Journal and Series Abbrev.'s for Chicago & other styles.

For my thesis, I eventually need to be able to use abbreviations for both Journal and Series titles (using Chicago MS Notes citation styles).

I assume the ability to do this with ease is a longer (post 1.0) project. It seems like it would take the following elements:

1. Series Abbreviations added to the UI and database.

2. Some kind of Abbreviation list manager for Journal and Series abbreviations. Without this its hard to make sure you keep to standard abbreviations, and it's a lot of manual work to type in abbreviations to each entry. A web service for standardizing names and abbreviations (discussed here in the forums) is another good solution, with obvious longer term benefits, but list management (such as JabRef) has, would make the problem quite manageable from a user's point of view, and perhaps give the user more control (over different abbreviation standards, or different requirements for when to use abbreviations and when to use full titles)

3. Citation styles should probably have the option of defaulting to abbreviations or defaulting to full names (for both Journal and Series titles). If you have this option and allow swapping out of abbrev lists, then (it seems to me) you cover the most common possibilities for publisher/institutional requirements.

4. Depending on what the style sheets actually say (and I would be willing to help with the research when the time comes) citation styles should probably have the option including or omitting series names from the reference list, as well as the option to include the series name but not the number. They may discretionary. At least it seems that writers treat them that way in practice.
  • scot: on style configuration to default to abbreviated form, you can just create a macro:

    <macro name="periodical-title">
    <text variable="container-title" form="short"/>

    ... or use a more general one:

    <macro name="container-title">
    <if type="article">
    <text variable="container-title" form="short"/>
    <text variable="container-title"/>
  • I'm with Scot. I need to be able to use abbreviations for series titles. I do not see this in the UI currently.
  • There's been more than one thread on this. It's a non-trivial issue, though I believe people were converging on a solution.
  • @scot, @"Keith Ralston", can either of you give a link to one or more style guides that discuss the use of series abbreviations? scot, you mentioned you'd like to have them for both books and book chapters (per
  • @adamsmith, do you still have access to the CMoS guide, by the way? That's been referenced in relation to this.
  • Chicago Manual does not discuss abbreviations for series. They're spelled out in all examples. I think SBL may do series abbreviations, though, I think I have that manual here and can check tomorrow, else in my office on Monday.
  • adamsmith - do you know more about whether there will be a way for series to have abbreviations? I'm working with a grad student in religion who uses SBL and he needs to have series abbreviated. He also uses Chicago at other times, so just abbreviating the series name in the series field won't work unless he changes it each time he changes styles.
  • The Abbreviation Filter plugin ( can handle abbreviations like this.
  • Cursed autocorrect!
  • Thanks for your great work and support!

    The issue has been discussed here before Since I am new to Zotero and not an expert on technical stuff: Is the solution suggested above working with the Abbreviation Filter still state of the art?

    I do not understand whether the Abbreviation Filter still works or not with the latest Zotero (e.g., Anyhow, now, three years later, there might be a better solution to handle automatic abbreviations for series in books etc., like we already for publications in journal articles with our own abbreviation list (abbreviations.json)?
  • I'm in a similar situation: Using Chicago style for my dissertation, and need Zotero to use what's in the "Journal Abbrev" field instead of giving the long form of the journal name. Currently Zotero completely ignores the Journal Abbrev field. Any workaround?
  • Those options don't exist for the Chicago style.
  • You would need to edit the style. Which version of Chicago style are you using?
  • I'm using Chicago 17th, full note.
  • @dstark Could we get a "Series Abbr" slot for the SBL bibliography's book format? I see I'm not the only one to have this problem, but I don't know what it'd take (and I'd rather do all the work manually—as I have done so far—rather than fiddle with coding myself).
  • @frigidilius, abbreviations are very much on my personal radar. The SBL style for Zotero currently lets you do this for when you need a full series name sometimes and an abbreviated one other times. I think this is essentially identical to what you're asking about with a "Series Abbr" slot (= field?).

    The shortcoming is that it only supports one abbreviation per record. If you need a different abbreviation that's not per SBL, you'll need to edit the record to get the citation to come out properly in whatever other style.

    As I understand it so far, the next level of abbreviation support will require a custom abbreviations.json file. I've got a way to produce this file with the abbreviations in SBLHS (and intend to add those in IATG3). But I'm having a hangup seemingly somewhere in the citation processor, and unfortunately, I don't have the expertise to troubleshoot that directly.

    For the present state of this discussion, see this forum thread and this Github issue. Though, @bwiernik, I'll of course happily be corrected if there's some pertinent update—of which I'm unaware. :-)
  • Nothing new on abbreviations, I'm afraid; I'm not sure if Zotero devs agree or disagree with this, but my view from the CSL side is that this is really up to implementing reference managers now: we'd be happy to host various abbreviations lists on our repos, but making them choosable should be a feature of the reference manager, not of the style (that's, e.g., Endnote's approach and I think they're right on that)
  • Thanks @adamsmith. That does make sense, and I'll keep an eye out for when it looks like Zotero's current abbreviations.json issue gets worked out (or I come across what I'm doing wrong that's causing the issue :-)).
  • thanks @dstark. The info on your website was perfect for solving this one:

    add collection-title-short: followed by the appropriate abbreviation for that series.

    For instance, for the resource we’re using as an example, we’d enter collection-title-short: JAJSup.
  • So glad you found it helpful, @psychodougie!
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