Same first author, multiple publications in one year

Hi there,

I’m really hoping someone might be able to help me with a problem I am having with Endnote X1.

I am trying to cite 5 publications from the same author all published in the same year.

Endnote is correctly inserting a, b, etc after the author for e.g… Smith (2006a, 2006b).

However, it is giving different articles the same letters for instance Smith (2006a, 2006b, 2006c, 2006a, 2006b) instead of Smith (2006a, 2006b, 2006c, 2006d, 2006e) so in the bibliography there are two Smith (2006b)'s even though these are clearly different articles.

I think possibly the problem is that it is perceiving two different authors for the two articles which have the same alphabetical letter because when I insert the full reference it is including the initials of the authors. I have tried copying and pasting the name of the first author in all of the references to keep them consistent as this has worked with publications by the same author (but in a different year) in the past however it is not working in this case.

I hope this is not too confusing.

Can anyone help me with this?


Did you unformat the references after you did the copy/paste to ensure the author was the same?  If not, it may be retrieving them from the traveling library. 

Hi Leanne,

Thank you for your response.

Do you mean did I unformat the references in my word document? Otherwise, I’m not sure exactly what you mean when you refer to unformating the references after copy/paste to ensure the first author was the same for all relevant references.

Perhaps you could explain. Sorry, but I have only been using endnote for 6 weeks or so and am quite sure that there is a lot that I don’t know!

Yes, unformat the references in the word document by selecting all and doing an unformat bibliography, which will return them all to their curley bracketed state.  Delete any remnant of the bibliography.  To be safe, close everything an reopen it.  This will  erase the pesky traveling library. Then reopen word and endnote and make sure your library is open.  Click on the reformat bibliography button.  Before saying OK, go to the third tab, to turn on Cite while you write back on.  Unformatting all the references turns it off.  Now hit return. 

Are the references correctly formatted now?  

I will do as you have suggested as soon as I have access to CWYW. Subsequent to posting my initial request for advice, I had a major issue whilst using Endnote. I kept getting a message repeated over and over again something about being outside the window (can’t remember exactly). I tried to close Endnote but I couldn’t in fact I couldn’t use any other programs (including word), I just kept getting the repeated message.

I then restarted my computer and found that there I had lost the toolbar for Endnote. All of my references are still in the word document but I cannot do anything with them. I can use Endnote and my library is intact but I cannot insert references into Word. I have spent hours looking for advice on what to do but so far nothing has worked.

So, I am waiting for my uni IT helpesk to get back to me but as soon as they do I will try what you have suggested.

In the meantime, if you have any advice about how I can get Endnote back onto my Word toolbar, it would be much appreciated. I have Endnote XI & Word 2007. I have tried updating Endnote, ensuring the CWYW is an add on but so far nothing has worked. Thanks for your help. 


Just to let you know I just got Endnote on to the Word toolbar:smileyvery-happy: I didn’t want you to go to the trouble of sending me detailed advice now that I’ve got it to work. Somehow it had become disabled so in the end all it took was a press of one button to enable it!! To think I spent so many hours on something that was eventually resolved so easily. Will get back to you about whether your suggestions regarding ‘same first author, multiple publications in one year’ works.


Unfortunately, it didn’t work. I selected all and pressed convert to unformatted citations which did return the references to a curly bracketed state. I had to delete the entire bibliography manually because it did not do it automatically. I followed the rest of your instructions though I’m not sure where you turn the cite while you write function on (in Endnote?) Anyhow, seems to be working ok but the problem with Endnote recognizing two different works as the same Smith (1979a) & Smith (1979a) has not changed.

Any other ideas or have I followed your instructions incorrectly?

Sounds like you did it as described.  Turning CWYW back on is on the third tab.  See the English version in the attached attachment.  Perhaps you could copy and past the references that are coming up as individual/different authors. Better yet, might be to export them as RIS format? and past those results in the email?



Do you mean that I should export the references to Endnote in RIS format?

I lost you when you suggested pasting the results in an email? Email to whom? To tech support?

Sorry, I couldn’t follow your meaning.


I would like you to export the references from your Endnote library into a text RIS formatted file.  What I want to be able to do, is to compare how the authors are entered in the two records by the same first author, that Endnote seems to be interpreting as different.  In RIS, I could see them, more or less as they are entered, and import them into a test library. 

You can also take this directly to tech support. 

Maybe the moderators could allow small libraries and small word documents to be attached to the forum as well, although that probably opens a can of worms they would rather not open. 

Message Edited by Leanne on 11-18-2008 09:05 AM


Thank you for your help. I managed to fix the problem.

Several of the references had the same or very similar authors which I think confused Endnote.

Previously, I had made sure the first author was entered exactly the same for each entry (in the same year).

However, I then went through and did the same for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th authors so that there was as much consistency as possible in the entry of (and appearance of)  author names between the references and it was this that worked!!