citing cases issue: BJPS style inserts 'Anon' for author

Dear Zotero Colleagues,

I am using the style 'British Journal of Political Science.' I need to cite several cases, for instance Supreme Court Wisconsin v Yoder. I am using the 'Case' item type of this style. The Case Name is 406 U.S. 205 Wisconsin v Yoder. There is an option for 'Author.' The majority opinion was written by Chief Justice Warren E. Burger. But the case citation does not normally include an 'author', but rather the case name only. When I include the citation in the document it includes (Anon, 1972, 214), which does not seem to be the right way to format the case citation, as the details such as court and case number are absent). I've checked the journal style guide and they do not give guidance on citing cases. The more standard way of citing cases in similar styles such as Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition (author-date) would be (406 U.S. 205 Wisconsin v Yoder, 214) (if including a reference to page 214 for example). I wonder if it is possible to update the BJPS style (which otherwise seems to fully conform to the journal style) so that it does not produce the (Anon, 1972, 214) format of reference but rather the more standard one I suggested above please? Thank you very much for your help,
Best wishes,

  • What do the citation guidelines say about this?
    Or can you provide some examples how this dealt with in actual papers (from their .pdfs)?
  • Thank you for your prompt response. The citation guidelines do not cover cases unfortunately.

    I've had a look at an article that uses US cases, and here is an example (from a pdf):

    Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 109 S.Ct. 3040 (1989)
    Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978).

    I'd be happy to provide further information if helpful. Thanks again.
  • @damnation I suggest just following the Bluebook for legal materials. You can copy the legal-cites macro from the APA 7 pull request. It’s self-contained.
  • edited December 23, 2019
    Hi @philip123cook,

    I have now added a conditional into the author macro that if the item type is legal_case that it prints out the "title" field (Case Name).
    The new style will update automatically with the next update of Zotero, or you can just download it again.
  • Dear @damnation thank you very much indeed for your help with this. Sorry for slow reply, I've been on holidays and only just seen this. I've downloaded the style and used it, and it is a big improvement on the earlier version. Thank you for your work on it. I have a couple of comments for feedback:

    I have entered the data into the fields for 'case' as follows:

    Item Type: Case
    Case Name: Wisconsin v. Yoder
    Author: blank
    Abstract: blank
    Court: U.S.
    Date Decided: 1972
    Docket Number: blank
    Reporter: U.S.
    Reporter Volume: 406
    First Page: 205
    remaining fields blank

    the output i get in my document is formatted as:

    (Wisconsin v. Yoder 1972, 406:230–31)

    I've checked back to the references in previous editions of the journal and they include the 'Reporter', and also the normal order seems to be:

    Case Name, Reporter Volume Number, Reporter, First page of case (or specific pages), (Date Decided [in brakets])

    so I think the reference should be:

    Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972)

    A smaller point, the output from the current file does not include a space between the Reporter Volume and the pages cited, so as I copied and pasted the reference above the formatting is '406:230-31', whereas I think it should be '406: 230-31'

    I hope these comments are helpful. I should mention I do not normally cite cases in my research so I may be mistaken about some things, so please do let me know if I am citing things wrongly rather than issues with the formatting in Zotero.

    Thanks again for your help.
  • edited January 6, 2020
    I assume you added the "406" for the in-text citation via the page field yourself. If you'd want a space there, you can add it yourself. Otherwise I can actually make the style print out the volume field for legal-cases, so one just would need to input the page.
    Made some changes in this file.

    (Could you differentiate more clearly between in-text citations and bibliography? When you come back to a style after a few weeks it always takes some time to get your head around it again. so the clearer the easier. Thx)
  • edited January 6, 2020
    Dear @damnation, thanks again for your response/clarifications. Apologies for causing confusion by lack of clarity, I forgot to explain I was referring to the in-text citations and not the bibliography above. I'll try to be clearer:

    In the in-text citation I think the citation needs to include the Reporter field (in the example I am using above: 'U.S.'), so the in-text citation would result in:

    Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972)

    at the moment the in-text citation in my document doesn't include the 'Reporter' field.

    In the bibliography the following is outputted:

    Wisconsin v. Yoder. 1972, 406 U.S. 205. U.S.

    I think the final 'U.S.' should be omitted. As I noted in my 12.24pm post above, I am using both 'Court' field and 'Reporter' field. I think, from looking at this discussion, that in Supreme Court cases the 'Court' is omitted becase the 'Reporter' field makes it clear which court the case was heard in:

    But in other courts, both fields would be used.

