Library gone missing

I have been adding references to Zotero for several days now. I went into Zotero today and there is nothing in my library. Yesterday I had everything in my library as well as another library. There is nothing in my library nor is there any indication that there was a second library. Can someone help with this?
  • Cate: Are you getting an error of some sort? Does the Zotero pane open? Do you still have all your Firefox bookmarks, cookies, and history? Can you select "Report Errors..." from the Actions (gear) menu in the Zotero toolbar and send an error report?
  • That was a very fast response! I found the library but don't understand what the issue was. Yesterday I change the storage location but realized I had no idea what I was doing. I didn't restart the computer because I was going to change it back. So I changed it back, restarted and my library was there. I am much relieved because the bib info, notes, tags, etc. are for my dissertation. Yikes!
    I have another question though. I am trying to manually add a reference for an edited book. I need to enter the chapter authors and chapter title as well as book editors and book title. Is there a way to do this? It looks like I can enter the chapter title or the book title, but not both. Also, in the publication field I need the location and publisher (APA format). Do I enter both pieces of info in the publisher field? (New York: Guilford Press)? I quickly looked through the documentation but didn't see anything.
  • This raises a question for one of the Zotero folks. How should Cate back up her stuff?

    One strategy is to export your references periodically and back up the exported files, but be aware that if you are trying to use the Word plugin to format your bibliography that this only works with the database you used to generate the citations. Ie if you lose your database and re-import from the exported files the plugin will not work, as far as I know.
  • Cate: a book chapter from an edited volume is entered as a "Book Section" item. You'll find a "Title" field for the chapter title and a separate "Book Title" field. Enter an "Author" for the chapter author and an "Editor" for the book editor. The location and publisher info can be entered into "Place" and "Publisher," respectively.
  • Thanks, Sean. I'll give it a try.
    ptsefton has me thinking a little bit here about what I think I'm doing and I thought I better check it out. I have this nice new convertible laptop with Windows Vista Business. I also have a desktop running Windows XP. Before I knew about Zotero, (and not long before) I purchased EndNote 9 for my desktop. However, that version of EndNote is not compatible with Vista. I though I read somewhere when I first read about Z that it was compatible with EndNote. I thought I would use Z on the laptop and then export the info to EndNote which would format the bib and insert citations into my paper. Now I'm wondering if that is possible. I think it should be, but...
    My idea of backing up my material is to put it on a flash drive (I'm considering adding another and keeping it in the car). Someone in my program had a house fire a couple of years ago and lost everything, including a years worth of work on the dissertation, so I worry about those types of things. If anyone has any better ideas I'm open to suggestions.
  • @Cate, you can probably do what you say and export from Zotero & import to EndNote, but I'd experiment if I were you. EndNote has a similar problem to Zotero with IDs - it uses sequential numbers which refelect the state of your particular database, you can share between people and computers but only if you share the endnote database files and make sure that only one person at a time adds records, you can't import records into an existing one or the numbers will be all wrong and won't match the citation markers in your document (NOTE: it's been a while since I used EndNote but this is true for v7 and I have not heard of any improvements).

    We're all working hard to try to resolve the issues with Zotero so EndNote is rendered obsolete (I'm not from the Zotero project though).
  • At the moment, the best backup method is to just make a copy of the Zotero data directory, located (by default) within the Firefox profile directory. Anyone who backs up their Firefox profile regularly is already doing this.

    Due to itemID and other issues, the export methods currently aren't really optimal as a backup method.
  • I have been having trouble with libraries going missing, and unlike Cate, my missing libraries haven't returned. I use Zotero at my school's library, and since the computers delete everything on logout, I export my library every day onto my flashdrive. Sometimes everything is there, sometimes it isn't. Today, I imported a library that had 50 or so titles when I exported it, but now has a whopping one entry. I like the premise of Zotero, and I find it easy to use, but I can't keep re-searching for the same texts, adding tags, entering notes, linking files, only to lose everything. There was an error message when I tried importing the library, and I'd say I get one 50% of the time that I export or import. Is Zotero really only for those who work on their own computer every time? As a graduate student, I don't have that luxury!

    When I first went to a Zotero demo at my school, it was suggested that I save the Firefox page as a means of saving my day's reference work. When I tried this, though, I found that although I could retrieve my previous Zotero entries, I couldn't add to them--it wasn't an interactive page.

    Any suggestions?
  • I use several computers and keep my Zotero database on an external drive. I use the copy of Firefox that is on the computer I am using and point it at the Zotero database. This can be done by
    1. Moving the Zotero database you are using to the external drive (see elsewhere on forums for how to find it) and putting it somewhere simple and near the top of the directory structure.
    2. Pointing which ever copy of Firefox I am using to that database, which sometimes necessitiates then restarting Firefox.
    You can do this by looking in Firefox Tools > Add ons > (Find Zotero and click) 'Options' > Advanced > Storage location > Custom (top of the page) > Choose.
    After you have added this you may be prompted to close and reopen Firefox.
    This works for me on various Windows XP computers but not properly on Vista for some reason. The Vista Firefox will open Zotero but I cannot then add references properly. Fields just stay open and do not save the entries. I have not yet tracked down the source of this problem.
    However moving the database to something portable might work as a solution for you, jrrnyc.
  • I am accessing Zotero from a different computer. I logged on and my library shows my files for different classes, but the files are empty. I never deleted anything. Please help.
  • start a new thread please, after consulting
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