wrong PDFs attached to references imported from NASA ADS

I'm importing multiple references from NASA ADS using the Chrome extension. I'm renaming the pdfs that are automatically ingested using zotfile, and placing them in a linked directory for Dropbox sync.

Many of the attachments end up being scrambled between the references. Eg, the pdf for Jones et al (2010) ends up attached to the Smith et al (2015) reference (and renamed as for that reference eg Smith_etal_2015.pdf). Often it appears the attachments are just swapped - in the above example the Smith et al pdf gets attached and renamed to the Jones et al reference.

Import of references and pdfs one-by-one from ADS appears to work ok.

Mac OS 10.15.7

Any ideas what is going wrong and how to fix?
  • We can't help with ZotFile, but does this happen when you're not using ZotFile?
  • Yes, I've just verified that with ZotFile disabled and renaming turned off the pdfs are still getting mismatched with references in the same way.
  • Can you provide precise steps to reproduce, with the smallest possible number of items? I'm not able to save from ADS at all.
  • I've done a few tests and found:
    - the mismatches are repeatable - a repeat of an ADS search and ingest results in the same mismatches
    - the number of items in a search & ingest does not seem to matter. If there are mismatched pdfs this will always happen between those references regardless of how many other references are being ingested
    - If the ingest is limited only to the reference with an incorrect pdf attached, and the reference that the pdf actually belongs to, ie just two references, the midsmatch will still occur.
    - If instead the "interfering" reference whose pdf is being incorrectly attached to another reference is omitted from ingest, the reference that gets that incorrect pdf will now get its correct one.


    In Chrome go to


    Cut and paste this line into the search box

    author:"Drake, J. J." property:refereed year:2013 collection:astronomy

    and press the magnifying glass icon to enter. None of these publications should be behind a paywall so it should work wherever you are.

    Select a test empty collection folder in Zotero, then click on Zotero chrome extension icon to import, and click "Select All" then "OK"

    I always get one reference with the wrong pdf:

    Discovery of X-Ray Emission in the Old Classical Nova DK Lacertae
    Takei, D.; Sakamoto, T.; Drake, J. J.

    gets the pdf of

    Obscuration effects in super-soft-source X-ray spectra
    Ness, J. -U.; Osborne, J. P.; Henze, M.

    That is the only error in this batch. Now, you can play with restricting the ingest on the chrome extension to see that
    - as long as those two references are included in the ingest the error will always occur regardless of others ingested at the same time.
    - if "Obscuration...." is excluded from the ingest, the pdf of "Discovery..." will be correct.

    Sorry this is a bit long-winded. Let me know if any other tests might help.

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