotero" and pressing that opened a blank citation dialog, and the citation became "{updating}". Today pressing the "Edit with Zotero" button does nothing.

    So then I moved to Chrome. When I press "Edit with Zotero" I see "Updating Citations" in the background and then I get an error message from Zotero and a link to troubleshooting.
  • edited 15 days ago
    @adomasven will need to take a look, but we'd want a Report ID from the Chrome connector to start.
  • Hi All -
    Report ID: 1186982942

    Steps to reproduce:
    1) Open doc
    2) click in existing citation
    3) Click "Edit in Zotero" link in pop up/hover
    4) Get error message
  • What's the error message? Can you also provide a Report ID from Zotero after this occurs?
  • In Chrome it just says "Zotero experienced an error updating your document." No other information. In the advanced tab where I generated the report ID for Chrome it says "[JavaScript Error: "TypeError: Cannot read property '5' of undefined
    at Object.injectScripts (chrome-extension://ekhagklcjbdpajgpjgmbionohlpdbjgc/background.js:328:45)
    at chrome-extension://ekhagklcjbdpajgpjgmbionohlpdbjgc/background.js:267:36"]"

    In Zotero I get Report ID 288535886, and it says:

    "[JavaScript Error: "Integration.Session.editBibliography: called without loaded citations" {file: "chrome://zotero/content/xpcom/integration.js" line: 2019}]

    version => 5.0.79, platform => MacIntel, oscpu => Intel Mac OS X 10.14, locale => en-US, appName => Zotero, appVersion => 5.0.79, extensions => Zotero LibreOffice Integration (5.0.20.SA.5.0.79, extension), Zotero Word for Mac Integration (5.0.24.SA.5.0.79, extension), Shockwave Flash (20.0.0.286, plugin)"
  • @budish Did you click "Edit in Zotero" on a bibliography in the document? What happens if you click it on a citation in the text instead?

    (Bibliographies are a bit of an edge case in the Google Docs plugin, so it's better to try with something else when troubleshooting)
  • The document doesn't have any citations in the text, only a bibliography, so unfortunately I can't try with text citations.

  • edited 6 days ago
    Adomas just means the citations that are being used to generate the bibliography — whether or not they're in the middle of the written text doesn't matter.
  • I'm sorry, I'm not sure I follow. I click "Edit in Zotero" when I click in the long list of sources at the end of the document. There is nothing else in the document to click on. The body text contains numbered references to the sources, but those appear to be plain text and not linked in any way to the references at the end of the document. So clicking on the numbers in the body text doesn't present any option to edit in Zotero. But those are the only things I can think of when you mean "citations."
  • Those numbers _are_ the citations and they are almost certainly linked to the bibliography for Zotero purposes, even if they're not hyperlinked. Select one of the numbers, then click Edit .
  • Thanks for the clarification. But it doesn't work. Selecting the citation in the text, there is no pop-up that appears prompting to edit in Zotero. If I select the citation and select "add/edit citation" from the menu bar, the number gets replaced with {updating} until I select a source from the Zotero window that appears. Once I select a source, the entire existing bibliography is deleted and replaced with that one single source.
  • For Google Docs you get a popup with "Edit with Zotero" for in-text citations. If there is no popup, it means they are unlinked. It is really hard to say what happened to this document and why the citations are unlinked, but that is what seems to be the case. If it has a long revision history available you could try restoring an earlier version of it and see if the citations are linked there.
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