Translated Books in Anthology or Edited Volume?

I am doing extensive work with books that are translated and included in anthologies/edited volumes. I mainly use Chicago style. However, the only option to cite these items seems to be "Book Section", which does not cite the various items properly.

For comparison, this is how Zotero currently cites Descartes' Discourse on the Method (html added to show where italicizations should be):

René Descartes, “Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One’s Reason and Seeking the Truth in the Sciences,” in The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, ed. John Cottingham, Robert Stoothoff, and Dugald Murdoch, trans. Robert Stoothoff, vol. I (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984), 111–51.

This is how the Discourse should be cited:

René Descartes, Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One’s Reason and Seeking the Truth in the Sciences, trans. Robert Stoothoff, in The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, ed. John Cottingham, Robert Stoothoff, and Dugald Murdoch, vol. I (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984), 111–51.

Notice: (a) The title of the Discourse *and* the volume should be italicized; (b) the Discourse's title should *not* be surrounded by quotation marks; (c) the translator should be applied to the Discourse *not* to the volume; and (d) the editors should be linked to the volume *not* to the Discourse.

I attempted several solutions to workaround these issues:

(1) I set the Discourse as a book and italicized the volume title in the "series" section:

René Descartes, Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One’s Reason and Seeking the Truth in the Sciences, ed. John Cottingham, Robert Stoothoff, and Dugald Murdoch, trans. Robert Stoothoff, vol. I, The Philosophical Writings of Descartes (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984).

This obviously is unacceptable: (a) the editors are being applied to the Discourse rather than the volume; (b) the volume # is ascribed to the Discourse, too, rather than the volume; and (c) the volume is not preceded by "in" as Chicago-style requires.

(2) I then tried fixing these by (a) setting the editors as series editors, (b) putting volume # in series #, and (c) adding the "in" to the series title directly:

René Descartes, Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One’s Reason and Seeking the Truth in the Sciences, trans. Robert Stoothoff, In The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, I (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984).

This is even worse: (a) the editors do not show up *at all*. (Less importantly, (b) "in" is capitalized as "In"; (c) the volume number is not preceded by "volume"/"vol." [I could manually add "volume" *or* "vol." into the series #, but then that messes up bibliography or note.] These however, are not as serious problems.)

I looked up similar requests, and the most detailed response I found was this thread, which suggested the addition of a "volume title" section: https://forums.zotero.org/discussion/26476/helpfeature-request-individual-volumes-as-parts-of-multivolume-works (It also included a now-defunct CSL file that could support "volume title".)

As such, the only available solution I see is to manually edit citations for each document I prepare. But this is tedious, especially when I'm using a dozen+ different works. Is there a more efficient solution?
  • I'm afraid there is no viable workaround at this time, sorry.
  • Ok, two related questions for employing a manual workaround:

    (1) One thing I plan to do is to cite to the volume of works directly, then to each individual works (e.g. CSM I: Discourse on the Method). Normally multiple citations are separated by a semicolon (CSM I; Discourse on the Method). If I suffix a comma to the volume, it replaces that semicolon (e.g. CSM I, Discourse on the Method). However, if I suffix a colon, it does not (e.g. CSM I:; Discourse on the Method). This seems like a bug. How do I make it such that suffixing a colon replaces the semicolon?

    (2) Is there a way to remove quotations from the "book section" title? I.e. such that <"Discourse on the Method"> is cited as ? One of the problems is that when typing up a bibliography, the Discourse will not be grouped with the volume.
  • One somewhat hackish solution for having titles italicized rather than wrapped in quotes would be to add a flag to such “bookinbook” items by assigning an arbitrary value to an otherwise unused variable, say original-author, and, in the CSL style file, make italicization conditional upon this variable being non-empty. For example, in chicago-author-date.csl, line 237 would have to be replaced by

    <choose>
    <if variable="original-author">
    <text variable="title" text-case="title" font-style="italic" />
    </if>
    <else>
    <text variable="title" text-case="title" quotes="true" />
    </else>
    </choose>
  • edited 22 days ago
    The easiest approach would probably be to enter the item as a "Book" and then to enter the Anthology title and page range in Extra like this:
    Container title: The philosophical writings of Descartes
    Page: 111-151


    Then, adjust the style to test for whether a "book" item has a "container-title".

