Multiple in-text citation patterns

13
  • edited July 30, 2018
    Just posting to support everyone above who has said this is a major weakness with Zotero, and one that comes up every paragraph or so when writing!

    Personally I just edit the in-text citation manually within Word (e.g., manually moving the citation from before the author to after, etc.), so that at least my changes are based on the Zotero-spelling of the author's name and are highlighted in gray if I go to make changes later. That's consistent and works fairly well. The problem with this method is that it means I have "manually edited" the citations I'm using, and whenever that warning comes up the "yes/no" options for Zotero never changing a citation or changing it don't help me, because I'd like to see (highlighted?) which ones I need to go back and fix manually.

    Note that I also do something similar when, for example, citing multiple works by the same author, which the stylesheets I use (at least) don't collapse into, e.g. Author (YYYY, ZZZZ).

    So personally if manual changes could be handled better by the intermittent "Zotero wants to change all of your carefully manually edited citations!" warning, that would alleviate some of the frustration of not having a real fix for the problem above, and also allow more customizability for anyone needing more than just putting the author before parentheses.

    To respond to the earlier questions about what the GUI would look like, I think it could be very simple (the current insert menu doesn't take up my screen real estate at all!) with either a preview dropdown menu or clickable previews for different options.

    I really do not like the "suppress author" option (because I don't want to be manually typing author names), so I don't use that. But if I were to use it, I'd like it to be more accessible than it currently is, which is an issue with the GUI already. For the GUI, fixing that would mean being able to fix the rest.

    As for the "problem" with converting to footnotes, I just don't see this as a big deal, because switching between styles is rare, especially major changes like parentheses>footnotes, and often requires some manual corrections or at least proofreading anyway. So I completely agree with mattw above. Even a warning that "if you use this customization you can't later perfectly convert to footnotes" (or whatever equivalent) would be just fine, since this is a much more common problem than needing to convert styles.

    On the other hand, if "before the parentheses" were treated just as "before the footnote", then I really don't see why that couldn't be done consistently in multiple styles anyway, just like the current prefix/suffix options.

    A simple way to automate this would be to have a checkbox for the "prefix" not to be manual text, but for it to be automatically the author's last name, and to simultaneously suppress the author in parentheses.

    (I also reject the argument that since some hypothetical style might require italics for author names, or have issues with &/and, that we can't have the basic version of this. For those small details, they can either be fixed later, or anyone using odd [even if popular] styles like that, they can still have this problem, but for those of us not using quirky styles, we don't have to be stuck waiting for those quirks to be accommodated by the software too. Fix the general case, then deal with exceptions as needed. Don't skip the general case because there might be exceptions.)

    In the end, Zotero makes my life a lot easier, so I'll happily continue using it. But this feature would be a huge improvement (and it has clearly been a concern of users for about 10 years). Or, if not that, then some way to manage (or at least see) when Zotero automatically "corrects" my manual changes-- I could rechange them, if I knew which they were. I just don't want to have to proofread my whole document again!
  • edited August 8, 2018
    Simple suggestion/request:

    If we could have an "author-only" option next to "suppress author", many of the issues would be improved.* A full version of this would be great, but that small feature alone would be a huge help.

    Note that it isn't just inconvenient to type out the author's name, but also problematic for example when there is disambiguation required.

    There is also no harm whatesoever for footnoted conversion, because someone writing in a footnote style might also want to use the name somewhere. It would just remain as-is, the name as text in the sentence, because it's being used as such. (If you really wanted to handle the APA requirement of "and vs. &" you could even do that. I'm not personally requesting it, but it's compatible.)

    (*Specifically, I would probably make a style where no brackets/parentheses are added, and I would add them manually, in order to have all of the possible options. Then I could come full/date-only/author-only for any combination I needed. As-is, at least sometimes, I need to edit the citation text itself, which frustratingly auto-updates whenever the style is changed or something else requires Zotero to reset it.)
  • What would it take to make this happen?

    At least:
    1) Name-only
    (Treat it as text in all styles, no issues converting to footnotes, etc. No parentheses around it. The text should update automatically and include name-disambiguation.)

    Optimally also:
    2) Without-parentheses:
    https://forums.zotero.org/discussion/7311/

    Combined with suppress-author, we could build anything we need.

    I'm really tired of my manual edits to the cite fields getting removed when Zotero refreshes something (or never updating to changes in my library or for disambiguation), and I can't figure out any alternatives whatsoever.

    Would a (modest) reward/donation (to an individual who takes on the project or to Zotero itself) be of any help?

    I've basically just been staring at my document for a day or two trying to decide what to do, and I have no solution.

    The only option that works now is leaving default formats, then re-reading the entire document after writing and making manual changes. This is unappealing to say the least.
  • edited August 10, 2018
    I see something very promising in:
    https://raw.githubusercontent.com/citation-style-language/schema/master/csl-citation.json

    ...
    "suppress-author": {
    "type": [
    "string",
    "number",
    "boolean"
    ]
    },
    "author-only": {
    "type": [
    "string",
    "number",
    "boolean"
    ]
    },


    This is documented in detail p.23-4 here: https://media.readthedocs.org/pdf/citeproc-js/latest/citeproc-js.pdf

    So at least part of this is already set up (I assume from earlier discussion in this thread). But I'm not sure what is missing or how much else would need to be added.
  • @djross3 You are really greatly underestimating the amount of changes that are necessary to implement in-text author styles or Suppress author functionality that yields consistent results across styles. Nearly all of the thousands of CSL styles would need to be updated in some way. It is a major undertaking.
  • edited August 11, 2018
    Rewriting the styles would be laborious, but not difficult per se. And a default could set up some basic functionality to start.

