E-Book citations

E-book citations are a modern necessity. Many Zotero users on the forum have requested that the program be updated to include a separate e-book citation format for data entry because e-books are not cited in the same way as print books. Researchers are continually attempting to find workarounds for an issue which becomes more prevalent each day. Every textbook for the graduate research class that I am enrolled in now is a Kindle and my papers must adhere to APA standards.

APA requires that the bibliography entry for a Kindle e-book include that designation to be enclosed in brackets ––not parentheses–– immediately after the title and before the period (Lee, 2011). However, "[Kindle]" must not be italicized. Therefore using the "edition" line in Zotero does not work because that results in italics. Using the "publisher" line does not work because although it does put the bracketed word in the correct place it also adds a period before and after the bracketed word. Utilizing the "extra" line does nothing because it doesn't print. Furthermore, APA requires that in-text citations of e-books must include the following parameters: Author, Year, Chapter, Section, para., none of which are readily supported in Zotero (Lee, 2011). Please make our lives easier by creating an e-book citation entry method in Zotero.

Thank you.

Lee, C. (2011, March 6). How do you cite an e-book (e.g., Kindle book)? Retrieved August 5, 2018, from http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2011/06/how-do-you-cite-an-e-book.html
  • Just enter these as a Book item (or Book Section for a single chapter). If you want to indicate the format that you are reading (Kindle, etc.), enter this in Extra like this:
    Medium: Kindle book

    That will add [Kindle book] in brackets according to APA style.

    Regarding in-text citations, the preferred method for referring to locations is still page numbers. Most modern e-book formats indicate the corresponding page numbers for the print edition. These are the preferred locators because they are consistent across formats and devices. In the case that page numbers are not available, APA style wants some other form of locator, such as chapter or paragraph number, but as indicated at the blog post you linked to, these are used only in the case that actual page numbers are not available because they are less useful.

    Zotero does support a variety of locators, including chapter and paragraph. In the Word add-on window, click the blue bubble for the citation, then click the Page drop down box to select chapter, paragraph, etc. If you want to do both Chapter and Paragraph number, choose Chapter and then enter it like this:
    2, para. 2

    If you want to refer to a type of location that is not in the list (e.g., Table), use the Suffix field instead.

    See https://www.zotero.org/support/word_processor_plugin_usage#customizing_cites
  • Thank you very much! You definitely need a cape.
  • Hi. Chicago (at least the 16th edition) requires that the indication of the book format to appear at the end of the citation. However, when I put this in the medium field, it appears next to the chapter title (I'm citing a book section). Is there a way to put this indication at the end of the bibliographic entry?
  • I'm interested to know about this too @vcg225 Have you found a work around?
  • Sadly, no, @skamwedge I just do a manual edit of the bibliographic entry...
  • edited September 9, 2020
    Hey @vcg225 I have been playing around today and realised that by adding "Kindle" to the URL field it appears to correctly place it at the end of both a footnote and bibliography entry. Once I create the bibliography I delink the citations and remove the hyper link. So, for me at least, that might be a reasonable work around in most cases.

    *Edited* I wrote accessed instead of URL field.
  • Don’t store data in the wrong fields. That’s not a good practice that could yield bad results across styles. The correct way to specify the format for a book is to add this to Extra:
    Medium; Kindle

    If that doesn’t show up, the citation style needs to be edited. What style are you using?
  • Hey @bwiernik I realise that it is not good practice - but using the Extra field as you specify incorrectly places the Kindle after the title not at the end of the citation as per the style requirement. Turabian, Chicago, SBL depending on the requirement. Editing the style is not really up my alley... happy to take help though! Thanks.
  • If the placement is incorrect, then the best approach is to correct the style, not muck up your data. What exactly are you saying is incorrect in those styles and what do you think it should be?
  • It's the placement of the medium for ebooks.
    Our style currently does
    Begley, Adam. Updike. Kindle. New York: Harper, 2014.
    it should be
    Begley, Adam. Updike. New York: Harper, 2014. Kindle.

    footnotes are trickier
  • Yeah @adamsmith describes it nicely. According to the Turabian 'A Manual for Writers' 9th Edition, the app/device/medium/doi/database information needs to go at the end of both the Footnote (after a comma) and Bibliography entry (after a fullstop).
  • problem with footnotes being that this comes after the locator, if any, which is a mess.
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