Endnote assigns the same number to different references


I notice that sometimes Endnote assigns the same number to different references. Is there any reason and how to fix it?

Is it related to reference duplication?

Reference duplication is actually problematic for another issue because if we insert a reference with its importation number and we clean it later as a duplicate, the inserted reference will be considered unfound while it exists in the library under another importation number (which was not inserted in the text), so that Endnote does not find it to format it in the text.  

During my PhD I have had a huge similar problem that costed me a lot of time and working days.

Is it related to duplicate references?

To prevent such problems, I suggest that, prior to import references into the library, Endnote should check at the importation stage if the imported references are already in the library, if so, then Endnote should notify the user that the reference in question is already in the library (with a message; would you like to replace it?) so that the user decide immediately not to import it to avoid duplication issues. 

This should allow avoiding reference duplications and subsequent issues related to the suppression of one of the duplicated references when it was inserted but cleaned up from the library.

Endnote never assigns the same record number to a record.  But there can be sync artifacts that renumber records.  It is important to ensure you update citations as soon as you open a manuscript on another computer, or after syncing with the cloud as described in this KB article.  Frustrating that Endnote can corrupt these record numbers so easily if the correct steps aren’t taken.  

from Jason in another thread

Record Numbers are not currently retained when using Sync and Library Sharing. Because of this, we recommend the steps in this article when working on collaborative documents:


Thanks Leanne for your response.

Theoretically, Endnote should not assign the same record number but this has happened. I have already solved the issue; otherwise, I would have posted a screenshot for you.

The problem was actually produced when I merged two files (each file with its own references) to make a new and one file. But when I tried to reformat the references in the new file, I found the references’ numbers do not change and they do not correspond to the exact referencing I was expecting to see in the new file. That is, a reference number 1 for example in the text from the file 1 was pointing out to reference X and the reference Y in the text from file 2 was also identified by the same number 1. In other words, the references kept their original formatting but when I tried to formatting/re-formatting them in the new file, this did not solve the problem. I have had to re-insert (replace) the entire references one by one in the new file, from the beginning, to get it solved, but it was overwhelming and time consuming. I may have had to unformat the references in each file separately before updating the reference style in each of them.

For the reference updating, I prefer to update the references at the last step only but not as soon as I insert them because I find it a little tricky to enable the instant formatting (actually it freezes the text for a while and thus prevents to continue working for a while); so I format all the references at the last step of writing only, once the text is finalized but not before).

Ah, yes.  In the document - not in the library.  When you fuse library 1 with library 2 - they get renumbered, but then they don’t match the records in the document.  – I have copied the record numbers into the label field and added a prefix and suffix (because the label field is a “contains” and not exact match when you use it as a replacement for the “record number” before fusing libraries, but this a problem for me, since syncing also renumbers the record numbers and complicated my life.  

Yes, in the document but not in the library. It was a tricky problem that took me a lot of time.

I do not know about the issues related to the online sync but I encountered many issues with the desktop version and sometimes, Endnote complicates the life, indeed, while it supposed to facilitates it!

I think a continuoius optimization of Endnote is required to fix bugs and errors and make it user-friendly.

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