CSL: allow dropping items from bibliography?

This is one of those not-sure-why-we've-not-hit-this-before issues.

The style discussed in this thread omits some item types from the bibliography. I assume that's by intention, and it has me wondering whether the citation processor shouldn't just silently omit such references in that case. You would still get an unsightly "no reference" blob in the body of the document, where the reference absolutely must appear in all cases, so little would be lost.
  • APA and some other styles also specify that personal communications be cited only in text, without bibliography entries. It would be nice to let Zotero/CSL manage the formatting of the in-text citations without having a dummy entry in the bibliography.
  • The specifications are silent on this and I, too, am in favor of allowing references without a bib entry

    @Rintze -- any concerns?
  • edited March 17, 2017
    Sure, although I'm not sure this is trivial. So this is for things like "(M. ZELLE, personal communication)" (from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1209443/pdf/93.pdf)?

    What would be the criteria for suppressing a bibliographic entry? The absence of any rendering elements within cs:layout for the item (apart from cs:choose)? Or the absence of any printed variable content (apart from automatic generated variables such as "citation-number". And what would happen if you'd switch to a numeric style? Would the in-text citation not get a value assigned for "citation-number" if there is no corresponding bibliographic entry? Should the CSL processor print a warning in that case? I also assume that people might actually want to combine "author-date" type personal communication entries with an otherwise numeric style, which would need changes in all numeric styles to support this. And how would sorting and collapsing work in in-text citations that combine a set of regular numeric cites with one or more of these "author-date" type personal communication cites?
  • edited March 17, 2017
    I thought of the numeric (and citation-styles) styles after posting. Those should render as they do now, but for the others, we could just suppress the ugly warning in the bibliography when nothing is rendered for an item.
  • edited March 18, 2017
    I've made some minimal changes to citeproc-js, now available in the Propachi plugins:
    • Skip empty entries instead of printing the ugly placeholder, in non-numeric styles only
    • Slightly improve the formatting of the ugly placeholder, when it appears in the bibliography of a numeric style.
    Let's see how it goes ...
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