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What causes the Coordinating Node to show a different number of data and metadata objects than a Member Node?

Sometimes, when looking for Member Node (MN) content on the Coordinating Node (CN), there can be a discrepancy in the count of objects that persists even after synchronization has run. For example, a Member Node might be reporting that it contains 1017 FGDC metadata objects, but the CN might only list 965. Or, the CN might be reporting more objects than the MN. What are the major causes, and how does a Member Node operator avoid these discrepancies?