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Is there a way to cite a work without its author? For example, I need to cite Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologiae, and since that work is so common, there is no need to include the author after the first citation.

The desired output is

1 Thomas Aquinas. Summa theologiae. pars prima, a quaestione I ad quaestionem IL. vol. 4. Rome: Typographia Polyglotta, 1888, I, q. 44, a. 1, ad 3.
2 Test, p. 43.
3 S.Th. I, q. 40, a. 1, ad 1.

What happens now is:

1 Thomas Aquinas. Summa theologiae. pars prima, a quaestione I ad quaestionem IL. vol. 4. Rome: Typographia Polyglotta, 1888, I, q. 44, a. 1, ad 3.
2 Test, p. 43.
3 Thomas Aquinas. S.Th. I, q. 40, a. 1, ad 1.

Note: I need this for the famous works (like the Summa), but not others.

Here is a minimal example in LaTeX:

\documentclass[12pt]{book}

\usepackage[backend=biber, style=verbose-ibid, firstinits=true, citepages=omit]{biblatex}
\usepackage{filecontents}

\begin{filecontents}{test.bib}

@book{summa,
  title       = {Summa theologiae},
  booktitle   = {Opera omnia iussu Leonis XIII},
  subtitle    = {pars prima, a quaestione I ad quaestionem IL},
  shorttitle  = {S.Th.},
  author      = {{Thomas Aquinas}},
  publisher   = {Typographia Polyglotta},
  location    = {Rome},
  date        = {1888},
  volume      = {4},
}

@book{someotherbook,
  title = {Test},
}

\end{filecontents}

\addbibresource{test.bib}

\begin{document}

Here is some reference.\footcite[I, q.~44, a.~1, ad 3]{summa}

Here is another reference reference.\footcite[43]{someotherbook}

Here is another reference reference.\footcite[I, q.~40, a.~1, ad 1]{summa}

\printbibliography

\end{document}
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1 Answer 1

up vote 13 down vote accepted

It might technically be possible for biblatex to omit the author for subsequent (shorter) citations. But biblatex would need means to identify works whose authors can be omitted, let's say via options = {omitlabelname} or the like.

In your case it seems much more apt to use the shorthand field though. Just add the short title to the shorthand field (no need for shorttitle any more).

@book{summa,
  title       = {Summa theologiae},
  booktitle   = {Opera omnia iussu Leonis XIII},
  subtitle    = {pars prima, a quaestione I ad quaestionem IL},
  %shorttitle  = {S.Th.},
  author      = {{Thomas Aquinas}},
  publisher   = {Typographia Polyglotta},
  location    = {Rome},
  date        = {1888},
  volume      = {4},
  shorthand   = {S.Th.},
}

Now short citations use the shorthand instead of author + (short)title. Additionally, it adds the useful "henceforth cited as ..." information to the first citation of a work.

If you prefer shorthands to be formatted like titles, add

\DeclareFieldFormat{shorthand}{\mkbibemph{#1}}
\DeclareFieldFormat
  [article,inbook,incollection,inproceedings,patent,thesis,unpublished]
  {shorthand}{\mkbibquote{#1\isdot}}

MWE

\documentclass[12pt]{book}
\usepackage[backend=biber, style=verbose-ibid, firstinits=true, citepages=omit]{biblatex}
\usepackage{filecontents}
\begin{filecontents*}{\jobname.bib}
@book{summa,
  title       = {Summa theologiae},
  booktitle   = {Opera omnia iussu Leonis XIII},
  subtitle    = {pars prima, a quaestione I ad quaestionem IL},
  %shorttitle  = {S.Th.},
  author      = {{Thomas Aquinas}},
  publisher   = {Typographia Polyglotta},
  location    = {Rome},
  date        = {1888},
  volume      = {4},
  shorthand   = {S.Th.},
}

@book{someotherbook,
  title = {Test},
}
\end{filecontents*}

\addbibresource{\jobname.bib}

\begin{document}
  Here is some reference.\footcite[I, q.~44, a.~1, ad 3]{summa}

  Here is another reference reference.\footcite[43]{someotherbook}

  Here is another reference reference.\footcite[I, q.~40, a.~1, ad 1]{summa}

  \printbibliography
\end{document}

enter image description here


Just for the fun of it, here is a solution that omits names of authors in subsequent citations if the option omitlabelname is set to true. (This will most likely only work for verbose-ibid and similar styles, the solution above is more general.)

@book{summa,
  title       = {Summa theologiae},
  booktitle   = {Opera omnia iussu Leonis XIII},
  subtitle    = {pars prima, a quaestione I ad quaestionem IL},
  shorttitle  = {S.Th.},
  author      = {{Thomas Aquinas}},
  publisher   = {Typographia Polyglotta},
  location    = {Rome},
  date        = {1888},
  volume      = {4},
  options     = {omitlabelname},
}

We just need this tiny modification to cite:short of verbose-ibid.cbx

\newtoggle{bib@omitlabelname}
\DeclareEntryOption{omitlabelname}[true]{\settoggle{bib@omitlabelname}{#1}}
\renewbibmacro*{cite:short}{%
  \iftoggle{bib@omitlabelname}
    {}
    {\printnames{labelname}%
     \setunit*{\nametitledelim}}%
  \printtext[bibhyperlink]{%
    \printfield[citetitle]{labeltitle}}}

The result will be the same as above.

share|improve this answer
2  
+1. But note that a long work like the Summa theologiae is edited 'over' several books which can lead to complications if they are all cited individually and you intend to use \printshorthands. In that case, you will be better off using \defbibentryset and a style that can handle entry sets (like verbose-ibid). (I suspect you are aware of all this, but future readers may not be.) –  jon Mar 31 at 19:44

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