    The need to update the CSL files should not limit the possibility of such functionality from Zotero. If it would help I'd volunteer some time to update styles.

    A full version like you describe could solve the example @adamsmith brought up regarding APA's "and/&" rules. But unless/until a full version is implemented, I think a simpler version might work:

    How is "suppress author" implemented? What would happen if exactly the same code was used except that only author was passed through? (Suppress everything except author.) Would that get us anywhere?
    (I imagine that footnote and other styles without in-line names would need to be modified, either with a default format, or by moving the text from the footnote to main text.)

    I'm confused by this:
    the amount of changes that are necessary to implement ... Suppress author functionality that yields consistent results across styles.
    I'm not sure what limitations or inconsistencies you refer to, but this is an important and useful function in Zotero (at least for some styles). I don't see why author-only would be substantially worse than this. Maybe also limited or inconsistent, but a starting point at least?

    --

    This would be such a huge improvement for users (and optional too, if some don't like it!), I wish I knew more about the architecture of the program to do this directly. (My coding background is limited to web design and server side programming, PHP plus MySQL, not skills that transfer well here unfortunately.) But I will be very happy to help brainstorm and troubleshoot how to do it if that's of any help. I've basically been obsessively thinking about it for the past week trying to figure out what can be done, and I think this should be possible to do, and I'll help in any way I can!!
  • I have written a crude patch to do this for my own personal use, which might be of help to others while we wait for an official solution to this problem:
    https://forums.zotero.org/discussion/73159/announcing-zoterzero-for-author-only-cites
    I genuinely hope my awkward code becomes obsolete soon, but I'll use it until then.
  • edited August 17, 2018
    Hi @djross3,

    Could you explain the issue again? Is it that the citation needs to have choice between “author (2000)” and “author” within the same doc? Or are these separate styles? Or is this a function of the word plugin (which I rarely use).

    Does it actually need to be edits to all styles, or could it be done initially by modifying some of the key styles? (I work in education, and anything but APA is rare.)

    Edit: I read the linked page which explains it, So it’s essentially about having two citation styles “(author year)” and ‘author (year)” or possibly ‘author’.

    There are options with zutilo for multiple styles to be used with “quick copy”.
    - That would require differently styles to be set up, such as “apa-a,b,c” to cover the different citations and
    - afaik these would be text-only, so would not change if you change the style.
    - and this would only work from zotero stand-alone, not through the word plugin (which is what’s requested here).
  • edited August 17, 2018
    Summary:

    Allowing Author (YYYY) and variants is important to many of us. Fully implementing that, including variants and style-specific details, would be complicated. A good workaround is name-only cites that allow us to build that format (combined with suppress-author cites). The format for the name would be largely similar across many or most styles. This should be a parallel option to "suppress author" when inserting a citation in, e.g., Word.

    ---
    Could you explain the issue again?
    No problem! I'll try to summarize the issue(s) here. I've read and re-read this whole thread a few times, as well as other related threads, and I'm personally affected by this issue in how I write papers and use Zotero, so I've thought about it a lot. Sorry for the length of this reply, but I wanted to be clear and address everything you said as well as defend why name-only is better than a fully-automatic solution at this time.
    Is it that the citation needs to have choice between “author (2000)” and “author” within the same doc? Or are these separate styles?
    No, not exactly. Author-only cites are my proposed workaround for the larger issue of allowing author (YYYY) and variants, the simplest workable solution to the various problems discussed here.

    Let's back up-- here is the original problem this thread is trying to solve:
    How do we insert a cite of the format: Author (YYYY) using Zotero?

    Zotero offers only the (Author YYYY) format, as well as the "suppress author" workaround for (YYYY). That's "half" of the solution to the problem, but the author must be manually added.

    Typing the author manually is not a viable solution for various reasons, beyond just convenience:
    1. Many of us are concerned about typos when spelling the name manually.
    2. We also would like the name to update when we update the entry in our library.
    3. There is also the technical consideration of disambiguation: A. Author vs. B. Author.

