Ordering Citations

Hi All,

My apologies if this has been asked before, I haven't been able to find an answer.

Is there a way to make a style order multiple citations in a particular way, dependent on the style (in this case footnotes, but it would be equally relevant for in-text)? For example, in a literature review, I'll often use multiple sources against the one fact/comment. Some styles dictate that these be ordered by publication year, others that it they be sorted alphabetically. I've noticed that Zotero just inserts them in the order that I have applied them (to be clear, this is not for the reference list/bibliography).

I haven't completely decided on a style yet, I just know it will be a footnote version. I've tried creating once myself, but my supervisor isn't a fan. So this is just a bit of a general question. Is there a way, and how would I go about doing it?

Thank in advance,

  • The sort order of multiple references within a citation is handled by the style. You need to enter the references all as part of the same citation window, rather than entering each as a separate citation/footnote in the Word processor (see here: https://www.zotero.org/support/word_processor_plugin_usage).
  • And specifically, the sorting behavior within citations is set by the sort element under the citation section of the style:
  • Thanks guys,

    I do enter them in the same citation window, but they still sort based on the order I enter them in.

    I looked at the page provided by bwiernik, and I noted that the article states:

    "To disable automatic sorting of the cites in the citation, click the small arrow on the left of the Quick Format bar and uncheck the “Keep Sources Sorted” option. This option only appears for citation styles that specify a sort order for citations."

    I checked to make sure this wasn't deactivated, and I didn't have this option with the style I initially had selected. I tried with so many other styles, and I still didn't have this option available to me, so there was no way for me to determine if it was selected.

    The styles I tried:

    Chicago Manual of Style 16th (full note)
    Chicago Manual of Style 16th (note)
    Elsevier Harvard (with titles) - I tried this, but I want a footnote version
    Global Crime
    Modern Humanities Research Association 3rd edition (note with bibliography)
    Oxford - The University of New South Wales

    I am using standalone, with Chrome.

    I fear that modifying this might be outside of my skill set... but I guess I have a couple of years until I need to submit haha
  • right -- this is a very unusual requirement for a note style, so none of those (except Elsevier Harvard, which isn't a note style as you saw) has any sorting implemented. You'd indeed have to customize that in the style. If you tell use which of these you'd want to use otherwise, we can give you more specific instructions -- it's not actually hard.
  • That would be great, thank you! Ultimately, I'd like to modify Chicago Manual of Style 16th (note) so that it does the following:

    - include the publication year in footnotes (currently it is not)
    - sort multiple citations by publication year (oldest to newest)
    - Modify reference list to: name, initial., year, 'title', publication italicised, vol., no., pp. (Basically remove DOI and move the placement of the year).

    If you know of a footnote that is closer to this than the one I've identified, I'm open to using that. I basically just need a footnote system that provides a short citation, and otherwise follows Harvard, with an ibid system.

    I know, I'm not asking for much hahahaha :)

    If you could point me in the direction of a tutorial etc., I'm happy to play around. Only way to learn!
  • The two styles closest to this I know of are International Organization and World Politics. See if either of those work or are, at least, closer to what you need.
  • Hello, I have exactly the same issues. I am writing a PhD so imagine the time spend to put multiple references in chronological order. I am using the University of Northhampton-Harved as a stile. Can please someone guide me as to automatically have the references throughout the big document in chronological order and to set Zotero to do this? Thank you!
  • In the parenthetical citations in the text or in the bibliography?
    And does the style guide actually say something about that (I had a quick look and couldn't find anything).
  • Hi @adamsmith. I am using the University of Northampton-Harvard because it is the closeset to Cite Them Right-Harvard made by University of Southampton. I am the citations in the text (parenthetical citation) in cronological order and this style does not do that although when it appears in text and in the bibliography list it is the closesest to the requirements (reason why I would not change it).
  • Note that we do have a dedicated Cite Them Right Harvard style which likely is overall better quality. That would give you chronological sorting of in-text citations:
  • The problem with Cite Them Right Harvard style on Zotero is that while in text citation is ok, the bibliographical list at the end of the thesis does NOT show all the authors involved. Please see

    Cite Them Right Harvard Style (Zotero)

    Hook, M. K. et al. (2003) ‘How Close Are We? Measuring Intimacy and Examining Gender Differences’, Journal of Counseling & Development, 81(4), pp. 462–472. doi: 10.1002/j.1556-6678.2003.tb00273.x.

    and in the Northampton-Harvard (Zotero).

    Hook, M.K., Gerstein, L.H., Detterich, L., Gridley, B. (2003) How Close Are We? Measuring Intimacy and Examining Gender Differences. Journal of Counseling & Development. 81(4), 462–472.

    Is there a way for Zotero to add in this Citation Style please? Many of us here would be sooo happy for this to happen!
  • Dear @adamsmith , unfortunately after a style preview I discover that while the bibliography looks ok (with the citation style you suggested), the citation in text is NOT chronological (oh, Lord).

