Accommodating Both Full Series Names and Series Abbreviations

The SBL Handbook of Style requires abbreviations for series names that are provided either in that handbook or in the supplementary reference Internationales Abkürzungsverzeichnis für Theologie und Grenzgebiete. The Chicago Manual of Style wants series names unabbreviated.

In biblical studies, both styles are very common bases for different journals' or publishers' specific requirements.

In the "Series" field for my Zotero items of this type, I have the SBL abbreviation (e.g., "PilNTC") so that the footnote and bibliography are correct in the SBL style. When I change the style to Chicago, however, the output needs to be the full series name (e.g., "Pillar New Testament Commentary") both in the footnote and in the bibliography.

In looking through some of the prior threads (e.g., 1, 2), the main suggestion seems to be to use the Abbreviation Filter plugin, but this no longer works with Zotero 5.

Would anyone have any suggestions for different ways of addressing a situation like this? (Preferably of course without editing the "Series" field repeatedly each time one needs to switch between SBL and Chicago styles. :-))

Thank you so much for your thoughts!
  • You can store the abbreviated Series name in Extra like this:
    collection-title-short: Abbrev

    Then edit the SBL style to use the form=“short” version of the series title.
  • Thanks, @bwiernik! Storing the series abbreviation that way makes sense.

    I'm a bit slow on the CSL side though. In looking through the file, I don't see an obvious place to make the edit to form="short".

    Could you clarify which line this is that I'm supposed to edit?

    Thanks so much!
  • any line that contains collection-title
  • Thanks, @adamsmith. It looks like there are nineteen lines in the style that aren't comments but contain "collection-title". Of these, four already include form="short" in the line. So, I left those alone.

    In the remaining fifteen lines, I've added form="short". These lines are:

    <macro name="collection-title">
    <else-if type="chapter" variable="collection-title" match="all">
    <macro name="collection-title-note">
    <if type="book" variable="collection-title" match="all">
    <if type="book" variable="collection-title" match="all">
    <if type="book" variable="collection-title" match="all">
    <else-if type="chapter" variable="collection-title" position="subsequent" match="all">
    <else-if type="chapter" variable="collection-title" position="subsequent" match="all">
    <text variable="collection-title" text-case="uppercase"/>
    <if variable="volume collection-title" match="all">
    <text macro="collection-title-note"/>
    <text macro="collection-title-note"/>
    <if variable="volume collection-title" match="all">
    <text macro="collection-title" text-case="title" prefix=" "/>
    <text macro="collection-title" text-case="title" prefix=". "/>

    I've also added collection-title-short: HTA in the "Extra" field to test the edited style with the following resource:

    TY - BOOK
    TI - Der erste Brief des Paulus an die Korinther
    AU - Schnabel, Eckhard J.
    T2 - Historisch Theologische Auslegung
    CY - Wuppertal
    DA - 2006///
    PY - 2006
    DP - EBSCOhost
    LA - de
    PB - Brockhaus
    SN - 978-3-417-29724-9 978-3-7655-9724-4
    ST - Der erste Brief des Paulus an die Korinther
    KW - New Testament
    ER -

    I've installed the newly edited style and opened a document where this sample resource is cited. I've switched the document to some other style and then switched it to this newly edited SBL style. But, the output I'm getting for the series name is "Historisch Theologische Auslegung" as in the T2 field above, not "HTA" as I've now specified with collection-title-short: HTA in "Extra."

    If it's easier, I've shared the edited SBL CSL file via OneDrive.

    Would you have any insight as to what I'm doing wrong here?

    Thank you so much for your help!
  • Should have looked at the SBL style -- it already has form="short" in all relevant places, so this should work, but I'd have to look at this more closely to figure out why not.

    @bwiernik -- are you positive that citeproc-js recognizes collection-title-short as the form="short" of collection-title?
  • edited January 17, 2019
    Sorry, I must have been misremembering for collection-title.

    For container-title, citeproc-js picks up container-title-short as the main title for the purpose of determining a subtitle for the uppercase subtitles feature, but it seems not to treat container-title-short as the form="short" for the purposes of rendering the variable itself.

    I'll inquire with @fbennett about it since he's back working on citeproc-js again.