    @adamsmith Is this a sufficiently common type of citation that we might consider adjusting the official Chicago styles to accommodate?
  • edited 16 days ago
    @nickbart and @bwiernik thank you so much for your help! Two questions: (1) how do I make these changes to the CSL file?; (2) How do I ensure this change only affects the items I want it to affect, and not, say, book chapters or articles in books, which *should* have quotations around them?

    @bwiernik this is a very common type of citation (at least in my field - political philosophy). Pretty much every major author's works are contained in some sort of anthology, including their books. I obviously can't speak for whether there is sufficient demand for Zotero, though - offering my 2 cents as a user :)
  • @nickbart I think I figured out how to add it to the citation style, but there's no option in Zotero for "original author". How do I add that?
  • edited 15 days ago
    @Ayerbender – You’ll have to add a string like “original-author: foo” to the “Extra” field.

    (So-called “cheater syntax”, specs here: https://citeproc-js.readthedocs.io/en/latest/csl-json/markup.html#cheater-syntax-for-odd-fields.)

    In fact, you could use whatever term you like instead of “foo”, the only thing that matters here is that the “original-author” variable has to be non-empty.
  • As for the question/discussion above -- I agree this is a relevant/important use case, so no need to argue that, but since my current understanding is that we'd want a different variable entirely to handle it properly, I don't really like the idea of including the version using container-title in a style on the repository.
  • Would we need a different variable, rather than just a book with a container-title?
  • edited 14 days ago
    Good question. This is different from a named volume in a multi-volume work, right? Volume title would seem to be slightly off in that case anyway, so maybe container-title works?
    @Rintze thoughts on this? I guess a concern would be that this makes this indistinguishable from a chapter in terms of the variables present, but I think we'll just have to live with that.

    While not central for CSL, another question is how we'd imagine Zotero et al. would display the entry field for that variable without confusing people who just want to enter a book.

    edit: another issue, separate but related, is what to do with the translator -- we have no way in CSL (or Zotero) to assign a translator to a title or a container). That also came up in bwiernik's recent question on editortranslator

    (Sorry for the somewhat technical language -- trying to think this through at various levels)
  • Yeah, the translator issue is one I wrestled with in working on the APA update. The logic that seemed most likely to be correct most of the time is to treat the translator as the translator of the item (not the container) when there is a container-title, unless there is an editortranslator.
  • @adamsmith

    This is different from a named volume in a multi-volume work, right?

    Absolutely. It’s no different from a book section actually, but because of its publication history (originally published as a book) convention demands that it be formatted differently (i.e., italicized).

    No sure about container-title. If this can be made to work nicely in style files, fine – but I find this way, way too opaque. I’d prefer an explicit solution – either a separate item type (like biblatex’s “bookinbook”), or a flag variable that can be set for a “book section” item (e.g., via a checkbox labelled “Originally published as a book” in the Zotero GUI).

    another issue, separate but related, is what to do with the translator

    @bwiernik’s approach (“treat the translator as the translator of the item (not the container) when there is a container-title, unless there is an editortranslator”) sounds like a useful rule of thumb. I’m just not sure whether everyone, in particular classicists, will be happy with this. (After all, Meno, tr. Foo, in Plato, Works, ed. Bar might not be totally wrong per se, but still is not quite the same as Meno, in Plato, Works, tr. Foo, ed. Bar).

    Add to that the fact that book sections can have editors as well as translators, and that individual volumes of multi-volume works may have separate editors or translators, too, it might be worth considering whether we’d need actually need a number of new CSL variables, including container-editor, container-translator, volume-editor, volume-translator, as well as volume-author.

  • My concern here is these all add a huge amount of complexity to CSL to address what is a fairly limited set of cases.
  • @nickbart thanks! I'll give it a looksee and let you know if I have any questions
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