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User defined authors' attribute field #82

sati-bodhi opened this issue Jun 26, 2018 · 1 comment


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commented Jun 26, 2018

In Bibtex there is the authortype field which allows users to define their own authors' attribute, which can be incorporated into the csl style as part of the citation data.

This makes it convenient to keep record of Chinese books and articles, in which there are many different types of authoring, such as being a 'commentator' (注), 'exegete' (疏), 'copy-editor who punctuates ancient text' (校點) etc.

Currently, Zotero uses a limited drop-down list to define different forms of authoring, one of which is a generalized contributor field tag, which is converted to Bibtex as:

editora = {{Name-of-editor}},
editoratype = {collaborator}

This is the only entry that makes use of the authors' attribute field available in Bibtex, but the attribute 'contributor' is too general to be of use when it comes to actual citations.

Is it possible to incorporate a user-defined authors' attribute field in Zotero (that can be mapped to the authortype/editortype variables in bibtex) so that the myriad roles of the author can be recorded and cited easily? (I am new to Bibtex, so I am not so sure how Bibtex users actually make use of these fields in their citations. )

My current work around is to add the attribute directly behind the author's name, sometimes separating the two by using the last name field for the author's full-name and the first name field for the attribute, which is very bad practice, from a data perspective, as it makes the data messy.

Really hope that this new feature can be considered for future Zotero updates.

Thank you!


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commented Jun 26, 2018

One related issue is that CSL itself has a very limited list of author/contributor roles. And attributes such as ed. etc. are appended to the contributor's name via a corresponding verb term to reflect the specific roles, as follows:

<term name="editor" form="verb-short">編</term>

  <macro name="editor">
    <names variable="editor">
      <label form="verb-short"/>

This makes it difficult to define new roles single-sidedly from Zotero.

A workaround I propose is for Zotero to map both the author and prospective user-defined authortype strings to the corresponding author variable in CSL, so that roles can be customized and reflected for Chinese citations, such as this:



「集解」(collected commentaries) and 「義疏」(exegesis) are the required roles to be appended behind each author's name respectively. And my present solution, keeping them in the first name field without a proper place to put them, is shown above.

Editors with the role of 「編」can use the present csl editor role, replacing 「編」for 'ed.' in the Chinese locale. Other editing-related roles such as 「編撰」、「校注」、「輯校」 etc. can use the user-defined editortype field in Zotero.

This proposal makes minimal changes to both CSL and Zotero data structures while incorporating the needs of users who cite ancient Chinese books and articles frequently.

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