Disambiguating same author in-text citations in MLA8 (New User)


Rank newbie here to Zotero. I've already used Mendeley with APA7, but I love the features of Zotero, which are working far better for me. My current document needs MLA8 formatting and I discovered that the in-text citations of different works by the same author aren't differentiated in this style since there is no year used in the in-text entry. Ideally, I suppose it should show a shortened version of the title, but I am not sure why it doesn't show anything. Is there something I should enable/enter or is my only option adding a "prefix" to each entry individually? I'd appreciate any help or pointers to an earlier post where this has been addressed. (I have searched in vain, unable to find the answer).
  • The style disambiguates by adding the short title to the citation, following the MLA style guide.
  • Thanks for clarifying. Unfortunately for me, this feature doesn't seem to be working. I am not sure how to attach a screengrab, but basically my in-text citation reads

    (Patricia S Churchland; Patricia S Churchland; P. M. Churchland)

    when the first two entries are from different books.

    Here is how it appears in the bibliography:

    Churchland, Patricia S. Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality. Princeton University Press, 2018.

    ---. “Toward a Natural Science of the Mind.” Consciousness at the Crossroads: Conversations with the Dalai Lama on Brainscience and Buddhism, edited by Zara Houshmand et al., Snow Lion Publications, 1999, pp. 18–31.

    Churchland, Paul M. Matter and Consciousness: A Contemporary Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind. Rev. ed, MIT Press, 1988.

    Is there something I should be doing differently?
  • This should just work for the two Patricia Churchland books and does for me -- could you test this in an otherwise empty document?
  • Hi adamsmith! Yes, it worked. Thank you so much!

    I opened a new document and added the references as you suggested and it did a perfect job. I wonder what could have gone wrong with my earlier document.

    I just transferred the content to another file and see if the problem persists. It did. Then I figured out that the first time I created the in-text citations, the first name of the same author was included in different formats in the metadata and so Zotero seemed to be reading them as discrete author names. But even after fixing the name in the library, the issue didn't go away. Finally, adding yet another library entry with the same author with the correct first name and creating a dummy citation for it re-oriented all the citation references to Patricia Churchland! Whew!
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