If a reference list item starts with a numeral it is removed - and

Hi, one of our editors wants to include this reference “2000 Fijian Coup d’État (n.d.). Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000_Fijian_coup_d’état” to the reference list but the 2000 always disappears. This has happened before with other references. Is there anyway to trouble shoot this?

Steps I took leading up to the issue
I tried myself in 3.1 where this journal is hosted and in one of our 3.3 journals but the same error happend - as soon as you extract the references the numeral at the start disappears -the reference appears as
Fijian Coup d’État (n.d.). Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000_Fijian_coup_d'état

What application are you using?
The error is happening in both and

Additional information


and in 3.1

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Hi @Tuwpub,

what do you mean with ‘as soon as you extract the references’?
Does it also gets removed with saving?

Hi gaziyucel
You add the references to the metadata as I have in the screen shot, then the system extracts them to link the DOIs and to tidy them up. In this case when tidying them up - the system removes the numerals at the start of the title.

Hi @Tuwpub,

Thanks for your reply. It was unclear for me, because OJS does not extract anything. The references you put in References text field are cleaned and saved to the database. At the frontend, all URLs are changed to actual clickable links.

The following is done while cleaning the references:

  1. Remove empty lines and normalize line endings.
  2. Remove trailing/leading line breaks.
  3. Break up at line endings.
  4. Remove numbers from the beginning of each citation.

Step 4 is the problem in your case. This is meant for the cases where references are listed with 1., 2., etc. Side effect is that this makes it impossible to put references which begin with a number.

Unfortunately, this is a build in feature which dates back to 3.1 (not sure how far back) and is still there in version 3.4. Only way to change this is by a feature request on this forum under the category “Feature Request”, or make changes to the code yourself. But I don’t recommend changing core code, because it will be overwritten by every update/upgrade and can have unintended side effects.

I don’t know if this would help in your case, but a (ugly?) workaround would be to put something before the 2000. For example a single quote or a dot before a number, like this:

'2000 Fijian Coup d’État (n.d.). Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000_Fijian_coup_d’état

I hope this helps.


Thanks Gazi for your help, it’s good to have a concrete answer. I’ll put the adding the single quote forward to the editor. This happens so infrequently there is no point changing the code but I’ll put it forward as a feature request.

I just used the word extract because in 3.1 you click on a button called ‘extract references’

Thanks again!

Hi @Tuwpub,

this plugin I am working on could be interesting for you in the future: GitHub - GaziYucel/citationManager: Citation Manager for OJS, which will be available for OJS3.3.0 on forward.

This plugin does extract and structure citations and deposits these to external services such as Wikidata, OpenCitations (list will grow). This will give your journal(s) more exposure, will give you more control and will look nicer as the build-in.

It’s not ready for production yet, as the code is being reviewed by PKP. Wait until it’s in the OJS Plugin Gallery for production usage.

Happy to help!

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Hi @Tuwpub and @gaziyucel,

I think we can remove that part of the code that removes numbers from the beginning of each citation – This way the correct citations like this one will be correctly processed and displayed. And for the others: actually the editor is responsible for entering the citations correctly and not as numbered list…
I opened a new issue that will fix this for releases > 3.3.


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That would be fantastic, thanks bozana!