Issue with author names with all AHA (American Heart Association) journals

Hi, I have been encountering this issue that the author name was not correctly detected with essentially all journals of AHA(
Take this paper ( as an example. The first author's first name should be Gamze, middle initial is B., and last name is Bulut. When imported into zotero (at least with the chrome extension), B. is somehow considered the last name while "Bulut Gamze" is recognized as the first name. Please kindly look into and fix this. Please let me know if you will need any further information from me. Thank you!
  • It's a problem with their data. From the RIS (Tools --> Download Citation):
    AU - Bulut Gamze B.
    AU - Alencar Gabriel F.
    AU - Owsiany Katherine M.

    There's no way for Zotero to guess that the lastname comes first here. Not sure we'd be able to fix this in a way that doesn't break other things. Start by reporting to them (generally it's easier to report this as "broken RIS" than as "doesn't work with Zotero")
  • Thank you for the information! I will try to reach out to them.
  • Did anyone manage to contact AHA about this? I've scoured their websites and cannot find any way to report this, and it is still an annoying problem!
  • I wrote and they said they'd send it on to their developers, but not sure how optimistic I am...
  • I did too. Below is their reply. It has been quite some time since and I haven't heard back.
    "I have forwarded your feedback to our Escalation Team and the typical timeframe is 5-7 business days. "
  • Also, as a temporary work around, I started to import the papers from PubMed rather than AHA website.
  • AHA replied and they are not going to fix it.

    "I apologize for the delay responding to your escalation. Our support team was not able to find more information regarding third party Zotero. We apologize for the inconvenience, please reach out to them directly to further assist you with their software."
  • edited March 12, 2021
    I'll try not to provide TMI. @resol342 made a fundamental error when truing to helpfully fully explain by mentioning Zotero as a part of the problem. Please, when trying to communicate with a cog in a total institution, never mention something else that will allow them to easily ignore their own problem as dismiss the problem as the responsibility of an outside entity. The AHA, in particular, has a very long history ignoring all outside ideas and standards when developing its own policies and procedures. In our case, someone at AHA naïvely made a decision that a comma was unnecessary to separate the authors' last names from first names. I could give several examples of AHA healthcare standards that are more based on the belief of individuals there than on science and clinical trials but I'll only give a personal example that happens to concern RIS.

    In the early- to mid-1980s, my job included using a CP/M machine and Reference Manager to record bibliographic metadata about articles on emergency patient care. American Heart Association journals (along with those of many publishers) began distributing journal contents files in portable Research Information Systems file format. However, a decision-maker at the AHA thought that a single space before the hyphen was better, more concise, than the 2-space standard. Thus, all AHA journals used their own version of RIS. This was nearly impossible to remedy because the idea (that there was a standard set by an outside institution) was alien to the policy-makers at AHA. "Why use 2 spaces when a single space is clearly much better?" This anecdote has only begun but you can get the idea.

    Bottom line, please, never mention Zotero or any other software when reporting a bug in another system. Simply identify the problem and, perhaps, provide an example.

    I have written to a couple of their journal editors with the following question and example:

    AU - Simons Martin Bruce

    How can this be clear that the author's last name is "Simons Martin" first name "Bruce" without using a comma?

    I shared a link to the RIS standard.

    We'll see what happens.

    edits - fixed punctuation, missing spaces, and run-on sentence
  • Thank you!!

    I reported the issue as "broken RIS" as suggested initially. But I did also make the mistake of mentioning Zotero in the detailed description.

    Thanks again for all the followups. I really appreciate it.
  • This morning I heard back from an editorial assistant. "Your suggestion to add a comma to the authors' names might work satisfactorily in some cases. However, a comma wouldn't be a useful addition if your author's name was simply, Bruce Simon."

    There is one other editor I contacted. Perhaps she will have actually read my message and understand the issue. Clearly the first response was due to simply forwarding my request to a subordinate who knew nothing of the issue. Unlike the editors of many journals where the editorship is secondary to a primary job that is apart from journal duties; AHA editors, although they are physicians, are full-time in the publishing role. (Or, at least, they used to be.) I had hoped that some mechanism might exist to demonstrate a publishing problem. I don't deal with cardiovascular issues in my work and I intervened here because long ago I was (volunteer role) statewide affiliate faculty for training CPR and ACLS instructor-trainers. I wanted to feel as though I was still connected. I do not feel connected. I will not follow up.
Sign In or Register to comment.