classical citations

Most often, citations to classical works in Latin, or Greek -- are in
a standard form that is independent of what physical edition is being used.
for example, a reference to Aeschylus, The Suppliants, lines 40-57
will be given like this:

Aeschylus. Supplices 40-57

A reference to Thucydides The Peloponnesian War
might be given as Thucydides 4.8.3-9

see for other examples, and more discussion.
so, i wonder how one goes about inserting a new type that would support this
sort of reference? one of my thoughts is to allow difference resolvers for
different openURL formats, since this work depends on a specific resolver.

  • I've had the same problem with citing St. Augustine. No answers...

  • The Bluebook for legal citation has a similar example for citations to the Bible.

    The format of the cite is independent, not only of the physical edition, but also of the citation style used? Examples of what doesn't work correctly would help us figure out what the problem is an how to solve it.
  • Would you be able to clarify what you mean? Thanks
  • Perhaps I misunderstood. Is this issue about citation formatting, or about the behavior of openURL resolvers?
  • Oh I don't know anything about openURL resolvers. I was just wondering how one formats the citation...
  • Hmm. There may be two formatting issues here. The item needs a particular citation format in the text or footnote, but should it also be suppressed in the bibliography? If that's so, an item type for material of this kind may be needed.

    Concerning the format of the citation in the text, my point was that some citation style will govern the formatting of other, non-classical references in the document. Is the form "Aeschylus. Supplices 40-57" meant to be used regardless of whether the chosen citation style for other references is, say, Chicago Note or MLA?
  • I think this format *is* used regardless of chosen citation style. E.g. if I want to refer to Augustine's work De doctrina christiana / On Christian Teaching, I'll write: DDC 2.28; WSA I/11, 144. (Latin; English translation), and that will be the case whether my preference is MLA or Chicago or Turabian. Presently I'm sticking with Chicago with Full Note and Bibliography; in the bibliography the full bibliographical information for the English translation should appear.

  • The simplest thing would be to decouple the citation from the bibliography entry. So you would register the English translation independently, as an uncited reference for inclusion in the bibliography, and we would need a special type for "classical" or "standard reference" items, that inserts a simplified reference in-text, and does not appear in the bibliography.

    Does that sound like a workable solution?
  • Registering the English translation independently is fine. But is there a special type for "classical" or "standard reference" items in the present plug-in?

  • No, not yet. It would be a feature of the CSL processor; the plugin doesn't need to know anything about the special behavior. Some provision needs to be made to suppress inclusion in the bibliography for particular items. At the moment, I'm thinking that it would be enough to add a "classical" item type to CSL, and to suppress all bibliography output for such items. I'll float the proposal with the CSL group, and we'll see what emerges.
  • Okay, that sounds great--thanks. If you could see to it that there is a provision for both the source text and the English translation(s), that would be particularly helpful. I know that I'm not the only person who will have experienced this--historians and classical scholars in particular work with primary texts with strange notations like Augustine's all day.

    Thank you
  • waboo - what I'd suggest you do for now is to just write the in-text citation per hand (i.e. without any Zotero involvement) and then add them to the bibliography using the "edit bibliography" function.
  • adamsmith, I was going to do that, but the problem is that it will mess with the "Ibid." system--e.g. "Ibid." will seem to refer to an intervening classical text rather than the intended contemporary text that appears much before it.
  • ok, then try this: insert the reference, but use the "show editor" field to modify it to the form you want - I believe that should work - it won't update anymore, but that doesn't seem like a problem.
  • Yeah, that's an okay workaround. It's not a great one, but I suppose for now it will do. Thanks
  • edited November 25, 2009
    This issue won't make it into CSL 1.0 and the first release of the new processor (early next year). But when the new processor comes out, a less painful workaround may be available, if selective bibliography output is possible. We'll have to wait and see how things develop.