    I have personally just been manually editing the citation fields to meet my formatting needs, but this is discouraged and Zotero will give warnings when it needs to update things, so it gets really awkward in a long document. Sometimes I need to re-format the cites in a whole document if they get messed up, for example switching to a new (but similar) style (even a custom version of the same style). Or just when refreshing in general.
    Or is this a function of the word plugin (which I rarely use).
    It depends on how narrowly you define "function of the word plugin". This would also apply for the other plugins (Libreoffice, Google Docs, etc.). Basically any time you're using Zotero to compose a document.
    (I work in education, and anything but APA is rare.)
    This would apply to APA as well as any other style using (approximately) (Author YYYY) formatting. (I use the Unified Linguistics style, which is slightly simpler than APA in that it doesn't have the extra comma between name and year, etc., but the functionality is the same!)
    Does it actually need to be edits to all styles, or could it be done initially by modifying some of the key styles?
    I can't answer this question technically, in terms of how to provide a default, but yes, I completely agree that there should be a default approach that can be specified in styles only if needed. In fact, a global default would be fine as a starting point. Just having the author name(s) would apply to any style, and then we could specify that if needed.
    @adamsmith has pointed out that APA asks for Author1 and Author2 (YYYY) outside parentheses, whereas within parentheses it is (Author1 & Author2, YYYY). That is a minor issue that could be solved with style-specific rules. But that shouldn't distract from the main issue.

    The other approach that makes sense to me, if this is technically feasible, is just to do the literal opposite of "suppress author", e.g., suppress all information except for author.

    So there are several ways to approach this technically, but even a very basic (e.g., global default, with options to customize) approach would be a huge improvement for now.
    Edit: I read the linked page which explains it, So it’s essentially about having two citation styles “(author year)” and ‘author (year)” or possibly ‘author’.
    The problem is that although the most common formats are (Author YYYY) and Author (YYYY), there actually are additional variants, among others:

    1. Separating the name from the date by some distance: "Author has argued that science is good (YYYY:1)."
    2. Adding possessive formatting: "Author's (YYYY) important argument that....".

    It is my suspicion that these additional variants are why no progress has been made. Yes, an ideal solution would have these variants available as options (e.g., in a dropdown menu), but I fully understand why that would be complicated. Therefore the best solution in my opinion would be to step back from the issue and NOT (at least not immediately) offer a direct Author (YYYY) solution in Zotero at all. Instead, offer a name-only cite option so that we can build our own variants as needed. In other words, technically Author + (YYYY) would be two separate cites used together-- slightly more work for the writer, but absolutely worth it to have that option, as well as more flexibility. That would include, as far as I can tell, all possible variants for all writing styles. Once we have the name and date elements as separate pieces, we can make whatever we need. This is a bit more of a workaround than a full solution (so a full solution would be eventually welcome), but it would make the software functional in a way it is not currently.

    Note that there is no downside to allow name-only cites. And if you don't like them, you don't need to use them, of course!

    There are some downsides to a pre-formatted Author (YYYY) format:
    1. This would need to be specified differently in more individual styles to begin with.
    2. This would also limit us to only the most common use scenario, such as by not allowing the possessive format, etc., above.
    3. This would be very awkward to translate between author-date and footnote styles. With name-only, the name would remain as just a name, not in a footnote.

    The distinction brought up by @adamsmith and others that when used outside of parentheses the name is semantic/integrated content in the sentence, rather than just formatting, is a good one. This is why I'm suggesting name-only cites rather than a pre-formatted, automatic Author (YYYY) option. The name-only option also avoids any future limitations like those that we have now because of inflexible options. This is a sort of DIY solution, which is ideal when there are many possible variants out there. A moment more when writing (inserting two cites, one name-only and one suppress-author), but the power to write with any formatting needed, rather than being restricted to certain sentence structures or needing to manually edit the cites later.

    [continued below...]
  • edited August 17, 2018
    There are options with zutilo for multiple styles to be used with “quick copy”.
    - That would require differently styles to be set up, such as “apa-a,b,c” to cover the different citations and
    That seems like an awkward workaround, although I could live with it. These really aren't "mixing" citation styles. And that's why I'm emphasizing name-only over specific formats like Author (YYYY). If what it takes to get author-only is having multiple styles, I guess that's OK, but in principle that's a step in the wrong direction. On the other hand, it does have the advantage of allowing me to setup a number of different formats (e.g., Author (YYYY), possessive, name-only, etc.) if desired.
    I want to emphasize that we should not be looking for a solution outside of Zotero: this is a necessary and lacking core function of Zotero itself! (Workarounds are certainly welcome in the meantime though.)
    - afaik these would be text-only, so would not change if you change the style.
    Unacceptable. This defeats the whole purpose, except that it would avoid initial typos for hard-to-spell names. Disambiguation and re-syncing to updated Zotero entries is a must!
    - and this would only work from zotero stand-alone, not through the word plugin (which is what’s requested here).
    As above, this should apply to all instances of writing a document using Zotero for in-text citations. I'm actually not even sure what you mean about just using Zotero stand-alone-- does that even generate in-text citations, as opposed to full bibliographies? Doesn't writing a document with in-text citations entail using a plugin (word or another) for a word processor?

    ---

    Aside, related to parentheses:

    There is also some discussion here and elsewhere regarding optional parentheses. This is another issue to consider, and an additional checkbox for "omit parentheses" would be desirable. However, for 99% of typical cases,* using the existing "prefix" and "suffix" fields allows us to have a workable, if awkward, solution to this problem. Given that there is no current solution to the name-only issue, that should have priority. If parentheses can be made optional as well, that would be great.

