Issue number but no volume number for journal

Any suggestions as to how to format an entry in Zotero (I'm actually using Juris-M but that shouldn't matter for this purpose) for an article in a journal has no volume numbers but has issue numbers that restart every year? This is common among academic journals in China: the "volume number" will be the year and each issue (which has separate pagination) is numbered 1 through n.

An issue number without a volume number is clearly wrong, since it will be treated as a running issue number; the year in the volume position also looks odd. Moreover, there may not be a date more precise than the year associated with the issue.

It's not even clear from the Chicago Manual (my preferred style) how this should be formatted, but the best option seems to be something like (in a bibliography):

Author, Alice. "Disquisitions on Matters of Some Importance." Journal of Conceptual Inquiry 2009, no. 7 (2009): 73-102.

It seems redundant to give the year twice, and potentially misleading to have 2009 in the volume position (this might be the journal's first year of publication, or its hundredth), but I don't see any other way to handle it. Ideas (both in terms of how this should go into Zotero and how the citation should look)?

  • Although it does look odd. Both major cataloging standards recommend year for the volume. That is, in reality what it is. (Volume numbering doesn't begin with 1. /s)

    That is the way these items are included in every literature database I know.

    I cannot say for certain what Chicago style manual requires but I know that reference lists of a couple of economics journals print year for volume when the actual journal doesn't list it. (Sebastian, can you confirm this? I'm thinking of U Chicago Press journals.)
  • Thanks. In that case it might make sense for the CNKI site translator (for the database that has most Chinese academic journals) to put the year in the volume position when there's no other volume number.
  • Thankfully, the Chicago Manual (which really is the answer to almost everything in the universe) does tell us what to do here:

    When a journal uses issue numbers only, without volume numbers, a comma follows the journal title.

    Beattie, J. M. “The Pattern of Crime in England, 1660–1800.” Past and Present, no. 62 (1974): 47–95.

    Better still, we have already implement this in the CSL/Zotero version of the style, so this will work out of the box if you just leave the volume field empty.
  • edited December 19, 2015

    But that is for issue numbers that are continuous, as is the case for Past and Present, the journal used in the CMS example cited. The CMS editors seem to have assumed that using issue numbers meant numbering continuously, but that is not always so. The journals that I'm talking about restart their numbering at every year, so the year functions as a kind of volume number. It seems like we have two choices:

    Beattie, J. M. “The Pattern of Crime in England, 2015–2115.” Present and Future, no. 2 (2015): 47–95.


    Beattie, J. M. “The Pattern of Crime in England, 2015–2115.” Present and Future 2015, no. 2 (2015): 47–95.

    The first seems wrong because it doesn't uniquely identify the issue: there has been a "no. 2" every year since the founding of the journal. The second looks odd because of (a) the duplicated year and (b) the mistaken impression that 2015 is the volume number.

  • I don't see why the first citation wouldn't uniquely identify the citation. The year is right there, after the issue number. CMoS is an eminently practical manual. What good would it do to repeat the year? (Also, 14.181 doesn't limit the applicability to journals with continuous issues)
  • In 14.181, the CMS editors say

    When only a date is available, it becomes an indispensable element and should therefore not be enclosed in parentheses; a comma follows the journal title and the date.

    In the case I cite above, the date is indispensable to identifying the issue, so by this logic it should not be in parentheses.

  • If you feel strongly about it (why?), you can contact CMoS editors for advice. They often reply to e-mails. I think our reading of the manual is correct and the style (and translators) is fine as is, but who knows.

    We could potentially reconsider if they disagree with our reading of this, but it would also turn this into an impossible-to-automate situation (because then, presumably, the correct citation would just be 2002, no. 2, but we have no way of distinguishing that from the Past&Present citation in Zotero. I would be very, very surprised if they endorsed your 2nd option).
  • I don't care too much as long as it's consistent; above all I want to make sure that the way I'm structuring records in Zotero will yield acceptable results. I will contact the editors to inquire, though. Thanks for the feedback.
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