    PS: If you're interested in the nitty-gritty behind the scenes, the documentation on the processor functionality for selective production of bibliographies is here. Zotero would need to provide a mechanism for passing through category tags to the processor's bibliography function. With that in place, it would just be a matter of working out how to produce the desired in-text form in the in-text or in-footnote citations in the style.
  • I have similar problems when I cite Church Fathers or Medieval works. I don't think Zotero wants to know about all the numbers involved when one is citing a commentary on Peter Lombard's sentences, but there needs to be a way to suppress ibid. when it doesn't make sense because of intervening non-Zotero citations.

    I can edit the citations as adamsmith suggests, but I think that a simpler option would be for the Add/Edit Citation dialog to have a "suppress ibid." checkbox next to the "suppress author" one. This saves users from manually creating the citation (possibly with typos) and means that the citation can automatically turn into a full one if it becomes the first one due to the deletion of the previous citation (not unlikely in a document like a book or thesis).
  • Zotero 2.1 will account for non-Zotero footnotes when evaluating the position of a cite, both when the citations are originally created, and when any citation in the document is subsequently edited. There shouldn't be a need for a manual override.
  • Sorry for bringing this up again. I was wondering how I should deal with citations of classical texts in the following case (using Chicago note):

    I will have the following series of footnotes:

    1. Doe, Title, 10.

    2. The source for this topos is TB Sotah 8a. See also ibid., 11.

    TB is the babylonian Talmud and entered manually. The ibid. refers to "Doe, Title" from note 1. The "ibid." is misplace here. Is there a way to avoid the "ibid." in that place?
  • With "TB Sotah 8a" entered manually, no, I don't see a way to avoid the ibid. and continue to have ibid in general (there is obviously the no ibid version of the style).
  • Ok. If I want to continue to have ibid in general what might be the best way to input the "TB Sotah 8a"? Right now, I have created a dummy entry that I cite in these rather rare occasions. I then edit the citation via the citation editor, and I also exclude this dummy entry from the bibliography. Is there something more elegant? I think I've seen that MLZ has a classical entry type, but I'm not sure about that. Any suggestions?
  • With regular Zotero what you're doing is exactly right (in the sense of being the best available solution), yes.
    With MLZ and the abbreviation filter plugin you can configure an abbreviation (like TB or TB Sotah) for a classical source and it will be excluded from the bibliography automatically so this may well be worthwhile for you to explore. Personally my recommendation would be to test MLZ in a separate Firefox profile rather than update your regular Zotero copy, since going back from MLZ is a bit cumbersome (though not impossible).
  • Ok, I will try it. Thanks for your help. Are there any serious drawbacks of MLZ over regular Zotero besides database incompatibility?
  • The fact that there is no Standalone version is probably the biggest one.
    Also, while Frank has been very good about supporting it and by all accounts it's been very stable, you do have less support infrastructure and it has fewer users, so you do get less testing.
  • Ok. I'll keep that in mind.

    Is there any chance that some of MLZ's features are going to be in standard Zotero any time? Or is there a special reason why they are not? The abbreviation filter seems to be a very interesting feature. Also the multilingual capabilities.
  • In general, the MLZ fork is meant to be temporary, so most of the features are intended for eventual inclusion into Zotero, yes. Zotero devs may decide against some or change how they are implemented and it's likely going to take a good amount of time, but the general answer is yes.
    The biggest reason they're not currently implemented is that doing this right would require database model changes and those in turn affect syncing so implementing these changes is rather complex. There are changes under way that should make this easier in the future. A first update of fields and item types is planned for 4.2

    The abbreviation filter does, I believe, already work with regular Zotero, but the specific functionality you're after wouldn't work because Zotero doesn't have classical sources.
  • Hi everyone,
    I am a new user of Zotero, and absolutely fresh user of references management programs.
    I am running Word on MAC ad just installed Zotero to manage references for my project.
    I am working in field of philology and refer often to critical editions of sources (medieval literature).
    Do I understand it correctly that there is no way to generate automatically separate bibliography of primary sources (sorted by title) and secondary literature (sorted by author/editor) and all the references to the primary sources have to be done manually?

    If yes it is really unfortunate. Does anyone know if/when such a feature will be added?
  • That's basically correct, yes. One can force workarounds, but none of them are particularly satisfying.
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