    [*]One case that is not currently solved is how to get brackets inside of parentheses, e.g., (See also Author [YYYY]). This is a legitimate problem, but much less significant and much less common than the name-only issue. Personally I'd be happy to have parentheses-less name-only cites and parentheses-less date-only ["suppress author"] cites, to build whatever I need myself, but that would create some compatibility issues with existing usage. One technical way to implement this would be to have a "omit prefixes/suffixes" option in the insert-cite dialog, such that the CSL element's prefixes and suffixes could be optional. But again I don't want to distract from the fundamental issue of having at least name-only cites.
  • I can think of no other reference manager that does what is proposed. That's not a reason to not do something. But it does hint that we should be wary of creating non-intuitive interfaces.

    The author-only examples given in this user story don't seem to me to be citations. You wouldn't expect both the "author only" and "suppress author" to count as separate citations to the same paper if you were compiling those stats. You probably wouldn't expect both pages to be listed if you were compiling an index of cited works. And you'd have to fix both "citations" if you chose the wrong one.

    It also creates a somewhat weird modality for how switching to a numeric style would work. Both "regular" and "suppress author" variants would convert to the numeric citation, but an "author only" variant should stay as an author.

    I'd also argue that an author might not be the only "blob" of reference information you may want to use in the text like that: "In Gulliver's Travels (1726), it was argued....."

    This isn't mean to advocate for or against the request...only to bring up some additional nuance/complexity to consider before pursuing a solution.
  • edited August 17, 2018
    @noksagt thank you for the comments. I have to admit I don't really understand some of the minor objections here. At worst, you could just choose not to use this feature, but the many people in this thread (and others) who are requesting this functionality do want to use it. The main argument against this so far has been that a perfect implementation is hard, so no functionality has been added at all. I think it's time to start with the basics and work out the rest as needed. It's honestly frustrating reading all of these "but what if [some minor issue]" responses, as if that negates the need for this important feature in general.
    I can think of no other reference manager that does what is proposed.
    See discussion above by others about Bibtex citet{} vs. citep{}.
    That's not a reason to not do something.
    And given that Zotero is a leader in the field, I think it should lead with this functionality anyway.
    The author-only examples given in this user story don't seem to me to be citations. You wouldn't expect both the "author only" and "suppress author" to count as separate citations to the same paper if you were compiling those stats.
    Who is counting stats, and why? Why should I care about statistical issues when I just want to write my papers?

    And yes, I think I agree: this is a way of formatting (complex) citations, and making cross-references in the paper, not actually adding new references to the paper.

    But to be clear, Author (YYYY) is a prose-formatted citation. The problem is that it can have several variants, so I'm proposing name-only ('non-')cites so we can use that format. Whether you call the name-only form a "cite" or not is up to you, but it's by far easier to implement it this way in Zotero rather than adding a whole new interface for "insert name" as opposed to "insert citation"!

    If you want some metadata that says which Zotero-inserted fields in Word are "cites" and which ones are technically not, that's fine by me. But I don't see why that should matter or get in the way of having this function.
    You probably wouldn't expect both pages to be listed if you were compiling an index of cited works.
    So what? Zotero doesn't compile indexes anyway, right? Plus, as a technicality wouldn't you want the page where the author is cited to be listed instead of (or in addition to) the year?
    And you'd have to fix both "citations" if you chose the wrong one.
    Tangential! Yes, but right now we have to manually type out all author names outside of parentheses, do not get any automatic syncing at all, and have no disambiguation of names. Currently we have NO feature. The fact that we might make a mistake while using it is in some sense a reason not to add it? That's like saying that Zotero shouldn't allow us to add journal articles because sometimes we might accidentally add two copies to our library, or we might accidentally save one as a book chapter. This is not a counter-argument!

    As for having two modify both, yes, I understand. Ideally, we'd have one perfect, automatically formatted entry. But that just can't work for all possible formatting (possessive, for example), so the two-cite solution is better.
    It also creates a somewhat weird modality for how switching to a numeric style would work. Both "regular" and "suppress author" variants would convert to the numeric citation, but an "author only" variant should stay as an author.
    I have addressed that repeatedly above! Yes, exactly. In any format, an author-only cite would remain as just a name. And this is how it should work. See comments by @adamsmith above, about how names outside of parentheses are semantically integrated into the sentence. This aspect is part of the solution, not part of the problem. The problem with automatically-formatted Author (YYYY) is that it conceptually does not translate into footnote styles. But with author-only it does conceptually translate, even though it doesn't translate into a footnote itself. This is why it's actually easy to implement.

    I am personally not focused on footnote styles, and I imagine those who use footnote styles are not desperately desiring this feature. That's fine! It's going to be optional. And for those who would want to use both, as others have pointed out above, it actually does take some (at least slight) manual adjustments to switch between smooth writing for footnote and author-date styles, unless all of your cites are in the generic form at the end of a sentence. So this is another secondary issue to deal with after implementing the primary functionality. Again, having author-only also eliminates almost all of the issues brought up above for this.
    I'd also argue that an author might not be the only "blob" of reference information you may want to use in the text like that: "In Gulliver's Travels (1726), it was argued....."
    99.9% of the time, it will be the author.

