Problems with Conference Paper citation

I have a number of unpublished conference papers among my citations, and have been frustrated by the fact that the styles I use most regularly, Chicago (author-date) and ASA, don't appear to be correct on this category.

According to the website noted in the documentation for the Chicago author-date style (, a conference paper should be cited as follows:

Doyle, Brian. 2002. Howling like dogs: Metaphorical language in Psalm 59. Paper presented at the annual international meeting for the Society of Biblical Literature, June 19–22, in Berlin, Germany.

The way Zotero currently formats conference papers in Chicago author-date, it comes out as:

Doyle, Brian. 2002. Howling like dogs: Metaphorical language in Psalm 59. In . Berlin, Germany, June 19.

It looks for the field "Proceedings Title" instead of the conference name.

Also, I've noticed that the way Zotero formats dates is problematic for conference citation formats. Most style guides ask you to put the full dates of the conference (e.g., June 19-22), but Zotero chops off the additional dates and only gives you the first date of the series.

Could someone take a look at this? If not I will try to learn XML and take a stab at it myself, but if someone could look into this I would greatly appreciate it.

  • try presentation instead, that is closer to what you want - conference paper is for published conference papers (i.e. proceedings).
    As for dates, I include the date in the meeting field for presentations.
  • Ah, I see. Thanks for the tips.

    I notice that the "in" is missing directly before the place in the Chicago Author-Date format. I suppose one could add this manually as well, but it seems like it should be part of the formatting.
  • How do I test a conditional for conference paper (proceedings)? I tried both:

    neither seems to work.
  • It seems that a conference paper is mapped to "chapter". Reading the csl.js, it seems that this is a fallback mapping. Shouldn't the optional fallback take priority, thus mapping it to "paper-conference"?
  • What to do about dates for conference proceedings, where there is a date for the conference, and then a publication date for the proceedings? Should I include it in the Conference Name field? Similarly, what to do when the place published is different from the conference location?

  • @JonEP:

    This depends on the style that you are using.
  • @brazuca-- I guess that's my question; the idea is to enter information into zotero that can then be reconfigured based on the style in use, not to enter your data for a particular style when you might later switch to a different one. So it would seem necessary to include entry fields for both the conference place and date as well as the place and date of publication, in order that these fields be available to be used in different styles. I suppose the next question is 'which styles are you talking about?' and the answer is, for now, that I don't know. I'm just trying to get my zotero database in order and am trying to make sure that all conference papers and conference proceedings use Zotero's entry fields uniformly...
  • edited July 28, 2009
    Interesting question. I suspect that conference papers that are published in proceedings are to be treated as "book"or "chapter". That is, just the publication date matters.

    If it is an unpublished paper (or a presentation), it should be treated as "presentation" and only include the conference date.

    See above.
  • Just realized that I did a circle reference. Sorry JonEP
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