Ibid. fault

I have recently come across what I think is a fault in the way X4 handles replacing repeated citations with ‘ibid.’.

My style is set to replace repeated data with ‘ibid.’ if the same reference repeats in consecutive footnotes but is set to ‘no special handling’ if the same source repeats in consecutive footnotes.

I have two references with nearly identical properties.

Unclear what you mean by “nearly identical properties” but regarding “No Special Handling” when references repeat in consecutive footnotes, they will be handled “just like other repeated references in footnotes” (EndNote X4 pdf manual, pg. 258).

Apologies: I hadn’t noticed that half my post didn’t show up.

My two references have the same values in the Year, Title, Secondary Author, Place Published, Publisher and Pages fields. They have different data in the Number field and, obviously, different record numbers. All other fields are blank.

When I insert the two references, with no other reference intervening, and whether I insert the two references in the same or separate footnotes, EN replaces the second reference with ‘ibid.’ – clearly taking it to be a repeat of the first reference. Unless I have misunderstood the distinction between repeated references and repeated sources, I think this should not happen.

I’d be grateful for any advice or suggestions you might have.

Thanks for the additional information. BTW, what output style are you using and what is the setting used for “Format citations in footnotes” (this is located in the Footnotes “Templates” setting).

Many thanks for your interest. Citations in footnotes are formatting using the footnote format. The style is one I have designed for use with legal citations. The relevant template (substituting the standard field names) is:

‘Title’|ᵒ(Publisher)|ᵒinᵒ_Secondary Author_|ᵒ(Year)|ᵒvolᵒVolume|ᵒNoᵒNumber|,ᵒPages|,ᵒCited·Pages

The references should appear as:

‘Proclamation’ (27.06.1995) in Commonwealth of Australia Gazette (1995) No S258, 1.

‘Proclamation’ (27.06.1995) in Commonwealth of Australia Gazette (1995) No S259, 1.

[Neither of these happens to have a volume number but that ought to be irrelevant.]

Having examined the issue more closely, EN does the same thing with two nearly identical references of another type. The footnote template (again, using the standard field names) is:


The references should appear as:

Royal Style and Titles Act 1973 (Cth)

Royal Style and Titles Act 1973 (SA)

[Neither of these happens to have a secondary title but, again, that ought to be irrelevant.]

In each case, EN interprets whichever reference I insert second as a repeat of the first. The second reference is replaced by ‘ibid.’ if they are consecutive (it doesn’t matter which reference is inserted first – either way around, the second is replaced). Similarly, if I use the full form as the short form and insert a different reference between the first reference and the second, EN inserts the long form of the first reference. The record numbers are correct (i.e., when I unformat the citations the second citation has the record number for the second reference) but the formatted citation is incorrectly given as that of the first reference.

I should add, in case it is connected with special atttributes of any of the standard fields, that I have selected the fields for use in the templates with some care, having regard, e.g., to term lists and to the need for some fields to contain punctuation (when I have otherwise set EN to remove punctuation from, e.g., journal names that use the secondary title field).

All suggestions gladly received.

Your output styles seem somewhat complicated, since you are using the 'secondary author" field instead of the secondary journal field?  The below is from the Help file of Endnote.  You might try turning off the merge feature, and it might function more as you expect. 


Merge Duplicates in Bibliography

When this option is selected, EndNote automatically omits duplicate references from a bibliography. It is a good idea to use this option if you are citing references from multiple EndNote libraries in one paper. In this situation, the same journal article reference might appear in two libraries and would have two different record numbers. EndNote will not identify the records as duplicates unless you have this option set to merge duplicates.

When this option is selected, EndNote checks the bibliography for duplicate references during the formatting process. If duplicates are found, they are removed. References are considered duplicates if they are the same reference type (such as Journal Article or Book) and the following fields are identical: Author, Year, Title, Secondary Title (Journal, Newspaper, Magazine, Book Title, Series Title, Conference Name, and so on), Volume, Issue, and Pages.

Note: The Duplicates preference settings do not apply to this feature. The criteria for determining duplicates is fixed for the “Merge Duplicates in Bibliography” setting.



bjspagnolo wrote:

Many thanks for your interest. Citations in footnotes are formatting using the footnote format. The style is one I have designed for use with legal citations. The relevant template (substituting the standard field names) is:


‘Title’|ᵒ(Publisher)|ᵒinᵒ_Secondary Author_|ᵒ(Year)|ᵒvolᵒVolume|ᵒNoᵒNumber|,ᵒPages|,ᵒCited·Pages


The references should appear as:


‘Proclamation’ (27.06.1995) in Commonwealth of Australia Gazette (1995) No S258, 1.

‘Proclamation’ (27.06.1995) in Commonwealth of Australia Gazette (1995) No S259, 1.


