Single year citation appears as multiple citation (e.g. Fuller, 2005 appears as Fuller, 2005a)

I have a problem with citations that appear as a multiple when they are a single publication by that author in a particular year. (e.g. Fuller, 2003, appears as Fuller 2003a). I am editing a large document (PhD thesis), and it is going to be huge hassle to have so many of these appearing in the text. Can you suggest a remedy?
  • It seems you cite this author (maybe the same document) twice. What do you see in bibliography?
  • Check the duplicity of this item in your Zotero.
  • I wondered if that was the problem, that the source appears twice in Zotero. I definitely have same source in different folders. I'll check this and delete extras. I'll also check the bibliography as well. Thanks
  • edited April 20, 2017
    @furma19p Do not delete duplicates, use merge function!!!
    One tip: in the left pane you can see "collection" named Duplicate Items
    If you use group collections you have to check them too. It is my typical mistake to cite the same document when I collaborate on paper with my colleagues. In this case, I very often cite documents from my "personal" library, but my colleagues cite the same documents from group library and then we have this document twice in the paper.
  • (there are also ways to get a duplicate reference without having a duplicate in Zotero under specific circumstances. You'll definitely want to check the bibliography)
  • What will I see in the bibliography? Whether the duplicate citation (e.g.2003a) appears there?

    Also, thanks LiborA for the advice about merging rather than deleting duplicates
  • We'd expect to see two entries, 2003a and 2003b
  • Yes, I have checked the bibliography and that is exactly what a see--two or more entries for the same citation. Some are not correct or complete, others are. How do I use the merge function? I want to make sure that when merging I have the correct/complete citation as the one that remains. Any help would be appreciated.
  • edited April 22, 2017
    For first, look on "Duplicity items" in the left pane of Zotero. There you can see all duplicity in the same Library. See this documentation
    Merge all duplicities, refresh and check your document. If you still have duplicity in your bibliography then you have cited the same document from different libraries. That is a problem because you cannot merge documents from different libraries, I think. In this case, you have to find all affected citation in your document and change it.
  • Thanks so much. I'll give it a go.
  • Can I ask a follow-up question? I'm also finding that in-text citations will include the author's initial, even when there are no authors by the same name. I've checked to make sure the initial is in the text box for the first name in Zotero and not in the surname text box. Have you seen this before, and do you know how to correct it?
  • Disambiguation by author name comes in several flavours. If the style disambiguates on the basis of author name itself (as opposed to ambiguity in finished references), the initial may be added when the author name occurs as co-author in another reference (possibly even if screened by et al. truncation, I'm not sure). Which style are you using?
  • I'm using APA
  • Okay ... APA disambiguates by name, but only on the first-listed author. In the bibliography, you don't find another work by an author with the same last name?
  • Also, see
    more often then not, this is caused by works by the same author, who is entered differently (e.g. Adam Smith vs. Adam S. Smith vs. A. S. Smith) in Zotero.
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