    So I think the output in the Bibliography should be:

    Wisconsin v. Yoder. 1972, 406 U.S. 205

    About the spacing issue in the in-text citation: the 406 was from the 'Reporter Volume Field' and the '230-31' was added as specific pages in the Zotero 'Add/Edit Citation' box when I added the citation. I was wondering if it is possible to format the in-text citation to output a space between the 'Reporter Volume' field and the specific page references so it would look like this in an in-text citation:

    Wisconsin v. Yoder 1972, 406 U.S.: 214 (for example) rather than Wisconsin v. Yoder 1972, 406:214 (which is what I'm getting currently).

    Update: after writing this a few minutes ago, I went back to my doc to check I'd explained everything and refreshed the doc in Zotero add-in, now the in-text and bibliography references have reverted back to the original version that I had problems with, which just outputs:

    (Anon 1972) - in-text
    Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972). - bibliography

    I clicked your '' link above and am not sure if that has caused the style to change back to the original version. I'm afraid I'm not very computer literate so I'm a bit confused and hope I am explaining everything properly. I've deleted the BJPS style from my Zotero, re-installed from the style library again, but now am still getting the 'Anon' version. I'd be very grateful for your continued help! Thank you.
  • edited January 7, 2020

    Thank you for the clarification.

    The style probably reverted as your Zotero got updated and the BJPS got overwritten with the one from the repository.

    Anyway, I have now adapted the in-text citation so it will output like this when the author is suppressed:
    Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972)

    The bibliography will output this now:
    Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972), 406 U.S. 205. (right click, save as, install in Zotero with a doubleclick or via the menu)
  • Dear @damnation, thank you again for your prompt and constructive response.

    I've downloaded and refreshed the doc with the updated style and it all seems perfect!

    I really appreciate your patience and effort (not least explaining how to download and install from the link, which I didn't know how to do previously!).

    Each time I've turned to the Zotero forums for help with something I've been very impressed with the prompt and constructive help, and it gives me great confidence to carry on using Zotero. I also promote it to my students given my positive experience.

    Thank you very much again!
  • I see. Hence my confusion. You never installed the style before.

    Glad it works now.
  • Thank you very much!

  • Dear @damnation,

    I'm continuing to work with this style, and I think I've come across a related issue to the cases/Anon above - I'm citing a UK statute, using 'Item Type: Statute'

    Name of Act: Equality Act
    Author: N/A
    Code: N/A
    Public Law Number: N/A
    Date Enacted: 2010
    remaining fields blank

    when I insert the in-text citation using this style I get:

    (Anon 2010)

    reference list:

    Anon (2010) Equality Act (in italics)

    I wonder if the same principle could be applied to this item type too, where the Name of Act is outputted instead of author?

    Sorry to make more work, and thanks for your continued help.
  • Also, I've noticed that in the reference list, both the case name (and the Name of Act) should be in bold in the reference list.

    The current style does bold all the authors' names, but currently it does not bold the case name, and it would be great if you are able to enable the 'Name of Act' to be in bold in the reference list if addressing the 'Statute' issue I've just posted about.

    Thank you again.
  • edited January 10, 2020
    Can you exactly show me how you want to have the case and legislation pieces look in the bibliography?
    You can use these html tags to format the output correctly:
    <b>bold text</b>
    <i>bold text</i>

    Try this. I completely removed the "anonymous" macro and it will always show the title if there is no author.
  • edited January 10, 2020
    Dear @damnation, thanks for your reply, I'll try to set out the formatting:

    Case: Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972) 406 U.S. 205.

    So I think it's bolding the 'Case Name' field

    Statute: Equality Act (2010) c. 15. Available at: (Accessed: 9 January 2020)

    So I think it's 'bolding' the 'Name of Act' field

    I notice that bibliographies should include the 'chapter number' in the reference to UK Acts of Parliament ('c. 15' in the case of the Equality Act I am referencing), but I don't see a field for 'Chapter Number' in Zotero for 'Statute' and wonder if it is possible to include it, or perhaps advise which field might be a suitable alternative?

    I hope this is clear, let me know if you need any further information, and thanks for your help.
  • edited January 10, 2020
    Da weiß ich leider nicht, wo es am Besten ist das Kapitel einzugeben.

    @adamsmith, hast du vielleicht eine Empfehlung?

  • I'd go with Session in Zotero, especially given its CSL mapping to chapter-number (I doubt that's in the legal citations, though, since those are optimized for US materials)
  • Thanks for the recommendation.

    I have made the changes. Note that you have deviated a bit from the formatting for the URL and access date. I kept that in line with the formatting for webpages.

    Please give this a test run:
  • Dear @damnation, many thanks again for your continued help. I've installed the new version and used it today, and all seems spot-on! I will continue to work on the paper I am using the style for in the near future so will check in again if I find any other issues.

    I really appreciate your continued support to work on the style. Thank you.
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