    Ideally, sure, maybe in addition to inserting author, we could also insert other information like titles. I don't object! But that's such a lower priority that I don't even think it's worth getting into at this point. And importantly, authors are a special kind of information that is not directly a single field in Zotero, and involves disambiguation.
    This isn't mean to advocate for or against the request...only to bring up some additional nuance/complexity to consider before pursuing a solution.
    I appreciate the input, but again, honestly, I am getting increasingly frustrated as I re-read this thread with all of these objections based on mostly trivial nuances. The basic functionality of being able to insert an integrated in-text citation is fundamental to being able to write a paper. As-is, we must write the author's name by hand, which leads to typos and getting out of sync, and no disambiguation. That needs to be addressed. Everything else can wait.

    And please consider: the "additional nuance/complexity" is just getting in the way of actually implementing a solution. I have sincerely considered everything that everyone has written above. That is why the author-only option is the (currently) ideal solution: it is simple, and it doesn't get in the way of any of these other issues. We simply don't need to solve these other tangential problems, not yet. We do need a solution for the Author (YYYY) and variant citations.

    Here's the bottom line: if Zotero adds an author-only option, then that will allow me to write my papers using only default functions in Zotero. Currently, until that point, there is no way to do that, and I'm forced to use some kind of awkward workaround. (I've written a macro in Word to do that actually.) All of the other tangential issues are related to ease of use, not ability to use.

    Again, I really don't mean to react negatively to you personally, and you bring up reasonable points. But this whole thread is filled with some people pointing out the need for a basic function, and others objecting based on minor technicalities.

    Remember: adding in author-only cites is completely harmless. If you don't like them, don't use them.

    I will happily address any objections to the proposal, but what it seems to be doing is distracting from the main issue, and ends up resulting in very long replies and drawn out discussions many users don't seem interested in having. (I don't mind though.)

    The basic philosophy should be: get the fundamental functionality, then smooth out the details. If it takes another 10 years to smooth out the details, no problem. But if it takes another 10 years for the basic functionality?...
  • edited August 17, 2018
    You're dismissing the feature requests/desired user cases that others have made here and lobbying that yours somehow has a higher priority or that your workflow is the same as most of the workflows out there. I'm sorry, but I just don't see that.

    I have compiled stats on how frequently I've cited different authors and I've never used the natbib citet/citep functionality. I'm not saying this is more common or more important than the request, but I'm pretty skeptical that we're talking about a 0.1% vs 99.9% split.
    Remember: adding in author-only cites is completely harmless. If you don't like them, don't use them.
    This is not true: it provides something additional to support, additional interfacial complexity, and it will need to be considered when fulfilling some other fairly common feature requests.

    The utility of having the feature may make up for those costs & ultimately make it valuable and you're correct that some costs could be lowered by improving the details with time.

    But there are many Zotero users out there beyond just you and me.
  • edited August 17, 2018
    1. This thread goes back to 2009, and no solution has been implemented for nearly 10 years.
    You're dismissing the feature requests/desired user cases that others have made here...
    No, not at all! I'm proposing a simplified version that would be consistent and allow all functionality while trying to avoid some of the complexity or challenges that others have used as reasons for not implementing a solution at all.

    2. @egaudrain (https://forums.zotero.org/discussion/comment/155826/#Comment_155826) made a very clear case already in 2013 for a 6-variant system, including name-only, which would solve all of our needs. That has not been implemented in 5 years.

    3. My name-only proposal would technically allow for all typical formats to be expressed (e.g., 99.9% of the times we'd insert a citation). It would require slightly more work (adding in two cites instead of one) but would work.
    lobbying that yours somehow has a higher priority
    "Mine" is simplest to implement now. If you really think a full solution can be implemented now, then please go ahead and do that! That would be great. If not, consider the simpler solution to give us the functionality we don't have.
    that your workflow is the same as 99.9% of the workflows out there.
    I'm not currently using the proposed workflow because the feature does not exist. (Actually, I am switching to it now that I've written my macro.)
    Anyone who has another workflow that works for them can continue using it.
    I am only proposing that we add in name-only cites in order to allow formats such as Author (YYYY) that do not currently exist in Zotero. I strongly believe others will find them useful.

    If you carefully read the whole discussion here, I'm not in any way the first one to come up with the idea of name-only cites. So it's not really "my" idea at all.* I'm only advocating it because it actually fixes the problem in the simplest way, should be relatively easy to implement, and won't cause any conceptual incompatibility with other citation styles like footnotes.

    If you have a better idea, please contribute it. But I've thought about this a lot, and, although the workflow might not be ideal (I don't disagree with you), my proposal here is simple and effective. Since we have nothing right now, wouldn't you rather have something that works than nothing?

    Adding in name-only cites is useful in itself when we want to write prose mentioning the author. We don't need to pair it with a date. It might be in the next sentence, or even a later paragraph, for example. That's not necessarily an urgent feature in itself, but it's a strategic one: easy to implement, and it solves the Author (YYYY) issue without the issues associated with a full/direct implementation.

    So, this is a no-harm, easy solution to an old, fundamental problem with Zotero. It is also forward compatible because keeping name-only cites is perhaps a limited use feature (if not also for this purpose) but doesn't hurt anything. And in the future, when a better workflow is implemented, we can switch to that, but the old "author-only plus suppress-author" two-in-one cites will continue to work.

