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We're in the process of updating the documentation for Zotero 5.0. Some documentation may be outdated in the meantime. Thanks for your understanding.

Why do some citations include first names or initials, and how can I prevent this from happening?

Sometimes, you will see citations like “(J. Smith 2000, J. R. Smith 2001)”, even though your citation style normally only shows the author's last name (“Doe 2004”). In these cases, Zotero is trying to disambiguate different authors. This is generally a good thing, but disambiguation also occurs when a certain author is inconsistently named in your Zotero library. For example, Zotero treats the names

  • Jeff Smith
  • J. Smith
  • J. R. Smith

as distinct individuals. In this case, you can either go through your library and change all the names that refer to the same person to the exact same form, or you can simply use a style that doesn't disambiguate names. A step-by-step guide to disable given name disambiguation in a CSL citation style can be found here.

Zotero and CSL support sophisticated disambiguation rules. If a style disambiguates incorrectly, please post to the Zotero forum, and provide documentation in form of a style guide or a published article in the publication in question. Note that these changes do not address the issue of inconsistently named authors.

kb/given_name_disambiguation.txt · Last modified: 2011/11/01 16:34 by rmzelle