[Tex/LaTex] Showstopper with better-biblatex+zotero


I am using better-biblatex to access my Zotero collections of journal articles. Mostly it works fine, though duplicate keys are a bummer (the documentation for the alternate JabRef syntax based fields is not adequate).

I am writing to discuss a different, somewhat scary feature of this combination – change in item keys.

I was just writing a paper and added a citation to a journal article (call it \cite{Chen2014} for concreteness). While I was writing the conclusions, I found another article, also by a first author named Chen and added it to my Zotero collection.

Using BibDesk, I refreshed the URL that provides the bib file to check the key for the new article. It was also Chen2014. However, to my horror, the citation key to the previous article (the one I had already cited to as \cite{Chen2014}) had changed to Chen2014a!

Now, a typical user is going to have a dynamically growing library. He or she is also going to have a large static set of .tex files (those that have already been written, or the sections of a paper than have been finalized).

This "feature" above means that everytime I have to use a previously written tract of LaTeX, I cannot be certain that article keys have not changed.

If I am not messing up something, this is an utter show-stopper.

Any suggestions?

Best Answer

The Better Bib(La)Tex plugin has since been updated to make sure your bibtex keys are unique even if not explicitly forced to a unique value. The example that is given in the question will no longer occur (full disclosure: I am the author of the plugin -- problems such as these are more swiftly handled when an issue is lodged at github).

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