disambiguation with initials "by-cite"

edited August 2, 2018
I'm trying to figure out the best disambiguation rules for names in my style. (I have the year disambiguation turned on, and that's fine as-is.)

I want minimal disambiguation only when necessary. "by-cite" is very close to what I need, but I don't understand why there isn't an "initials" option (rather than full first name), or if there is I can't find it. (Can those values be combined somehow: "by-cite"+"all-names-with-initials"?)

Secondary question: where are the periods controlled in this? I'm getting different results in my style (modified Unified style sheet for linguistics journals: no dots) versus MLA for example (where there are dots).
  • Whether full names or initials are used in disambiguation is controlled by the “initialize” argument on the “names” element. To have only family names shown, but initials added during disambiguation, set form=“short” and initialize-with=“. “ (“initialize” is “true” by default—but note that it is false in MLA).

    Whether dots, spaces, etc. are used to initialize is controlled by the “initialize-with” argument on the “names” element.
  • edited August 2, 2018
    Let me clarify:

    The only thing that I have done is change the tag:
    <citation et-al-min="4" et-al-use-first="1" disambiguate-add-year-suffix="true" disambiguate-add-names="true" disambiguate-add-givenname="true" givenname-disambiguation-rule="by-cite" collapse="year-suffix-ranged">
    Note "by-cite" as the value there.

    Since this is being disambiguated automatically, I am not sure where, if anywhere, to find it in the style. I haven't added (or located) any other information about how (disambiguated) names are handled.

    Why would "by-cite" act so differently from the other options? For the others I can do it from the values there. But I'm probably missing something.

    I've read the specification repeatedly, but am still just poking around trying to find the right places to change values.
  • Initialization is determined by the “names” element being disambiguated. You would look at whatever macro is used to render the authors in the citation.
  • edited August 2, 2018
    Aha! So easy now that you tell me exactly what to do (sorry I'm a bit slow with this). The code is clear once I understand it :)

    That's exactly what I was after, thanks!

    Last question: how would I get John F. Kennedy to initialize as just "J. Kennedy"? (Unless further disambiguation is required.)
    That's very nitpicky of me, just wanting to keep things as short as possible. If this isn't possible, no problem.
  • I don’t think that’s possible, sorry.
  • I think the "with-initials" disambiguation options are confusing. As you've found out, they're not technically necessary (and I'm not sure we're using them anywhere in styles).

    Unfortunately it's not possible to remove middle initials with initialization, sorry (but I think you may also literally be the first person to ever ask for that here).
  • edited August 2, 2018
    @bwiernik -- OK, no problem.

    @adamsmith -- Yes, the fact that they worked misled me into believing that was the only way to deal with this, rather than actually more straightforwardly in the name macro above.

    (but I think you may also literally be the first person to ever ask for that here).
    Nitpicky as I said. I just like things to be as short as possible*. Middle names are so unimportant that we usually initialize them in the first place in the citation, so I don't see why we'd want to have them appear as default disambiguators.** But absolutely no problem if they do show up once in a while. The rarity of the need for disambiguation in the first place means this won't happen much.

    [*Consider word counts-- that usually irrelevant middle initial is a word!]

    [**As a minor note, from my background in Linguistics, I do know that in some cultures there actually are sometimes two first names that function as a unit and aren't supposed to be split and said separately, so in that case the double initials would be good. Usually a hyphen would connect those, but rarely not. So this issue of preserving only the first or all initials actually has some cross-linguistic variation like the "von/der/de/etc." issue we were discussing earlier. I'd still rather have the default be to only include the first initial, but I can see why some others might not want that forced on them. Just leaving this very specific note here in case the developers ever consider adding this option in the future, so my comments above don't bias them toward only my perspective on it.]
  • If you are concerned about word counts, you could always set initialize to “.” or “” (without a space).
  • @bwiernik - Ah, great idea.

    Yes, I'll switch that now. It'll look cleaner too, I think, less distracting from the more important last name.

    I figured I'd just do some manual trimming at the end of documents where word counts matter (especially abstracts). But that's a good fix.
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