en dash for encyclopaedia entry

Dear all,

We are seeing an issue with en dash.

I am using this style: http://www.zotero.org/styles/hiob-ludolf-centre-for-ethiopian-studies
An I have an encyclopaedia entry in my bibliography.

If I call the API, the page range delimiter is correct, an en dash, see


Voigt, R. 2003. “Aithiopía,” in Encyclopaedia Aethiopica, I (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2003), 162b–165a.

Here I really miss the option of specifying the language of the style via API (https://forums.zotero.org/discussion/57891/), but I want to focus on that en dash, which is fine.

If I use the Style editor or the word plugin, I get in the same position as page range delimiter a hyphen.

Voigt, R. 2003. ‘Aithiopía’, in Encyclopaedia Aethiopica, I (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2003), 162b-165a.

I have tried in the style editor to do as suggested here
and add – to force the use of the en dash, but that as well did not help.

In all other cases, like articles, etc. the en dash is added correctly.

Please could you tell me if I messed up something in the style or there is a problem somewhere else?

Thank you very much
  • This has nothing (or only incidentally) to do with encyclopedia. Zotero doesn't treat mixed alphanumeric strings (162b and 165a here) as page ranges. The specifications aren't 100% clear on whether it should, which probably explains the inconsistent behavior from the API, but I'd be a little concerned about blanket replacing all hyphens with en-dashes.
  • Thank you very much for this answer, how would you suggest that I proceed to obtain the desired result?
  • add the en-dash in Zotero. I'm pretty sure the citation processor just leaves this as is.
  • ook. that is a painful change with more than a thousand (and growing) such entries only in the group library, and in order to fix only one of the types of outputs we need. Is there any chance that this inconsistency will be regulated in the near future?
  • Zotero's behavior is unlikely to change in the short term -- and even if it did, I'm not sure it would change in the direction you want it to: the lack of hyphen to en-dash conversion here is almost certainly on purpose.

    Switching hyphens to en-dahes for encyclopedia entries could likely be done with relative ease using the API/pyzotero
  • I understand. The direction I would like to change to is only to have a consistent output in the plug in and in the API, and I am happy to add my own en-dashes if there is a good way to do this which hopefully does not involve changing from hyphen to en-dash in some of the records in the database, which would mean for us adding a further specification for data entry in the group library. Is there any hope that page ranges with column indication will be recognized as page ranges in a near future, or is this something which is also never going to happen? I understand what with the pyzotero wrapper I can alter the API response, but I still have a problem for the regular user of the plugin. If for these users I have to alter the data anyway, then there is no point to use for this purpose any wrapper elsewhere.
  • (To be clear, adamsmith was suggesting to use the API to batch-edit your database to quickly edit all encyclopedia records to change hyphens to en dashes, rather than having to manually make this change, not some sort of ongoing post-processing.)
  • I see, sorry, I did not understand that. Thanks for the clarification. I still feel this is a rather painful solution. Assume I change all those hyphens in the data to en-dashes with pyzotero and inform all potential users of that data who have copied some records to do the same or hand change records or something else, then I will have to tell people to use in the future only for those cases en-dashes in the page ranges, which they will clearly only do when they remember. Additionally if a user requires for its style not to use en-dash, I guess it will have to cope with the en-dashes in the data. I really think that the styling should behave the same for these page ranges with columns as it does for other page ranges, as it happens to do in the API now.
  • Re-reading the specifications, I think converting the from hyphen to en-dash here is the right thing to do (165a individually would be evaluated as a number by CSL, so this is still a numerical range) but this may still take some time. I've created a ticket here: https://github.com/Juris-M/citeproc-js/issues/92 but the processor developer is running a bit behind right now so this isn't a promise this will happen in the near future.
  • Thank you very much!
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