    Seriously, what's objectionable about a flexible, no-harm, easy solution? The only objection would be that it's not ideal, but the last 10 years has shown us not to wait for the ideal solution to this legitimately hard problem. @adamsmith 's reasoning also shows us that Author (YYYY) may really be conceptually two parts anyway, since it makes the author's name a component of the grammar of the sentence. That's what swayed me to the idea of just using name-only cites to cover everything, since it is a workable compromise for all positions.

    --

    *Earlier support for author-only:
    1. @egaudrain (see above)
    2. @timon-henze in 2013 explicitly made this argument, pairing author and date as separate pieces: https://forums.zotero.org/discussion/comment/175755/#Comment_175755
    3. @stf1 in 2014 wrote:
    https://forums.zotero.org/discussion/comment/202486/#Comment_202486
    To me, the "suppress author" workaround presented creates way more problems than an implementation of \citet \citep natbib-like functionality would.
    Indeed, because it's only half of the solution. I truly don't understand why we have "suppress author" but nothing else. This implies the other half, which would be author-only. Whoever decided to go in this direction with Zotero put this in motion. I don't object, but it's what fits now.
  • edited August 17, 2018
    @djross3 There is widespread agreement supprting Author (Year) formatted citations, but Zotero and CSL are not going to implement a kludgy half-solution that will ultimately create more work when a proper solution becomes available. If you find your macro helpful, please use it, and feel free to add it to the Zotero plugins wiki page: https://zotero.org/support/plugins, but having to enter two separate citations to get Author (Year) formatting (author-only and year-only) is likely too hack-y to be a reasonable official solution, particularly beause it doesn't address the major barrier to CSL implementation—different formatting requirements for in-text versus in-parentheses authors (e.g., APA).
  • edited August 17, 2018
    @bwiernik

    1. Author-only cites are a useful feature in themselves, for no other reason than just inserting authors names outside of formal citations. Think of this usage as a bonus only. It's a useful feature in itself to keep after a full system is implemented.

    2. It does absolutely no harm. If/when full Author (YYYY) cites are implemented, the author-only cites will not get in the way. In fact, author-only is probably a necessary sub-part of it. See @egaudrain 's (https://forums.zotero.org/discussion/comment/155826/#Comment_155826) 6-variant proposal earlier, including author-only and other formats.

    3. Please don't refuse to implement a solution because a better solution might come in the future. It's been 10 years. There's no estimate, and also no shortage of users eager for a solution. Again, see points 1-2 above.

    4. Technically, Author (YYYY) cites might be best thought of as a combination of two elements: a grammatical element (author) and a cite element (year). See @adamsmith 's points above. There is actually an argument AGAINST doing a full/automatic solution to this because the author outside of the parentheses should be integrated into the prose, such as being able to add possessive marking and so forth. @adamsmith 's arguments make sense in a way, and my simple author-only proposal is a good compromise. Please, think about footnotes, where two cites is the only conceptually appropriate format. A full solution to this problem would include a number of variants, see point 2 above, including author-only.

    5. The current "suppress author" feature is arguably a bad hack. If you want a pure Zotero, then I'd suggest removing it. Replace it with a fully functional and flexible Author (YYYY) system. As I said, author-only is implied as the other half of "suppress author". I'm not asking for something radical.

    So...
    There is widespread agreement supprting Author (Year) formatted citations,
    No. See @adamsmith 's actually reasonable objections throughout this thread. I also object to any non-flexible implementation that does not fully cover (3) above, because we'll be just as stuck as we are now, just less of the time. We need possessive formatting. We need split author-year with text in between. We need author-only insertion. So the proposal here is a partial implementation of the ideal solution, not a:
    but Zotero and CSL are not going to implement a kludgy half-solution that will ultimately create more work when a proper solution becomes available.
    No, it's not! It's a good feature, which can also supplement the functionality until full Author (YYYY) cites can be properly implemented (in 10 years or so?).
    If you find your macro helpful, please use it, and feel free to add it to the Zotero plugins wiki page: https://zotero.org/support/plugins,
    Please don't confuse my crude macro with this feature request. Name-only cites are useful, and probably necessary for full flexibility while writing. My Word Macro is an ugly hack that does this just on the surface level at the moment. It should speak only to my desperation at having this functionality that Zotero lacks.

