Friday, April 13, 2012

Adventures in Zotero (AGB edition)

I just submitted an article to Archiv für Geschichte des Buchwesens on the origin and development of the the specifically German format for annual astrological prognostications ("practicas") between 1470 and 1620, which expands on my discussion of the practica format in Printing and Prophecy. Since I didn't want to format the footnotes and bibliography by hand when I already had most of the sources entered into Zotero, I needed a Zotero style definition for AGB. There was no preexisting style definition, however, so I had to create one.

I ended up using Kritische Ausgabe as a base style, while importing various snippets from tah Geistes- u. Kulturwissenschaften and Chicago note with bibliography. Once I got the hang of what I was doing, I even added some macros of my own. Having access to the Zotero test pane (chrome://zotero/content/tools/csledit.xul) helped, as did using notepad++. Next time, I'll read up on the Zotero CSL syntax a bit more before starting out.

So how'd it turn out? The results were not too bad, actually. I was able to format most footnotes and bibliographic entries according to AGB style. Anybody who would like to look at the file can find it here. Keep in mind the following caveats, however:
  • I only needed references to books, journal articles, and chapters in edited collections. Everything else probably won't work.
  • I didn't try to implement specifying the issue of a journal volume, because I didn't have many of them to deal with, and the AGB format for issues is a bit unusual. Next time.
  • I had to replace colons with periods manually to separate titles from subtitles.
  • And the biggest caveat of all: This was for an English-language article in a German journal, which necessarily involves some unusual style tradeoffs. I won't know exactly how some formatting issues will be treated until I see page proofs.

It's not quite ready for the Zotero style repository, but in the future, I'll definitely do more Zotero hacking, rather than editing footnotes by hand. The AGB style is fairly close to that used by Gutenberg-Jahrbuch, which might be my next target.

1 comment:

  1. We'd very much like that style for the repository - if you have any questions about CSL, feel free to post to the Zotero forums and we'd be happy to help.
    Otherwise, see here.