Removing Duplicate Citations from My Bibliography


My Bibliography is a component of the My NCBI service and allows authors to create an online collection of their published work. While editing their bibliographies, authors can import citations for their articles directly from PubMed, and the system will automatically check for duplicates and will remove citations imported more than once.  However, authors may still end up with duplicates in certain situations, and sometimes it is not obvious how to remove these duplicates. In this post we will describe three situations where duplicates may persist and will discuss ways to remove them.

The three situations we’ll cover in this post are as follows:

  1. Collapsing duplicates between manually added citations and citations imported from PubMed
  2. Collapsing duplicates between two citations that were added manually
  3. Collapsing duplicates between citations in My Bibliography and the “Other Citations” collection

1. Collapsing duplicates between manually added citations and citations imported from PubMed

NIH-funded authors often enter a citation for their newest article manually before it becomes available in PubMed. Further, they may permanently link the manually-created citation to awards that funded the corresponding study.  Once the PubMed version of the citation becomes available, the manual citation may contain differences that can prevent the system from recognizing the imported citation from PubMed as a duplicate. In addition, authors may not be able to delete the manual citation because of its permanent link to an award.

The solution to this problem is as follows:

  1. Access your My Bibliography and use the Award display setting.
  2. Locate the PubMed citation and copy its PMID number.
  3. Locate the corresponding manually-entered citation, recognizable by the pencil icon next to its title (Figure 1).
  4. Click on the pencil icon to enable editing.
  5. In the resulting form (Figure 2), enter the PMID number in the available PMID field.   You can ignore the rest of the fields.   Based on the PMID number the system will be able to match and remove the duplicate and also transfer all of the grant associations from the manual citation.
Figure 1: Manually added citation (top) and its PubMed duplicate (bottom) with PMID 18837523. The red arrow indicates where to click to edit the manually added citation.

Figure 1: Manually added citation (top) and its PubMed duplicate (bottom) with PMID 18837523. The red arrow indicates where to click to edit the manually added citation.

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Figure 2: Citation editing dialog. Upon entering the PMID into the PMID field (circled) and saving the citation, the duplicate will be removed.

2. Collapsing duplicates between two citations that were added manually

Occasionally authors manually enter the same citation twice.  In most cases one can be easily deleted.  However, if each of the duplicates has permanently-linked awards and the PubMed version of the citation is not available, the two citations can be collapsed into one:

  1. Locate each member of the duplicated set and open the editing dialog (see above).
  2. Edit all of the fields in the editing form (Figure 2) so that they are identical between the duplicate citations, and the system will be able to recognize and collapse them.

3. Collapsing duplicates between citations in My Bibliography and the “Other Citations” collection

By default, NCBI provides My Bibliography users with a second collection titled “Other Citations” for citations that arose from their grants but that they did not coauthor.  This collection functions similarly to My Bibliography, and it is possible to import the same citation into both collections.  In this case the system will alert the user about the duplicates, but will not offer a way to remove them.  This problem is also the reason why the system may give a warning about a duplicate that the user will not see in My Bibliography, because the duplicate is actually in “Other Citations.”

To solve the problem, proceed as follows:

  1. Open the “Other Citations” collection (visible in the list of all collections on a user’s My NCBI page).
  2.  If the duplicate is in “Other citations”, check the box next to it (Figure 3).
  3. Click the move button at the top of the page (Figure 3) and the duplicate will be removed in the move process.
Figure 3: Upon checking the duplicate in “Other Citations” (circled), use the move button (arrow) to remove the duplicate.

Figure 3: “Other Citations” collection. Upon checking the duplicate in “Other Citations” (circled), use the move button (arrow) to remove the duplicate.

For more information

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