Short/long name for institutional author


I am having a situation where I am quoting a quite number of institutional authors, for example the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) or ASA (Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth) etc etc.

In quotes, I would like to only use the acronym (e.g. " stipulated by their ethics framework (ESRC 2010)...") while in the bibliography I would really like to have the long form included after the name (e.g. ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council). 2010. Framework for Research Ethics. Swindon: ESRC). Of course, if I put "ESRC" as author in the zotero data base, only "ESRC" is indicated in the bibliography, while entering the long name causes this long name pop up in every single citation, which is looks horrible (some citations contain 4-5 such names - when I tested this to see how it looks like I had citations spreading over 6 lines...)

Is there a way to accomplish that in zotero? (I know I could include these in my list of acronyms, but that is not the question here) If so, how? If not, could this be considered a feature request?

Thanks for any help,

P.S. I have searched the forum and not found anything useful. This might not be due to the information not being contained in the forums but rather me not being able to come up with useful search terms, in which case I apologise and would kindly ask to divert me to the relevant place. Thanks.
  • This is related to previous discussions (you can search for) on journal abbreviations. It's not supported, in part because it's a tricky issue.
  • thanks for the reply. I guess that mean manual editing of references, then.
    thanks again.
  • edited May 16, 2010
    @kreuschan, As a hackaround, you can try registering the acronyms in Zotero, and then do a find-and-replace in the bibliography at the final stage of document preparation.
  • Hi,

    Since my original question I have started to learn how to manipulate/write CSL and have thus been able to find a workable solution. I am using the person field "contributor" (which I am not otherwise using) as a "short author" field.

    I am then using this field to record the author the way I want it to appear in in-text citations while the normal author field continues to hold the actual full name of the author. In the example above, "contributor" would be "ESRC" while "author" would be ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council).

    In CSL, then, for the in-text citations, I check whether an zotero item has a "contributor"/"short author" and if it does, I use it, otherwise the normal author is used. For the bibliography, however, "author" is always used. [on a side, with the flexibility so afforded I can now also solve other tricky citations like "B. Metz, O.R. Davidson, P.R. Bosch, R. Dave, L.A. Meyer (eds). 2007. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge UP" which in in-text citations I prefer to cite as simply as "IPCC". In this example, setting "contributor" to "IPCC" and recording all the other names as usual makes this possible)

    Now while this works for me as perfectly suitable workaround, obviously it forces my to stick to my own customised CSL. But, it also has pointed me toward a possible solution for zotero as a whole: wouldn't it be possible/desirable to add an additional "person type" to the standard zotero data model, ie. to add "person-short" (or whatever suitable name) to the current list of "author", "editor", "translator" etc. Styles (at least those that do in-text citations) could then check this field and use it accordingly.

    Just a thought?
  • The problem wih a "person-short" field would be that the abbreviated form may vary across styles. The citeproc-js processor will recognize short-form institutional names, but they need to be supplied externally, as an abbreviations list.

    Work is in progress that will cover these issues. Please pay a visit to the CitationStylist site and read through the documents; I think you'll find it's all there. (The key in this case will be the abbreviations plugin, together with institutional author support.)
  • Frank - while you're here, what's the status of the Abbreviations Gadget?
  • wouldn't it be possible/desirable to add an additional "person type" to the standard zotero data model, ie. to add "person-short" (or whatever suitable name) to the current list of "author", "editor", "translator" etc.
    Yes, but I wouldn't call a person a source type; it'd just mean treating contributors as objects, rather than strings.

    Re: fbennett's point:
    The problem wih a "person-short" field would be that the abbreviated form may vary across styles.
    Yes, but that could still be addressed with the above solution; easier to do if contributors are objects.
  • edited August 26, 2011
    @adamsmith: It's still on the drawing board. Maybe a month or two away.

    @bdarcus: Creators should all be objects, but kreuschan's current solution relies of coding the author field as a static, style-specific string as well:
    In the example above, "contributor" would be "ESRC" while "author" would be ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council).
  • While this is far from a timely response maybe it'll be of use to you in another project or someone else...

