Thesis citations?


I've been unable to find the information by searching through the discussions.

My issue is related to the formatting of in-text newspaper citations for my thesis. I need the format to be "(Bendigo Advertiser 12 October 1859, p. 2)", "(Bendigo Advertiser 8 December 1859, p. 3)".

I am unable to find a CSL issuing dates in this format. The closest to my university's style guide, "Harvard - The University of Melbourne", uses the typical referencing style of "(Bendigo Advertiser 1859a)", "(Bendigo Advertiser 1859b)" instead.

I can add the date by adding it as a prefix if I quote the article as "Bendigo Advertiser (12 October 1859a, p. 2)", but I can't get rid of the 'a' and 'b' at the end of the year. Nor can I make this work for an a full in-text citation, as it ends up either "(12 October Bendigo Advertiser 1859a, p. 2)" or "(Bendigo Advertiser 1859a 12 October, p. 2)". Any ideas?

Thanks in advance.
  • What's the exact requirement here? Full dates for all citations? Full date for citations if they're otherwise ambiguous? Full dates for Newspaper Ariticles in text? If the latter, try APA style, which does that.
  • It's a Harvard-Date system. This is specifically for the newspaper article. (The one I'm currently using is the 'Harvard - The University of Melbourne' version, as they require the Harvard-date system, and this is the closest I've found to the required style my university wants.)

    If there is an author for the newspaper article:

    (Brett 2009, p. 6) or
    Brett (2009, p. 6)

    Reference list:
    Brett, J 2009, 'Libs risk becoming a down-market protest party', Age, 5 December, p. 6.

    If there is no author:

    (Australian 12 November 2010, p. 14) or
    The Australian (12 November 2010, p. 14)

    Reference list:
    * This is not normally needed, except for theses.

    If it is an online newspaper article:

    (Gittens 2010) or
    Gittens (2010)

    Reference list:
    Gittins, R 2010, 'Suits us to be deluded on climate,' Age 17 November, viewed 6 December 2014, <>.
  • So that's the full date only for newspaper articles and only if they don't have an author?
    While that's possible, I don't believe we have any style that does that, nor is it super easy to do in CSL. You can try yourself following and if you get close we can help you with specific issues.

    If full date for all newspaper articles is OK, do check American Psychological Association, which is a Harvard-type style.
  • Thanks, adamsmith. I've edited Word's citations styles before, so I can only hope that editing Zotero's is similar. I am having trouble with the visual editor, as it doesn't seem to be set up to allow you to find 'newspaper' and edit it, so hopefully the step-by-step guide will help me figure it out.

    Otherwise, can I edit it with a text editor and import it into Zotero's standalone?
  • I'm not quite sure I understand the question about the text editor, but generally speaking, sure, you can edit CSL styles in a text editor (typically one that does at least XML code highlighting for you, ideally real-time validation).
  • Hi Adam, after double clicking on the .csl file and installing it to Zotero, then closing the Stand Alone and opening it, my .csl file has vanished. Any idea where it has gone, and how to get it back? The version isn't in the Stand Alone Zotero Style Editor, either.
  • Styles don't disappear when installing them (regardless of whether install is successful or not) -- something else is going on, I'm afraid I can't tell you what. Unfortunately that also means I have no idea how to get back your modified style beyond searching on your disk for it (or using a harddisk back-up, of course)
  • Very strange, there is no way to get it from the Zotero backup? Or doesn't it back up styles after you add them the first time, like it does with your references?

    I had used the style before, and thought it was okay. But it just wasn't in Zotero's list today, nor the editor, and the .csl file vanished. I guess it is just because the thesis is almost due, so of course everything has to go wrong!
  • edited September 25, 2016
    Hi again, Adam.

    I've gotten everything back up and operating again, but I'm still having problems with the in-text citation date for newspapers.

    I take it that I have to use disambiguate-add-year-suffix=false specifically for newspapers, but I'm not sure it works outside of the citation tag. Are there other tags it can work in?

    I've tried this, but the years still get their unwanted alphabetic endings (eg. Bendigo Advertiser 1859a, p. 2; 1859b, p. 2):

    <macro name="year-date-citations">
    <if type="article-newspaper" match="any">
    <date variable="issued" delimiter=" " disambiguate-add-year-suffix="false">
    <date-part name="year"/>
    <if variable="issued">
    <date variable="issued">
    <date-part name="year"/>
    <text term="no date" form="short"/>
  • Could you start by laying out the exact logic you want the style to implement in non-code (or "pseudo code" as the tech folks like to call it)?

    You can't easily disable year suffixes for individual item types, but that also wouldn't seem like what you actually want. Isn't this about
    If an item is a newspaper article and has a regular author --> treat it like any other item.
    If it doesn't have an author --> substitute the author by the publication name and specify a full date.
  • That is right:

    If an item is a newspaper article has an author --> treat it as any other item
    If an item is a newspaper article without an author --> substitute author with publication name, and specify full date with no year suffix

    I had gotten to the stage with everything working, but looks like I messed something up in playing around with the suffix, because it is no longer showing the full date. Back to the code I go!
  • So what you want is something like
    <if type="article-newspaper" match="any">
    <if variable="author" match="none">
    <date variable="issued" form="text"/>
    <date variable="issued" form="numeric" date-parts="year"/>

    and then handle the date for other item types.
    Then insert container-title as a substitute into the author macro and you should be good to go.
  • Thanks, Adam. It's all sorted. Just putting the day and month into the year-date-citations as above fixed it:

    (Bendigo Advertiser 21 September 1859, p. 2; 25 October 1859, p. 2)

    I think I've done all I can to acquiesce to my Supervisor's requirements, as, while I can just display 'Bendigo Advertiser.' in the Bibliography, I gather that can't make it ignore duplicates (eg. I've referenced the Bendigo Advertiser 11 times, so it will show 'Bendigo Advertiser.' 11 times in the Bibliography, though my Supervisor only wants it once). I have to delete the excess by hand, as I add the text for Primary and Secondary sources?
  • edited September 26, 2016
    You can have your bibliography automatically replace identical authors.

    Add the following the the <bibliography> line:

    See the .csl style for Chicago (author-date) for an example.
  • Hi bwiernik, thanks for the idea! Hm, it looks like that will change all identical authors in the Bibliography, rather than just the newspaper ones?
  • Yes. I'm not sure whether that parameter can be applied selectively.
  • Thanks very much, bwiernik. I'll see what I can do. :)
  • no, you can't apply this selectively, I'm sorry to say.
  • Ah, there's the rub. Manual deletion it is!
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