Suppressing year

Sorry, I posted this under feature requests, but since nobody else has picked up on this issue in other discussions, I wonder whether I am missing something and it is possible after all.

In Word, is there a way to suppress the year, which is an issue if I want to cite (Harvard) the same source several times consecutively. The first time, I use the year, but all the next times I want to just use the page numbers, not having to repeat the year. Of course, I could simply type the page number myself, but it wouldn't be updated if I change styles (esp. if I change from a style that uses the "p" to a style that doesn't).

Many thanks.
  • No, just didn't comment because there wasn't much to say. It's not possible. I'm also not sure it's worth the hassle and GUI space. While it'd help with things like p/pp before page numbers, it wouldn't work for switching to different types of styles (i.e. parenthetical to footnotes) and afaik it's a practice a number of parenthetical styles frown upon, so you're really gaining convertibility in a small subset of cases.
  • Ok, thank you for your quick response. In my discipline (media) it is common practice to leave out the year with consecutive in-text citations in the same paragraph. It simply reduces clutter.

    Just out of curiosity, why isn't it possible? The links between the fields and the database entries don't depend only on the year, right? There must be some other metadata that allows the exclusion of the year?
  • oh, technically it wouldn't be a problem (the connection to the Zotero database depends on unique identifiers that you can't see in normal view) -- the main concern is GUI clutter.
  • It would be just one box under "suppress author". I understand that if you had to incorporate all requests, there would be GUI clutter, but I think the year suppression makes a lot of sense for people using Harvard.

    Anyway, thank you for explaining your reason.
  • edited September 7, 2016
    I wanted to also lend my support to a "suppress year" checkbox. I use APA and I am writing my dissertation. Not having this option requires me to add just the page number(s) at the end of a quotation without a zotero field for in-text reference or to change the phrasing of some of my paragraphs. This gets in the way of my "flow" when writing in first-person for qualitative reports.
  • edited September 7, 2016
    Thanks for considering!
  • If you're going to write in a single citation style anyway, I don't understand what the advantage is over just putting this in the text? Why would you _want_ to pull up Zotero for this?
    The conversion to other styles I do understand, but as I say that doesn't actually work terribly well.
  • In mdsbrunner's case, it would probably be better for Zotero to automatically omit the year on subsequent citations within the same paragraph. APA style specifies to omit the year on subsequent citations in the same paragraph, but to cite the year again if the item is cited in the next paragraph. In my experience, this rule is among the most violated (I personally only follow it if I am fighting to meet a word or page limit). I'm not sure if the CSL near-citation facilities would allow for this. Even if they did, given how regularly this rule is violated, I'm not sure it's a good idea to put in into the default apa.csl.
  • no, CSL can only do near note (i.e. distance between footnotes), no other measures of proximity, so we couldn't automate this (which I think would otherwise be pretty cool)
  • Thanks for your attention to this...

    For adamsmith - the advantage of using Zotero instead of manually entering a page number reference without the author and year in the same paragraph where the author and year have previously been referenced is simply a matter of consistency (i.e., being able to use Zotero fields for all in-text citations). Additionally it would reassure writers that any edits made to a source would populate all fields. The fact that edits to a reference would not make a difference in source fields where you suppressed author and year would probably not occur to your average user.

    I grant, as you point out, this is probably a moot point from a purely technical standpoint. However, it may have "human" value for those like me who try to be technically consistent in the writing process. I still hold it would be a nice addition for serious (as in paying) users. From my perspective the additional checkbox would not detract from tool aesthetics. From another usability perspective, it would sure have saved me the time I have spent trying to find a way to suppress the year, and then looking for, adding too, and revisiting the forum thread.

    For bwiernik - Your comments about the common violation of this APA rule is interesting to me. In my time as a student and instructor I have not picked up on this. I didn't assume my doctoral committee expectations or graduate school's dissertation formatting rules would be more rigorous than other R2 (or R1) universities. Saying this, I can't imagine my work being approved without adhering to these rules. Wondering how others experience this issue... Also wondering how tools like endnote handle this issue.
  • To be honest, I would be really surprised if your committee would even notice whether or not you dropped the year on subsequent references in a paragraph. (In fact, I would more expect people to think you had made an error by omitting it, if anything.) Endnote doesn't really handle it much better than Zotero--the user has to manually suppress year on each reference.

    If you are concerned about sounding repetitive, you could refer to the authors in subsequent citations narratively, rather than as citations, e.g.,:

    "Numerous researchers have noted measurement challenges in this area (e.g., Smith et al, 2002). In their review, Smith and colleagues advocated for increased attention to reliability and construct validity."
  • Hi! First of all, thanks for a great open-source program, it really helps me to smooth things up in my everyday work!

    I would also highly appreciate a "suppress year" choice for the in-text references. In my research I need quite a lot of legislative references, and as I have understood it, the common practice is to just cite the title (e.g. SFS 1977:349 etc), which then already includes the year of when the legislation came into place. I hence put this title as author, and it does not really make sense to repeat the year directly afterwards. So if it's possible for you to make it work, I think it would be a really neat feature which probably quite a few other users also would apprciate and use, making the tool a bit more diverse.