    Maybe not I'm not sure what software you use to write, I was writing in LaTeX and had the same problem, the cite alias option worked for me

    in preamble:
    \defcitealias{centers_for_medicare_and_medicaid_services2013bundled}{CMS, 2013}

    then where you want reference:

    I hope it helps (someone)
  • +1 for this feature being implemented. Biblatex supports short authors.
  • edited December 1, 2014
    This behavior has been implemented in the word processor plugins with the Abbreviation Filter plugin, which is compatible with regular Zotero for Firefox and Standalone and is available here:, if that is useful for you
  • I know this is an old thread, but I've been searching all over for a way to use abbreviations for institutional authors in subsequent citations (APA 6)--no joy. I use Zotero standalone, with MS Word add-in. A workaround I've found (using Classic add citation dialog) is to add the first citation, then type (in Word) the bracketed abbreviation. For subsequent citations, I add the citation, click "suppress author", and in the "prefix" box, I type the abbreviation followed by a comma. This keeps all but the first citation from changing when I refresh citations. Not ideal, but easier than changing every one manually in Word.
  • I'm trying to download the abbreviation filter, but nothing seems to be happening. Are there updated instructions on this?
  • Where are you downloading Abbreviations Filter from?
  • I found a link on a thread here somewhere, but I'm not to sure which one since I was searching quite a bit to see if I could find the answer. I downloaded Juris-M Abbreviation Filter 1.1.35 and it shows in my list of extensions on Firefox, but I can't see an abbreviation button anywhere, neither in Word when I enter/edit citation, nor in Standalone.
  • Try downloading the current version of the plugin from here:
  • Tried downloading again, it seems to be the same one I downloaded before. Is it possible it isn't working because I'm using a custom citation style?
  • It wouldn't have anything to do with your citation style. Are you using the Quick Citation dialog (with the red border) or the Classic Dialog (with full librabry views)? What version of Zotero?

    @fbennett Any ideas?
  • I am using the classic view and Zotero is version I wonder if the abbreviation filter will do what I was looking for. We use it mainly for laws and regulations where the name of the ministry is very long, can be 6 words, and is commonly referred to by an acronym. I was hoping to be able to put only the acronym in the in-text reference, but the full name in the bibliography with the acronym in parentheses.
  • Ah. I don't believe the plugin works with Classic View. Switch to the Quick Citation view.
  • Still nothing. I think I will uninstall Zotero standalone and reinstall it to see if it will make a difference.
  • Just had a thought, will I lose all my libraries if I uninstall?
  • That won't help, but no you won't lose your libraries. I'd recommend waiting for @fbennett the plugin developer to chime in.
  • thank you bwiernik, I have gone over to that thread and now can see the abbreviation button, but it is greyed out. I suspect it is because I don't have a json file, but I haven't quite figured out how to create a json file.
  • I'm going to try to put some work into the AF plugin this weekend. There are a lot of other things on the desk here, but I'll try to get three things in place:

    - File imports (which are apparently broken ATM)

    - Inclusion of the Zotero abbreivations list in the bundle of pre-installed list data

    - Amendments to documentation to explain the current behavior of the plugin

    We'll see how I go during the next couple of days, but we'll try to smooth out the rough edges on the plugin fairly soon.
  • I was running into this same issue. I managed to install it and I even see the Abbrevs. button, but I don't understand how to use it.

    I imagine that I have to create a .json with my own abbreviations? The import button doesn't work either (nothing happens).
  • There seems to be a problem running the plugin in Zotero. I'm investigating, should have it working again in the next couple of days.
  • edited August 21, 2017
    I think this would be useful for me since many items in my library have institutions as authors. Frank (or someone else): could you please describe in a few sentences what this add-on does and how much work is required from me to make it work?

    Update: I skimmed through this thread, but still wondering what are the use cases for this add-on. If it's journal abbreviations, isn't Zotero proper taking care of that now?
  • The plugin permits a wider variety of abbreviations and abbreviations types (journals, institutions, etc.).
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