Different styles for a single item type

I am developing a Zotero citation style for my masters thesis at the University of Oslo. It is a pretty simple style for legal documents, articles and similar items. My problem/question is: Is it possible to have different citation styles for one Item type?

What I am trying to achieve is different styles for judgments (item type=case), depending on which court decided the case. For example, these are two cases I would like to cite:

Norwegian supreme court: Rt. 2008 s. 788 (Politihund)
International Court of Justice: Oil Platforms, Iran v United States, Judgment, Merits (1998) ICJ Rep 161.

I was hoping to be able to differentiate the two styles by their Reporter (containter-title). That, however, does not seem possible. In (psuedo-)csl what I am trying to do is something like this:
<macro name="dom">
<if variable="container-title" match="ICJ Rep">
<text variable="title" />
<text variable="container-title" prefix=" " />
<text variable="page" prefix=" " />
<text variable="locator" prefix=" " />
<else-if variable="container-title" match="Rt.">
<text variable="volume" prefix=" " />
<text variable="page" prefix=" s. " />
<text variable="locator" prefix=" " />
<text variable="title" form="short" prefix="(" suffix=")" />
<text variable="title" />

Any suggestions? Or even a confirmation that this is impossible?
  • edited August 12, 2010
    you cannot test for the content of a variable, so anything like the approach you take above doesn't work.

    You can test for the presence of a variable, so if there is a field that you use for supreme court cases and not for other cours (or vice versa) that would work.

    You don't actually have to use said variable - i.e. you could use the "extra" field and just write "SC" in all of the supreme court decisions and then do
    <if variable="note">...
  • edited August 12, 2010
    My understanding is that CSL does not allow for styles to depend on the content of fields, only on the presence of fields. I am not the best qualified to answer, but I believe that it the case.
    Edit: Of course, adamsmith is the go-to person on these things. Adamsmith's answer is essentially what you need to know.
  • Awh, too bad. I have a backup solution that will work, but I'll not be as smooth. Thanks for the advice :-)

    PS: Is this feature on the roadmap for CSL? As for legal use it would probably be needed for proper citations across jurisdictions.
  • edited August 12, 2010

    Have some good news for you, although it will take awhile to come on stream. Here are screenshots of French and American cases, generated in Zotero 2.1, both by the same style. They require discrimination similar to what you describe:


    The US cites set the case name in the title field. The French cites use the shortTitle field instead. The processor tests for "title", finds it empty in the French cites, and fills in with the short form for the case nickname (where used), which is not seen by the test for the variable.

    In the Zotero UI, this requires a little extra adjustment to bring in some details for the cite from other fields, and spoof them into the title column in the display -- otherwise it will be empty, which makes editing in the word processor plugin, in particular, kind of awkward.

    This should be available in Zotero 2.1. For now, a similar strategy may work in 2.0 (I haven't checked), but the title column would be empty.
  • fbennett: That is actually easily possible in 2.0 using the approach adamsmith outlined above. However, that is not a satisfactory solution. Ideally one would want to be able to distinguish between a whole range of jurisdiction, not just 2-3.

    For example, a legal article in Norway would typically cite from both norwegian case-law, as well as ICJ judgments, ECHR judments, swedish case-law and danish case-law.
  • And all of the types of cases/decisions need their own citation forms? I don't know if that will ever be possible. Can you imagine the complexity of a style that was trying to account for idiosyncratic citation forms of every jurisdiction on the planet?
  • Of course it would be very complicated. However, having the option to do so, and thus enabling power users to adapt their style of choice to the types of judgments they cite most, would be fantastic :-)
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