Yes, I think this is the relevant behind-the-scenes process. I have all of the available fields for comparison checked, including the ‘Issue’ field. Unless I’ve misunderstood matters, that is a reference to the ‘Number’ field – and it is precisely in the Number field that my two references differ. Nonetheless, pace the manual, EN does not notice the difference between the records. I have tried renaming the field to ‘Issue’ in case that (for some reason) made a difference but to no avail.

It may be that the comparison using this field is hardwired into the journal style specifically. That would be typically irritating (quite apart from the fact that I can’t see any overwhelming reason to let us choose some fields to compare but not others…).

I may just have to use a different field – one from the compare list – in place of the Number field. The reason for not using Secondary Title is, as I flagged earlier, that any punctuation inserted in that field will be ignored because of the setting to that effect which I *do* want in relation to journals but don’t want in relation to this Gazette reference type. The reason for using Number (apart from the fact that I thought it would help EN distinguish the records) was that it appears at a convenient point in the sequence fields from the point of view of data entry. I would prefer to be able to enter the information in the order a person would it off the page, rather than have to use a field out of sequence.


Source includes the “Secondary Title” or “Periodical” field.  You appear to be using the “Secondary Author” field as your source, which isn’t going to trigger the algorithm for the consecutive citation replacement scheme.  Since your Gazette is really a publication change your reference matrix from the Secondary Author field to the Secondary Title field if possible and then change your style.  You will find that the second of the two citations should appear with the Gazette name and allow you to enter the cited pages for that Gazette as required.

Cheryl–The EndNote Team

Many thanks for your reply, Cheryl. I appreciate your insight and assistance.

I was a little confused by your reference to sources. I have set EN to ‘no special handling’ with respect to repeated sources; the issue, as I understand it, is with repeated references, and with EN mistaking the second reference for a duplicate of the first.

Am I to understand then, that the tick-box in the Duplicates tab for comparing the Issue field simply does not work? Since I have two different values in this field, should EN not recognise these as non-duplicates?

Please see my last post for the reasons I cannot use the Secondary Title field. In any event, I’m not sure that your suggestion of switching to the Secondary Title field in place of the Secondary Author field will resolve the point: the values of my two references will still be identical. The only difference between my references is in the Issue (Number) field.

I am having this same problem. I am using Endnote x4 with Pages 4.1 on Mac OS 10.6. I have done all the latest updates. I am using a modified Chicago 15th style and I have selected “Ibid” to replace repeated citations in consecutive footnotes, and “no special handling” for repeated references.

There are several instances where I have similar references, differentiated often only by date. I feel like it should be pretty straightforward for Endnote to differentiate between clearly non-identical references, but I realize this is a quirk and I’m okay with working around it. I read in the previous posts that date (NOT year, just date) is not one of the fields EN examines for repeated citations. But, pages is. I have several references where the only differences are date and pages, but even though the pages are clearly different, Endnote still switches the second reference to “Ibid.”

Here is the template I am using for “Personal Communication:”

Author to Recipient, “Title,” Date Year, Bates Pages.

This is what it looks like:

W. F. Greenwald to A. E. Lyon, 21 November 1946, Bates 1003072734-2738.

My second citation should look like this:

W. F. Greenwald to A. E. Lyon, 9 December 1946, Bates 1003072730-2733.

You can see the pages (as well as the dates) are different. But rather than coming up as two separate citations in consecutive footnotes, the second one comes up as “Ibid.”

Any ideas? Thanks!

so they don’t have a title?  could you put the date into the title field to “fix” this “feature”?

Some of the documents have a title, some don’t. The title field is formatted to have “” around the title.

I’m confused as to why the differing page numbers is not enough to differentiate the two references if that is one of the fields marked by Endnote?


Me either, at least according to the documentation.  – I suspect it is a disconnect between the documentation and the program itself and needs to be reported to the developers, via suggestions forum or the endnote.com support site.  Sorry I can’t help more.   In the meantime, if it were me, I would put a bogus DELETE ME  in one of the records’ titles and do just that, before submitting. 

Thanks so much for your help. I’ll report it to the developers.

I’m sure you have thought of this but, by default, EN does not compare the Pages field when searching for duplicates – you need to ensure that the Pages field is checked in the Preferences / Duplicates settings first.

Yes but those duplicate settings don’t apply to this function, but you are right, it might indicate the mindset of the developers too. 

Thanks… but it “pages” was checked in the Preferences.

What I have done for now is put the whole date in the “year” field and delete the “date” field from my template. But I still think it should recognize the different pages!

Just to clarify in repsonse to your previous posting,  preferences for duplicate check only affects the duplicate search when you are using it from the References duplicate search interface.  It does not affect the duplicate resolution in a bibliography.  That is the issue.  It is “fixed” for the settings which apparently only use Author, Year and title despite what it says in the documentation. 

But I do now remember (“NOW you tell me” you might say) that you can turn the "merge in bibliography setting OFF entirely, which would also solve your problem, assuming you don’t have other real duplicates cited in the paper.  This setting is in the Edit>Preferences Formating section of the Endnote program (and applies to all papers formated on that computer, and is not manuscript specific!)