Automatic "THE" prefixed to meeting names

For the "meeting name" (e.g., conference name) for "Presentations", Zotero automatically adds the word "the":

Bachmann, Ingo. 2010. Sit-Ving vs. sit-and-V: Determinants of variation in the verbal complement of sit. Paper presented at the ICAME 31, University of Giessen, Germany.

Entry includes: [Meeting name: ICAME 31]

Some conferences just don't need "the" as a prefix. (The example above is one.)

This happens in almost all styles that include the meeting name. (Exceptions are MLA and Vancouver, apparently, with no text introducing it, not even "Presented at".)

What is the best way to handle this?
Manually editing would be hard to remember because this is easy to miss while skimming.

Note: I searched for quite a while to try to find someone who had already asked this but it's not effective to search for the word "the" and other keywords didn't come up with anything.
  • This is controlled by the CSL locale (language/translation) files. To drop the "the", you can add a custom locale section to the style. Add this near the top of the style CSL file (after the "info" section):
    <locale xml:lang="en">
    <term name="presented at">presented at</term>

    If the style already has a "locale" section, then just add the "term" line to it.

    Generally, I would recommend formatting the conference/meeting name so that it is more comprehensible to someone new to your field, which would usually also make "the" fit (e.g., International Computer Archive of Modern and Medieval English [ICAME] 31).
  • edited July 31, 2018
    Thank you. That works!

    Ideally, this could be optionally removed for certain entries, but that would become complicated. Mostly my concern would be reformatting my entries to add "the" and then switching to another style that would double it.

    Yes, most of the time entries can be rephrased in that way, but sometimes it is just inappropriate. The example I gave was just the first I found (I don't think I've ever seen "ICAME" written out-- it's just cited like that).

    Some examples of when it is inappropriate:
    1. When the title of the event is not in English. This is awkward, though not completely "wrong".
    2. When the event name is described differently, for example: "Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life and Interstellar Communication: An Informal Discussion" (a workshop held in 1961 that started the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence). Odd formatting for this event in general, but "an informal discussion" is what it was called, not "the...".
    3. Similarly, when the event is a description, especially plural: "New Reflections on Grammaticalisation V" or "New Ways of Analyzing Variation (NWAV) 1994" or "Revisiting Parameters: Holmberg and Platzack (1995) Reloaded" or "Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research (TISLR) 8". And not always plural: "Coordination / Subordination in Lisbon".
    4. When the abbreviations is preferred to the full title (as is not uncommon for conferences).
    5. Simply when the title is not customarily preceded by "the" even though that variant is acceptable. For example, "Syntax of the World's Languages VII" or "Berkeley Linguistic Society 28" are typically phrased just like that, no "the" necessary (but it doesn't hurt to add it).

    For about 90% of my entries, though, "the" is fine.
  • For 3 and 4, try “ICAME 31 conference/meeting”. For 2, I’d say it’s rare enough to just delete “the” manually at the end of editing.

  • edited July 31, 2018
    That's not what those events are actually called, though. Citation styles shouldn't rename events.

    Yes, these rare cases can be manually edited. The problem is remembering to do so. Our brains don't naturally process "the" when skimming through texts, so this is actually hard to proofread.

    Based on our other discussion [ ] I am trying to see whether it's possible to somehow flag problematic entries (that is, looking into customizing it). If so, that would be an easy solution to the handful of odd events, and in general it would remain helpful to automatically add "the" for most.
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