Dups: John Smith ≠ J. Smith ?

I have a number of instances where I have the same reference but in one the author’s given names are spelled out and the other has initials. Is there some way to tell the duplicate reference comparer to (e.g.) just use the last names of authors?

This usually means that two cited references have that author name in a slightly different format. (John is NOT equivalent to J. which could be Joseph or Johanne or Joan).  Thus according to instructions by most publishing houses, they need to be distinguished. The easiest way to fix this, is to copy and paste one author name to the other record, overwriting the original.  

A less satisfying change, (as it would then contravene the rule above) would be to change your settings so that authors with shared last name and differing first names not be disambiguated in the output style.