I am using Zotero v4.0.15 for exporting references into the BibLaTeX format.

I defined citeKeyFormat in BibLaTeX.js as following:

var citeKeyFormat = "%a%y";

However, inbook entries get usually the book's first editor name as part of the key assigned.

title = {Proactive work behavior: Forward-thinking and change-oriented action in organizations.},
 pages = {567-598},
 booktitle = {{APA} handbook of industrial and organizational psychology, Vol 2: Selecting and developing members for the organization},
 publisher = {American Psychological Association},
 author = {Bindl, Uta K. and Parker, Sharon K.},
 editor = {Zedeck, Sheldon},
 date = {2011}  

Instead of zedeck2011 the correct key should be bindl2011.

Am I doing something wrong? Is this a bug in Zotero? Is there a work around?

  • I'm not sure this belongs here - it's really about a Zotero export style and belongs on the Zotero forums. – PLK Nov 27 '13 at 21:21

The Zotero part of the answer (also posted here: https://forums.zotero.org/discussion/33550/editor-name-instead-of-author-name-in-biblatex-key-export-problem/#Item_2):

The Zotero bib(la)tex translators take the first listed creator, whether it's an author or not. That could probably be fixed - but devs are always very hesitant to change anything that affects citekeys since many people just rely on the automatically created keys and changing them messes with their documents.

A possible workaround would be to move the editor down by clicking on the "Editor" label in Zotero and select "move down".

  • Thanks. This indeed does the trick. Although I understand the resistance to change the key generation mechanism I still think this is a bug. The BibLaTex.js defines in the comments that "%a" stands for the first AUTHOR's surname - not the first EDITOR's surname: "//%a = first author surname". Those are different fields. – phx Nov 28 '13 at 9:12

According to the biblatex manual @inbook has a different meaning from the meaning in bibtex.

A part of a book which forms a self-contained unit with its own title. Note that the profile of this entry type is different from standard BibTeX

The case you have is captured in biblatex by @collection and @incollection.


A single-volume collection with multiple, self-contained contributions by distinct authors which have their own title. The work as a whole has no overall author but it will usually have an editor.


A contribution to a collection which forms a self-contained unit with a distinct author and title. The author refers to the title, the editor to the booktitle, i. e., the title of the collection.

You can use a source map to transform all @inbook into @incollection, thus something like (untested)

        \step[typesource=inbook, typetarget=incollection]
  • I am not sure whether this is a valid answer for the stated problem. Zotero provides the item type "Book Section" which is translated into @inbook. However, this is not directly related to the key generation. Zotero uses the first name (editor or author) to generate the index independent from the entry type (see the answer below). A source map from inbook to incollection should therefore not affect the key generation. Nevertheless, thanks for this informative information since it might be still interesting for users using Zotero and BibLatex. – phx Nov 28 '13 at 9:05
  • 1
    while maybe not directly to the question, this is very useful. We have fixed this in the Zotero BibLaTex export – adam.smith Dec 3 '13 at 0:53

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