    I am actually hesitant to add my macro to the wiki because it's such a DIY, some-assembly-required feature. It's an ugly hack, nothing more, and at this point only viable for someone who is as desperate as I was to have some kind of basic functionality like this. It doesn't fall into the "maintained" plugins either because it's not maintained or really usable in the first place, not outside of the style I use. It's a horrible crutch until Zotero implements a real solution. But if you think it would be useful I can add it there. I don't mind!
    [Update: I tried to add it, and signed up for a wiki account, but I don't seem to have editing/admin privileges. Feel free to add it for me, or give me editing access if you wish. It's OK if not.]
    but having to enter two separate citations to get Author (Year) formatting (author-only and year-only) is likely too hack-y to be a reasonable official solution
    1. My proposal is not "having to enter..." --- it's being allowed to enter two separate cites so that we have some way of doing this. And because author-only cites are useful in themselves. See (1) above!
    2. There are actually arguments for why name-in-text and year-in-parentheses are two separate things. It's not as ugly as it seems at first if you think about it linguistically, as per @adamsmith 's arguments. See (4) above.
    3. It won't get in the way of a "good" solution (whatever you would like to implement) when it comes to that.
    particularly beause it doesn't address the major barrier to CSL implementation—different formatting requirements for in-text versus in-parentheses authors (e.g., APA).
    OK, here is the only part that is a real problem. However:
    1. It's still easier to do name-only for now, leaving room to add other options later. We currently have "suppress author", and I'm asking to add "author only". Later you can add more whenever you wish!
    2. A robust solution that would have APA "Author1 and Author2" vs. "(Author1 & Author2, YYYY)" would be ideal, but this can apply to very few formats, I think. And honestly, if APA is ignored in the first roll-out, I don't see a huge problem with it because it's an idiosyncratic style difference, not one that should stop all other formats from having a solution to this problem.
    3. "Suppress author" already works. However that works, why can't we also have name-only? It does not need to be attached to a new CSL style element, but rather target whatever is already there in combining to create the in-text cite. That's how "suppress author" works, right? Just do that again. Unless you wish to remove "suppress author" from the software, I don't see any argument against this. If later, special support is added to CSL for this, great.
    4. CSL and Zotero should address this. Both Author (YYYY) and name-only cites are useful. It's not a bad thing to add one or both to the software!

    Name-only kills two birds with one stone. It is easier to implement. It will cause no harm going forward because it is a useful feature. It will allow us to write papers now.
  • edited August 17, 2018
    If you disagree with me, please point to a detail where this is actually a problem. I fully understand it looks "kludgy" at first (I thought so too!), but I have carefully read through everything above and other threads, and it would allow essentially all of the functionality anyone would need to solve the problems discussed with this. It would require inserting two cites rather than one, but it would work. Well worth the extra moments for the functionality. And some of the kludginess comes from the compromise: not asking for a full solution at this time because that is genuinely hard to do (and may never be done fully, still requiring some clever usage of author+date two-cite formats, like for possessives!), and because it won't cause any compatibility issues, such as for switching to footnotes.

    Finally, regarding the "kludginess", here is one further proposal. I wanted to keep my request simple above, but since we're getting into that:
    The checkboxes for "suppress author" and "author-only" could be not mutually exclusive. That is, you could click both, and you'd get two cites inserted at once, which add up to the appropriate format of "Author (YYYY)". That's a nice shortcut to save time. Yes, if we ever had to edit them we'd have two to deal with, but we spend much more time inserting than editing citations. And the bonus is that because they are disconnected, we could add in arbitrary text between them at any time without actually modifying the field in Word, for example the 's to mark possession, or a long phrase ("said in a seminal paper...") to change the word order of the sentence. There are actually advantages to having two cites. They don't always outweigh the advantages to just having one, but they do allow flexibility.

    I have very carefully thought about all of these issues, and I am certain this would be a good feature that many people, even everyone, could use. Some would use it rarely (only when they want to insert the author's name only), and others would use it often (as a solution for the Author (YYYY) problem.

    If you don't support this, then when do you expect the full version to come out? Will it be another 10 years? I'm asking sincerely. It would have seemed hyperbolic in 2009 to say that we wouldn't have a solution by now. If you have a better solution, convert me to it. If not, please take my suggestion seriously. It's a really good compromise that in the least invasive way possible adds this desperately needed functionality!

    I promise I'm not just getting tunnel vision on my own perspective here. As proof, it was @adamsmith who convinced me that a full implementation doesn't make sense right now. I originally wanted that. Re-reading, it just clicked: author-only will be easier to implement and give us more flexibility in the end, which is ideal! This may actually be the best solution, at least until something like @egaudrain 's 6-variant system is possible, which includes author-only.

    I understand how easy it is to dismiss my points here, because you'll just do a "real" solution (at some unknown point!) in the future. But a fully flexible real solution will include this feature. I'm just asking for it early so we don't need to wait for the prettier version. This is not a sideways move for Zotero, but a necessary one, and I think that becomes clear if you think about the flexibility problem: e.g., would you really rather add in a special "possessive" format to CSL also?

    I'll end with a very simple question: if you were required to have this feature by the end of the year, in a way that was flexible and not harmful, is there really any feasible alternative to the simple author-only plan? It's a small but versatile solution that isn't perfectly user friendly but allows more flexibility than any other possibility, which is a good thing!!

    You don't need to take my word for it. See also from earlier:
    @koontzrd (https://forums.zotero.org/discussion/comment/215551/#Comment_215551)
    I wonder how many others like me have read through this discussion, sighed in disappointment, and then continued to use only part of Zotero because the other part didn't meet their needs. For me, the word plug-in could be amazing, but this issue is the deal-breaker. [3 years ago!]
    @imichalak (https://forums.zotero.org/discussion/comment/167201/#Comment_167201)
    I would like jump in late on this one: In contrast to some voices, especially in the beginning of the discussion, I want to stress that this limitation is not minor, but really relevant ... Change the "supress author name" checkbox to a dropdown menu with three options "full citation", "year (in parentheses)", and "Author name(s)". [5 years ago!]
    Many users are desperate for this feature and would gladly insert two citations to get around this limitation!!
  • So I don't really want to get embroiled in this, but could people who know the details here clarify if my understanding is correct:

    1) citeproc-js already has the ability to generate naive author-only strings? (I believe that's what @fbennett was saying here.)

