Editor name instead of author name in BibLaTex key - Export problem?!


I am refering to my question already posted on tex.stackexchange.com


I am using Zotero v4.0.15 for exporting references into the BibLatex format.

I defined citeKeyFormat in BibLaTeX.js as following:

var citeKeyFormat = "%a%y";

However, inbook entries get usually the book's first editor name as part of the key assigned.

title = {Proactive work behavior: Forward-thinking and change-oriented action in organizations.},
pages = {567-598},
booktitle = {{APA} handbook of industrial and organizational psychology, Vol 2: Selecting and developing members for the organization},
publisher = {American Psychological Association},
author = {Bindl, Uta K. and Parker, Sharon K.},
editor = {Zedeck, Sheldon},
date = {2011}

Instead of zedeck2011 the correct key should be bindl2011.

Am I doing something wrong? Is this a bug in Zotero? Is there a work around?
  • The bib(la)tex translators take the first listed creator, whether it's an author or not.
    That could probably be fixed - but I'm always very hesitant to change anything that affects citekeys since many people just rely on the automatically created keys and that messes with their documents.

    The workaround would be to move the editor down by clicking on the "Editor" label in Zotero and select "move down".
  • Thanks. This indeed does the trick.

    Although I understand the resistance to change the key generation mechanism I still think this is a bug.

    The BibLaTex.js defines in the comments that "%a" stands for the first AUTHOR's surname - not the first EDITOR's surname:

    //%a = first author surname
    //%y = year
    //%t = first word of title

    Those are different fields.
  • I agree it's a bug, but I'm still wondering whether the better way to fix it may not be to correct the comment in the translator to reflect the current behavior.
    To be clear - if we started from scratch, I'd definitely use the first author in the key, this is just about changing it now that's been using the first listed creator for years.
  • the citekey description is now fixed in both the bibtex and biblatex translators. If were were going to start from scratch I'd rather fix the key generation code, but as I say above, I believe at this point that does more harm than good.
  • edited September 2, 2019
    Hi ! I just encountered this problem.
    I have to say, I'm very surprised by this decision of leaving the bug, since changing to the proper behavior would only affect people who after having written document with the bad cite keys, need to re edit them, and produce the pdfs again. While they re-edit their document, they can probably fix a few broken refs.
    But for newcomers and people who write new documents, it does more harm, since they have to check for every ref they want to cite if it's a buggy one or not, and then either go through the process of fixing the order between authors and editors, or deal with the fact that it is not consistent, and having to remember which refs have the bug.

    An example that reproduces the bug: when adding this paper to Zotero, and then exporting it, the citekey is hutchison_heat_2004 when it should be bai_heat_2004.

    Tell me what you think.
    Thanks !
  • I guess my expectation is that very few people write out their citekeys manually and I do think breaking existing documents a major issue, not just an inconvenience.

    You can look at the BetterBibTeX add-on for more BibTex and citekey customizability all around.
  • I agree with @adamsmith that breaking existing documents is a major issue.

    If you don't want to use BBT, you can also force Zotero to use a citekey of your own choosing by adding Citation Key: bai_heat_2004 to the extra field.
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