A question about sentence case

edited January 5, 2020
Some styles (e.g., APA) require that titles of books be written out in sentence case in the reference list, but that the first word following a colon be capitalised (e.g., "Handbook of psychology: Research methods in psychology" or "How biology shapes philosophy: New foundations for naturalism"). If the entry in my Zotero library doesn't capitalise the first word following a colon, will Zotero automatically correct this when it compiles the reference list in a document? Or should I ensure that the entries within the database are formatted correctly first? What do you think best practice would be here?
  • https://www.zotero.org/support/kb/sentence_casing

    "Zotero will automatically capitalize the subtitle for styles that require it."
  • edited January 5, 2020
    "Some styles that require sentence case, such as APA, also require that the first letter of the subtitle following a colon also be uppercase (“Age and environmental sustainability: A meta-analysis”). Zotero will automatically capitalize the subtitle for styles that require it."

    Thanks dstillman. This sounds good and it looks like I won't have to worry about whether the entry in the library is formatted as "Age and environmental sustainability: A meta-analysis" or "Age and environmental sustainability: a meta-analysis."

    Do you happen to know whether other styles, besides APA, tend to prefer capitalising the first word after a colon? From what I can tell, when I import entries, most of the time they appear in sentence case without the first word after the colon being capitalised. So I've always assumed that this is just more or less standard, and that APA Style is a deviation from that.

    (I'm just trying to figure out whether it would be better to leave imported items as they are and let Zotero take care of it when citing or whether I should manually capitalise the first word of the subtitle after importing. Because while Zotero might do the correct thing, if I export the reference and use it elsewhere, such as in BibLaTeX, it's not clear whether I would get the desired result.)
  • Yes, it is pretty much just APA and styles based on it that capitalize after the colon. You should enter your titles with a lowercase letter after the colon. If you encounter a journal or publisher who wants them uppercase for a non-APA style, post here and that can be added to the list.
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