    2) Most author-date styles — not including APA — do use the same format ('&' vs. 'and', etc.) inside and outside parentheses and would be correct with just the citeproc-js option. (I may have misunderstood @adamsmith on how common this is.)

    3) To produce styles that use different formats, we'd have to extend CSL, but we'd only need to modify the styles that required different formats.
  • Sounds correct to me!

    I can't verify (1) from a technical perspective, but it already has some elements in it that look to serve that function. And whatever other functionality is needed should in principle be able to be approached as the opposite of "suppress author".

    Thanks for the nice summary :)
  • @djross3 To repeat something several folks have said many times, we don’t have the time or energy to read multi-page responses. If you want your ideas to be read, you need to condense them to 3-5 sentences.
  • This is a complicated issue, and all of the responses to my suggestion are focusing on multiple minor technicalities. I'm not sure how to respond to that without going into detail, because it doesn't seem that you just want to take my word for it.

    I'm open to suggestions, and will be happy to write a short reply to simple questions. It's the constant "but what ifs" that are making my replies long. I'm asking for a simple functionality that will address both the needs of the earlier posters here, and the concerns of others (e.g., footnote conversion).

    --

    At the risk of sounding sarcastic, here's a short reply:
    Please add author-only cites! It will be very helpful, and not harmful!
  • edited August 18, 2018
    @dstillman

    1) Yes. The citeproc-js specs suggest two uses for author-only citations. A. Author (Year) formatted citations by placing two citations next to each other. B. Some more esoteric legal styles.

    2) @adamsmith would be the best input here. My impression is most styles probably do have consistent formatting, but a substantial number beyond APA do have different formatting requirements.

    3) Author (Year) formatting could be accomplished by Zotero without changes to CSL by having a function to insert two Zotero citations next to each other in text—one author-only and one suppress-author.

    The basic extension to CSL needed for full support would be to have a new citation position value to indicate in-text position. It’s not clear whether this would best be done in CSL as author-only or Author (Year) formatting. The advantage of the former would be flexibility regarding separating the author and year in a sentence.
  • edited August 18, 2018
    @bwiernik Yes!! That all sounds great!
    It’s not clear whether this would best be done in CSL as author-only or Author (Year) formatting. The advantage of the former would be flexibility regarding separating the author and year in a sentence.
    Yes, please do not stick us in another inflexible position by allowing only one specific variant. Possessive formatting like Author's (YYYY) argument... and many other possibilities are also needed. Minimal versatile support is adding author-only, while having a specific Author (YYYY) option would be a nice time-saver for a frequent but not basic format.

    That is the main reason I'm pushing for an author-only citation rather than a specific Author (YYYY) citation. The other advantage is that author-only naturally translates to note-based styles, while it is hard to see what to do even conceptually with the Author-outside-parentheses format, as @adamsmith has said repeatedly.
  • @bwiernik: For (3), I meant that correctly supporting the styles like APA that required different '&' vs. 'and' would require a CSL extension to be able to specify the alternate form, and we'd have to update affected styles to include that extension. But because of (1) and (2) we wouldn't have to change most other styles, which would just get the in-parentheses form from citeproc-js.
  • @dstillman
    1) yes, that's my understanding, too

    2) For author-date styles, that is correct; APA is pretty unique in having a clear opinion on how author strings outside of parentheses should look, so afaik this is limited to APA and closely APA-derived styles.
    (I think this is more difficult in converting to numeric and footnote styles, which don't have a pre-defined in-text author string; some numeric styles also do specify how authors in text should look. I feel pretty strongly that a solution shouldn't completely break the text on converting to those. That's been one of Bruce's guiding principles of CSL from the start.)

    3) Yes, when Rintze, Frank, and I last talked about this, I think the idea was to default to the regular "in-parentheses" author string when no "out-of-parentheses" string was provided, so the amount of work on author-date styles would be limited, though see numeric/note above..
  • In absence of specifying an “out-of-parentheses” format for numeric styles, there could be a default author macro used with author, substitute editor, then translator, and et-al-min=1. This would be sufficient for the large majority of cases I think based on chatting with some medical and biology colleagues.

    For note styles, it would be a bit trickier, but the same default “author et al” macro would probably be sufficient in a lot of cases.
  • that'd have to be et-al-min="3" et-al-use-first="1", no? Agree on the rest.
  • Yeah sorry, that’s what I meant.
  • edited August 18, 2018
    That all sounds great to me :)

    If there's some way to customize name-only for APA, then that would put the architecture in place for any other styles or customized variants that would want to specify this, and that would be easy to sort out later for any other cases than APA.

    I really appreciate your effort on this issue!
  • Another reason why "suppress author" is not sufficient: https://forums.zotero.org/discussion/73273/error-when-supressing-author-name-in-citation-in-word
    In a style like MLA where sometimes only the author is displayed in a cite, suppressing the author results in a broken cite.
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