  • edited January 18, 2019
    With a recent update to the processor (like yesterday), container-title-short will be recognized; but collection-title-short and other -short forms will render nothing if form="short" is used to call the "parent" variable. I'll try to work out a general solution to that sometime soonish.
  • but collection-title-short will work if called directly?
  • It would do, but it isn't picked up in response to <text variable="collection-title" form="short"/>. (I realize that the var itself isn't currently legal CSL in any case, but it will be nice for the processor to pick up *-title-short values in this way, with a view to future-proofing as the specification is extended.)
  • One thought—perhaps -short should be possible to append to any non-date variable to give a short form for it?
  • That seems kind of ambitious. Creators, DOI, URL, ISSN, Archive, Abstract?
  • oh, you shouldn't have put DOI in that list... Brenton is rather passionate about short DOIs...

    I think he has a point in general though; it'd obviously have to be part of the specs, but I like the idea of having one simple rule rather than having to decide in the specs which ones need (and needn't) have a short form, even if some (ISBN, ISSN, PMID come to mind) will amost certainly never be used.
  • Yeah, identifiers and URL shouldn’t really be shortened in this way (even shortDOI haha). Didn’t think the proposal through everything—but I am leaning toward agreeing with Sebastian that a general mechanism might be best—for example, A short form of any variable can be specified by appending -short to it. When form="short" is called for variables without a -short form, then either variable-specific shortening rules (names, dates, titles) or the long form of the variable is rendered.

    That would accommodate a lot of things, like institution abbreviations, short titles, etc.
  • That all sounds good. It should be easy enough in the processor to implement a general pattern, and leave it to the spec to control which variables get the treatment.
  • Change is in place and can be released anytime.
  • The latest citeproc-js is available in the latest Zotero beta for testing.
  • (Just in case, the extension in this thread, to recognize -short forms [for any var rendered through `cs:text`] is in the repo master, but hasn't been tagged yet.)
  • edited January 29, 2019
    A related question: is it possible with the Abbreviation Filter plugin (in Juris-m, in my case) to create a test for a collection title abbreviation? I've tried a test for "collection-title-short", but it seems always to return false.

    My case is this: if I cite a classic Greek work, Pausanias' Description of Greece, it looks like this:
    Paus. Descr. 1.20.3 (Jones 99)
    where Jones is the modern edition.
    But if, as in this case, the edition is part of a well-known series, that gets abbreviated, and I cite it as:
    Paus. Descr. 1.20.3 (LCL 45:99)
    where "LCL" is the abbreviated series and "45" is the series number.

    The presence of a collection abbreviation is a reliable arbiter of which form I'd use.

    Any suggestions?
  • Don’t test for container-title-short. Instead, just call <text variable="container-tittle" form="short"/>. That will give the short form if present and the long form otherwise.

    But, yes, Abbreviations Filter can generally do what you are asking if I am understanding you correctly.
  • Thanks for the response.

    Two follow-ups:

    First, the "LCL" in the above example is a series, so shouldn't I be calling "collection-title" rather than "container-title"?

    Second, I should clarify: the abbreviation filter works great for the example above, where there is a short version of the series. But often this isn't the case. So, to take a different example,

    Or. Comm. Rom. 9:42.2 (Vetus Latina: Aus der Geschichte der lateinischen Bibel, 34: 238)

    wouldn't be helpful (nor would an abbreviation like "VL"), because the series isn't a standard. I'd include it in a bibliography, but not in notes.

    Instead, in this case, I'd want to use the editor's name:

    Or, Comm. Rom. 9.42.3 (Bammel 238)

    As a workaround, I've been putting the editor's last name in the Abbreviations Filter as the collection title abbreviation, but I run into problems if I cite two works from the same series.

    Thanks again.

  • Thanks so much for the discussion, all. Sorry I apparently stopped getting emails about new posts in this thread, so I'm just catching up.

    From the discussion, it sounds like something has been updated that should allow Zotero to handle the situation described in my initial post above from 9 January.

    But, I'm sorry to say the technical details have me a bit lost. :-(

    How do I go about storing a full series title (for use, e.g., with Chicago) and a series abbreviation (for use, e.g., with SBL)?

    I've retried putting "collection-title-short: [Abbreviation]" in the Extra field again as suggested above but with the current Zotero version (5.0.60). But, this doesn't seem to use the specified abbreviation (e.g., in SBL style) but always the full-length abbreviation that's saved for that resource.

