Here is my workflow: Zotero -> LyZ plugin for Zotero -> export reference to a *.bib file -> use *.bib file for LyX -> insert citation in LyX document.

The LyZ plugin exports an item's bibliographic information to the *.bib database. Examining the record for a specific item, I see the Date field is "January 1, 2014" and the Year field is empty.

I'm using Version 2.3.0rc2 of LyX, which adds BibLaTeX support in LyX. But I had the same problem with an earlier, stable version that implemented BibLaTeX in LyX using ERT.

The document is set up to use the Chicago author-date style.

The problem is that even though there's a date for the record, it's not making its way into the document.

Could someone please suggest how to troubleshoot?

Added 2/17/18: As mentioned, I'm really looking for guidance on how to troubleshoot the problem.

Since I first posted, I'm seeing that LyX has far more bibliographic entries than are in the attached *.bib file. I suspect this is because to create the current *.lyx file I copied a *.lyx file from an earlier paper, deleted the text, reset the appropriate document settings, and pointed the document to a different (new) *.bib file. But now I have no idea how to get rid of the bibliography entries that are in the *.lyx document but not in the attached *.bib file.

FWIW, here's an example of a bib entry that's causing problems. This one happens to be in the attached *.bib file:

    title = {Class Monopoly Rent and the Contemporary Neoliberal City},
    volume = {8},
    rights = {{\textcopyright} 2014 The Author(s). Geography Compass {\textcopyright} 2014 John Wiley \& Sons Ltd},
    issn = {1749-8198},
    url = {http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gec3.12107/abstract},
    doi = {10.1111/gec3.12107},
    language = {en},
    issue = {1},
    pages = {13-24},
    journaltitle = {Geography Compass},
    author = {Anderson, Matthew B.},
    urldate = {2015-05-28},
    date = {January 1, 2014},
    note = {00004},
    keywords = {HARVEY, David, neoliberalism, Chicago (Ill.), Economic policy, ECONOMICS, Have read}
  • 2
    you mean you have literally "January 1, 2014" in the bib? That's the wrong format, the date should be 2014-01-01. Feb 15, 2018 at 21:57
  • 2
    The first step would be to show us the offending .bib entry. It will also help if you could obtain the .blg log file.
    – moewe
    Feb 15, 2018 at 22:05
  • Comment deleted because bib entry is too long.
    – user99581
    Feb 17, 2018 at 12:59
  • 1
    Given the entry you have now shown us, we see Ulrike Fisher's comment was spot on: you should use date = {2014-01-01},.
    – gusbrs
    Feb 17, 2018 at 13:24
  • @UlrikeFischer Since you gave the right suggestion, would you care to write an answer?
    – moewe
    Feb 18, 2018 at 14:35

2 Answers 2


The format of the date field is wrong. All date fields should adhere to iso8601-2 Extended Format specification level 1. See section 2.3.8 Date and Time Specifications in the biblatex specification. In your case the field should look like this:

  date = {2014-01-01},
  • I believe Zotero allows dates like "January 1, 2014." Also, since it scrapes dates from sources on the Web, it takes what the source offers. Reformatting the date correctly for the *.bib is, I believe, the responsibility of the exporter. In my case, this is LyZ with Better Bib(La)TeX. I'm currently investigating why it's not converting "January 1, 2014" to "2014-01-01".
    – user99581
    Feb 20, 2018 at 3:14
  • If BBT does not convert this to 2014-01-01, please report it on github.com/retorquere/zotero-better-bibtex/issues. I'll be happy to get this sorted.
    – retorquere
    Aug 28, 2018 at 9:53

I had the same problem exporting Zotero to a .bib file. For me, it was due to the fact Zotero exports using the "BibLaTex" format instead of "Bibtex" format. It results in a .bib file with a "date" field instead of a "year" field. You just have to insure you use the "Bibtex" format when exporting.

  • 3
    That advice does specifically not apply when one is using biblatex. The question mentions biblatex in the tags, title and body text, so I think we can assume that this answer is not really to the point.
    – moewe
    Jul 23, 2018 at 9:51

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