    Thanks in advance!
  • @vincentwrteling, you might find it helpful to look at Juris-M, a spinoff software to Zotero that has much expanded support for legal references:
  • but more generally, specific requirements for item type like bills should just be -- and can be -- handled in the citation style (I think APA and Chicago autor-date may already do this right). We shouldn't introduce functionality for that nor should users have to click a box every time they cite a law/bill.
  • What if I need to write that "the issue of 'suppressing year' was first mentioned by Cbrylla in 2016 (Cbrylla)"? I do not need (Cbrylla 2016) as this would be clearly redundant. A small tick box in the Word plugin would do it. No? This functionality is common in other reference managers so this is not an idiosyncratic request.
  • Long discussion, including requests, some attempts by the developers (but no current updates):

    Awkward Word macro workaround:
  • edited June 8, 2019
    There has been some movement toward implementing a "composite" citation form that would place the author name in the text, followed by a footnote or an in-text reference. The technical issues are hard, there are several moving parts that need to be aligned, and a solution will not be quick in arriving, but the problem is getting serious attention. At present, though, there are no plans to implement a citation composed of the date only in text followed by a cite-without-date. I think you should assume that that will not happen in the foreseeable future.

    @sdflewrit783: I am curious about one thing you mention:
    This functionality is common in other reference managers
    Would I be right to assume that these are LaTeX-based systems that do not integrate with a word processor?
  • For my own curiousity -- what is it about the document being edited in a word processor that makes this kind of thing hard to do? I have a rough understanding of how LaTeX-based systems work (but not more than a rough understanding to be honest) but not really about what the difficulties are with Word et al.
  • See the long linked thread above. The problem is that the fields can become unstable under certain conditions, apparently especially when they're immediately adjacent to each other and editing (by clicking between them) might somehow mix up the boundaries (that's my rough understanding; also why I just asked in that thread about whether it would be possible to make locked, un-editable fields in Word instead).
    To the extent that I understand how this works in Word (not that well, but enough to make the macro linked above), it's complicated, and somewhat awkward, so regardless of details it's impressive that this works at all, and the designers did a great job making it happen. Hope we get an update for this feature at some point though.
  • Right -- Word et al don't know about Zotero so the challenge is to have the Zotero data in the Word doc without it getting messed up while it is being edited. I was thinking XML namespaces are perfect to segment this out safely, but then of course Word wouldn't display any of it. (La)TeX just is better suited for this, it doesn't actually know much about the document and is built around such extensibility.
  • This veers into talk a bit technical for the forums, but threads on this topic always seem to take that turn at some point, so here goes.

    All of those things. Dynamic editing requires tricky footwork both in the integration layer and in the citation processor. On the processor side, citation edits can trigger formatting changes to arbitrary citations, so fields are needed to track the document locations where the changes need to be applied. The integration layer needs to assure that processor and document states are perfectly aligned, where cut-and-paste or delete operations can cause abrupt changes to the latter.

    That's for the current implementation. With composite citations, selection of a new style can require the division of an in-text citation into two fields (one in the text, one in a footnote), and the role of each of the two "citations" needs to be notified to the processor (so that they can be treated as a unit, in some sense, for back-referencing purposes).

    In a batch processing engine like BibTeX or BibLaTeX there is no need to maintain state across batch renderings, and that simplifies things quite a bit.
  • @fbennett I referred to common commercial systems like EndNote and Biblioscape. Both have Word plugins with interfaces that allow excluding authors or years from in-text citations.
  • Thanks - that's interesting, and good to know. I wonder how they handle an exclude-year setting in the context of a note style. The way things are structured in CSL, it is possible to isolate the first-mentioned author in a way that is semantically safe to automate, but isolating the year is only safe in an author-date style, and raises what would be a bunch of tough edge cases if we went that route:
    • Years disambiguated with year-suffix
    • citations reduced to ibid (these work okay if the author is stated in-text, but not with only the year)
    • citations with a pinpoint
    It's a rare use case, and given the time that would need to be invested to cover it without breakage, I can't justify supporting it, unfortunately.
  • @fbennett I think for Endnote this is just the Author part of an “Author (Year)” Citation rendered by itself. It’s not modifying a footnote.
  • edited June 11, 2019
    I would assume so. Out of curiosity again, how well does EndNote play with style switching across that boundary (and back)?

    (And to avoid possible confusion, it's only the "YYYY (Author)" case that I see as rare and exceptionally difficult.)
  • @fbennett Year exclusions are only meaningful in author-date in-text citations, at least I have never seen the need in notes. EndNote, I just checked, only excludes the author in the in-text citation. This is all I have asked for. The bibliography still lists the year and this is retained if you switch to a note style or back.
  • It doesn’t have that. Just (Author, Year), Author (Year), Author, and (Year)
  • edited June 11, 2019
    @sdflewrit783: The end point of this discussion appears to be that one part of the desired functionality is available in Zotero, and the remainder will be coming in due course.

    The specified use case that I was referring to above was this one (quoting from your example up-thread):
    2016 (Cbrylla)
    In the follow-up to the quote below, I got the impression that the above use case was supported by EndNote:
    Both have Word plugins with interfaces that allow excluding authors or years from in-text citations.
    But that is not the case, apparently.

    It will take time, but the functionality a available in EndNote is in the pipeline for Zotero.
  • @fbennett Thanks. It is not such a big deal. One can always rephrase. In my example, I meant typing 2016 manually, so that only the surname would be produced by Zotero. Good luck with all those plans.
  • Also in my field (literary study), a suppressing year function would be very useful

    Please consider adding it
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