    Looks like this:
    (Muise et al., 2016b; Hook et al., 2003; Ridley et al., 2008; Lefkowitz, Gillen and Vasilenko, 2011)
  • Also, when there are more than two authors I need the et. al not the third author in text...
  • The style I link to definitely sorts chronologically. Check in a new document.
    The 3 authors in text are as per Cite Them Right, though, yes.

    I'm still a bit confused what you want this for. They Southampton guides I'm seeing say to follow Cite Them Right, which the Northampton Harvard style decidedly does not (Note e.g. missing quotation marks, no spaces between initials, no pp for page numbers, no DOI).
  • Hi, update: yes, it is in chronological order, I tried in a new document. However, when there are 3 authors it adds the thrid instead of putting et al. and this the last issue to be fixed. Is there a way to limit the authors within the text in citation?

    I saw that the theses deposited have one author referenced followed by et al. when there more than two listed, this is why I thought Northampton was better.
  • Not without modifying the style, no. Why don't you check with your library and/or thesis advisor?
  • Is there a way to modify this style Cite Them Right - 10th ed (no et al). perhaps as to put et al if there are more than two authors? This also saves the number of words - you will be suprised how many if a big PhD thesis.

    I will ask them, thank you.
  • You would need change it to add et-al-min="3" et-al-use-first="1" to achieve that.
    Find the line that starts with "<citation...." and you can change it there. Make sure to change the ID, self link etc. as explained here, otherwise it'll be overwritten.

  • @damnation , this was soooo useful! Thank you! I succeded to modify the style, however I did not get the part of validating the style I create to CSL, I had tried to copy paste a link I thought it is needed from the bulk of code and I was unsuccessful. Hopefully, the style I created and added to my Zotery styles will not have bugs and will work many months from now on? :)
  • Where it says "URL" on the validator you can switch over to code and then paste all your code in.
    (But Zotero would've said something if it was very wrong. And I guess you only edited the style minimally.)
  • edited March 5, 2020
    Hi, I have some probalems with Zotero after I had edited one style.
    1) After I successfully modified, I inserted citations and chose the modified style and all citations were modifed in all the chapters. However, now, when I wanted to update the citations in the text I noticed that Zotero does not link anymore the citations (if you click on the citation it becomes gray and you can then edit the citations to add more studies). Why this disappeared today? It worked perfectly before!

    2. Also, I see that Zotero forgets the year of some citations and puts that year to other authors, messing up the citations)...I know you will probably ask what I changed and where. It is Cite the Right (10th ed, no et al) where I changed 1) to appear 1 author if there were more than 2, and 2) if more authors with the same name, to not use the initial (ex. John, 2011, 2020) instead of (John, I. 2011, John, G., 2020).

    Please, help!
  • Hi - can anyone help, please?
  • 1. See https://www.zotero.org/support/kb/existing_citations_not_detected
    Did you save the document in an unsupported format?

    2. Not 100% sure what's happening here and what the problem is. Can you a) explain in more detail (and with other words) and also share your citation style via pastebin/hastebin (upload, share link here), so we can have a look what's going on.
  • edited March 6, 2020
    Hi @damnation ,

    1. I opened the document with GoogleDocs when to File-> Download-> Microsoft Word (docx) and saved it with another name, and continued to work. This is how I retrieved my work (but not my citations). Since then all the old citations are not linked, but the new ones are linked. I just tried the steps from the link you sent on the current version of the chapter (made from other previous versions were the original was retrived from Google Documents).

    'Choose “Switch to a Different Word Processor…” from the plugin’s Document Preferences window.
    Save the converted file.
    Open the file in the other word processor.
    Click Refresh to continue using it.'

    But still, my citations are inactive....I am not sure what I am doing wrong.
  • 1. And in the GoogleDocs file the citations are still active?
  • 1. Hi,

    Erh, in Google Docs I do not see the Zotero button (maybe because I am using Safari?). So no citations active, I just quickly save it from GoogeDocs to Word to continue to work on the Chapter as the time is super short...
    My experience with Gdocs is zero, I do not use it very frequnetly.
  • I am not following then.
    I assumed you were writing the file with GoogleDocs to begin with and had the citations inserted in there with Zotero.
  • I am writing in Word. At some point Word closed itself and I tried to Open it but a message popped on the screen forbidding me to Open Word because content was corrupted. I Googled how can I solve this issue and I Found that I can sent the Word document to my Gmail and Open with Gdocs and Save it back to Word (with another name). This is how I opened the document and continued to work form when it closed and did not lose 4 pages of work I did that day.

    I realised just today that citations are not linked and it is because I downloaded it from Gdocs a few days ago. I am writing every day in my thesis so now I have even more content that I do not want to loose.

    Now I do not know how to make these citations be linked again...Is this a bit clearer?
  • Alright. So with that Word>GDocs>Word action you unlinked your citations since you didn't use that method described in the documentation I linked.

    You could use the Word Compare Documents functionality to merge those changes of the text in if you have an older version of your document with still active citations.

    Other than that, magically relinking citations is not possible as the information has been lost. Citations would need to be added manually again.
Sign In or Register to comment.