Zotero Library not connected to document?

I’ve been using a single Zotero library throughout 5 years of writing my PhD thesis.
I have never previously encountered any issues with connections between my Zotero library and my various thesis documents.
About 2 years ago, I copied the whole library to a new machine and set up syncing.
Recently, I needed to make changes to my Zotero library for the purpose of corrections but nothing I do is leading to those changes being reflected in my references section. Refreshing the library, re-generating the bibliography, etc.
I am concerned that the likely multi-day task of re-doing every individual reference in my 160 page doctoral thesis will introduce more errors than it solves, due to human/user error.
Is there anything I can do to connect/reconnect these things?
  • How did you copy the library to the new machine? Did you copy the data directory, use syncing, or use export/import? The first two are fine; the last one isn't.

    You can check if a citation is still linked by trying to customize the citation. If you see the "Open in My Library" button in the popup, it's still linked. If you don't, the item it was linked to has been deleted from your database — or you're using a copy of the database created with export/import, which simply creates new items — and you'll need to reinsert it.
  • I don't believe I knew about syncing at the time... But as for which of the other two, It's hard to say - this was two years ago.

    As for many of the "broken" references, the "open in My Library" button does not appear.

    It appears I will have to redo the vast majority of my in text references in my 160 page document, then.

    Time to let out a long, deep sigh, then.
  • If you copied the data directory, that would be an exact copy and there would be no difference. If you used export/import, that essentially just created a new library.

    Just to clarify, Zotero will happily use orphaned citations in the document — it embeds metadata in case the database or items go away, which is why it's still generating a bibliography from those items. So you would only need to reinsert any citations that 1) you added before the export/import and 2) you actually need to edit the metadata for in Zotero.
  • This is upsetting, as 90% or more of my 250+ citations in my library are from before that point.

    Given the thesis is effectively finished at this point, how about trying something like this to generate an updated bibliography?
    Just create a new document and just make a single giant in-text reference containing every article/reference of the original document and the generating a bibliography for this second document... and then just copy-pasting that generated bibliography into notepad and then into the original document?

    But then I still have another issue I just noticed Dutch names are being broken up... So, "Eva van den Bussche" is being coded as "Bussche, Eva van den" in my references and thus showing up under B rather than V... Same for Van Hell, etc. I'd thought this problem was limited to Di Sciullo and had just removed the space, but changes I'm making in the Zotero library aren't being reflected in the document at present unless I manually delete each original reference and replace it: so, this isn't the top priority right now. Any ideas there? I've checked numerous times and the entire "van (den) ____" section is clearly listed as a last name, but the generated bibliography takes it upon itself to truncate it and alphabetise it based on its final component. I was thinking of changing the spelling to use some kind of non-word-terminal space rather than a regular space, but there might be an easier way.
  • and then just copy-pasting that generated bibliography into notepad and then into the original document?
    You wouldn't copy it into Notepad, which would strip rich text — you would just have the plugin unlink the citations and then copy that to the other document. That's fine, though of course you run the risk of inconsistencies.

    I'll let someone else comment on the name issue.
  • For the names: which citation style is this?
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