Correcting many entries for "The creator name in one of your items is too long to sync"

edited 28 days ago
This discussion was created from comments split from: The creator name in one of your items is too long to sync.
  • I keep getting the same error message...

    It's a rather big Zotero-Database (7000+ entries) that I try to sync. So correcting all the editor fields by hand is not a feasible option for me.

    I imported all the references from the Cochrane Library via the "Export selected citation(s)" button and then choosing the RIS (EndNote) format, opening the file directly in the Zotero App.

    Is there anything I can do about this? Might choosing a different reference format when importing change this?

    Thanks in advance.
  • What's in the values that are too long? This should only appear if you have bad data. That's why this can't really be automatically fixed — Zotero has no idea what's in the field or where it belongs. We could give you a script that truncated all the values, but then you'd just have bad data that was slightly shorter than the limit, which isn't a great solution.
  • Ok, I think, I see what you mean by bad data:

    The field that's too long is the "creator/author"-field thats supposed to hold the abbreviated first name of the main author.
    It seems that this field is filled up with all the Co-Authors names except for the last one, which is correctly listed in a seperate "creator/author"-field.

    So, something went wrong when exporting/importing the references in the first place, right?
  • edited 28 days ago
    Yeah, that would be some bad data at import time. For example, this sort of thing is most common if there is a bug on a publisher webpage in how they generate the bibliographic data. If you know where that item came from, post the URL and someone can check it out.
  • @brehmf "... supposed to hold the abbreviated first name ..."

    There is no reason to abbreviate the authors' first names into initials. Indeed, it is best to have the authors' full first names. If you have several records with the same author but some with the spelled-out first name and some with only initials, you should edit the ones with only initials so that the records have the full first names.
  • Hey, thank you all for your comments.

    I exported the references from the Cochrane Library using their "Export selected citations" option (

    I found out today that using the Bibtex-format produces bad data by putting together all the authors names in just one field. Using the RIS (EndNote)-format actually worked out fine this time...

    So it might have been just me, choosing the wrong format the first time.

    @DWL-SDCA I don't think I have a choice here, since the authors first name is abbreviated in the Cochrane Library by default and I couldn't find any option to change that. Since it's a vast number of references (7000+) changing the names maually is also not an option.
  • The way they export bibtex is wrong, but BBT will detect and import it.
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