    Sorry to be slow on this. Any recommendations you have for how best to proceed would be most appreciated!
  • Entering collection-title-short: ABBR at the top of Extra works for me in Zotero 5.0.60. Be sure that you have it entered exactly like I do above (with no space before the colon and a space after) and at the top of the field. Do you have any add-ons installed (i.e., the Propachi add-on; if you that one installed, make sure it is up to date).
  • Thanks, @bwiernik. I've edited the metadata for one of my Zotero resources as shown at the end of this post. For the Society of Biblical Literature style, the first footnote output should be:

    1. Anthony C. Thiselton, The First Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, NIGTC (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000).

    For the CMOS 17 full note style, the output should be:

    1. Anthony C. Thiselton, The First Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000).

    But, when I choose the SBL style, I still get the full series name in the note rather than just the abbreviation.

    Apparently, I'm missing something, but I'm not seeing what. The only addon I have installed is ZotFile, and it's up to date.

    Any suggestions you might have would be most appreciated. Thanks so much!

    <bib:Book rdf:about="urn:isbn:978-0-8028-2449-3">
    <dc:title>New International Greek Testament Commentary</dc:title>
    <vcard:locality>Grand Rapids</vcard:locality>
    <foaf:givenname>Anthony C.</foaf:givenname>
    <link:link rdf:resource="#item_15893"/>
    <link:link rdf:resource="#item_15892"/>
    <dc:identifier>ISBN 978-0-8028-2449-3</dc:identifier>
    <dc:description>collection-title-short: NIGTC</dc:description>
    <z:libraryCatalog>Open WorldCat</z:libraryCatalog>
    <dc:title>The First Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text</dc:title>
    <z:shortTitle>First Epistle to the Corinthians</z:shortTitle>
    <z:Attachment rdf:about="#item_15893">
    <dcterms:dateSubmitted>2009-11-05 21:30:41</dcterms:dateSubmitted>
    <dc:title>Google Books</dc:title>
    <z:Attachment rdf:about="#item_15892">
    <dcterms:dateSubmitted>2016-08-06 12:19:53</dcterms:dateSubmitted>
    <dc:title>Logos Bible Software</dc:title>
  • That RDF appears to be corrupt. Can you export it again and upload the file to Dropbox or similar and link here?

    Try to install the Zotero beta and see if the newest version of the citation processor works for you:
  • I've installed the Beta version of Zotero, but in using that, I'm oddly still getting the same output as I described earlier. The series only changes from "New International Greek Testament Commentary" to "NIGTC" if I put one or the other in the "Series" field. The notation "collection-title-short: NIGTC" added in "Extra" seems to have no effect.

    Sorry about the prior RDF text. Here's the whole file freshly exported and saved in OneDrive:!AgI1lu1aSCSTlKhhIF1LVZdXcDOzQw

    Any other suggestions would be most appreciated.

    Thanks so much!
  • That item definitely works for me for producing the abbreviated citation:
    Thiselton, Anthony C. The First Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text. NIGTC. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000.

    To confirm you are running Zotero 5.0.61-beta.12+d301fb6e4? Try to reinstall the SBL style and to change to a different style and back in your document.
  • This is very strange. The version I downloaded and installed yesterday is 5.0.61-beta.13+db56f002a.

    I had the most recent SBL style already installed in Zotero. But, I removed and reinstalled it. I changed the document to a different style, saved, and closed it. I reopened it and changed it back to the freshly reinstalled SBL style. But, I'm still getting the full series name rather than just the abbreviation.

    I've also opened a brand new document and tried adding a citation there (in case something was wonky with the one I've been working with). The citation still comes out with the full series name.

    I've also tried adding a bibliography to see if that format comes out properly there, but that lists the full series name as well. This is all in Microsoft Word 365 for Windows (16.0.11231.20122).

    To try to rule out a word processor issue, I also installed and tried inserting a citation in LibreOffice Writer And there too, I still get the same full name for the series ("New International Greek Testament Commentary") rather than the specified abbreviation ("NIGTC") when using the freshly downloaded SBL style.

    I've also completely uninstalled and reinstalled Zotero again today (using the same beta noted above). But, the output remains the same.

    Would you have any other suggestions?
  • edited February 7, 2019
    @dstillman @adomasven I can’t reproduce this. Any suggestions?

    Edit: It looks like the beta version you are running has reverted the upgrade to the newer version of the citation processor that includes general support for “-short” forms of variables. Not sure the reason.
  • The newest version of citation processor tripped one of our integration tests, so we had to revert the update.
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