Citation added to Microsoft Word differs between documents, incorrect First Initial and et al

I am experiencing weird in-line citation issues where Zotero is including the first name of authors even though the journal style I've chosen does not include them. Additionally it is incorrectly applying a et al. even though the journal style does not dictate they be used. It appears to matter if there is a period like: First Middle. but this doesn't seem to be very consistent; I don't believe the middle initial and period in the first name field is driving all of this issue.

When I add this same exact citation to a new Word document with the same journal style selected it correctly displays it. Is this an issue with my document? It's been heavily edited with multiple people adding track changes in the past. Reading this forum it seems like that matters for Zotero. I've turned track changes off in the document but that hasn't fixed the issue.
  • The et al. may just be wrong in the style. You'd have to say which journal style you're using
  • edited 9 days ago
    Hmm @adamsmith the style is Functional Ecology
  • @dstillman could you explain why this issue would be present in one word doc and not another?
  • Two reasons this would look differently in different documents:
    1. This is triggered by ambiguous first names: if document B only has works with one version of the first name, the initials wouldn't show up
    2. If references become disconnected from Zotero, Zotero uses the metadata included with a reference when it was first inserted -- that would explain the exact same (from your perspective) item behaving differently. In that case, you'd have to delete and re-insert the citation.

    For et al. -- The style behaves according to the style guide in Functional Ecology:
    >5 authors in text: always use et al
    3-5 authors in text: list all authors on first citation, use first author et al. on subsequent
    1-2 authors: always list all

    Bibliography: For more than 8 authors, list the first six and the last author separated by an elipsis (...)
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