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I am writing a document with biblatex-chicago and have to cite a newspaper article. My bibliography manager Citavi suggests using the @article type for this. Unfortunately, the said newspaper article does not appear to have a title, which results in a poorly formatted citation both in the footnote and in the bibliography itself. Here is my .bib entry:

@article{.10.11.1865,
 keywords = {newspaper},
 journaltitle = {{Japan Times}},
 date = {1865-11-10}
}

I tried changing the journaltitle to author and italicing it manually, but unfortunately this results in a full stop after the word "Times" and generally seems like poor style. I am very grateful for any suggestions. Thank you.

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    How would someone find this article by just the newspaper name and the date? There must be some way to specify which part of the whole paper this is. If for some reason there is no headline, treat it like a poem and use the first few words. – musarithmia Feb 19 '15 at 22:21
  • Thank you, Kurt. Newspapers from the nineteenth century are structured slightly differently than they are today. There are quite a few articles, announcements and letters to the editor that are not titled at all. To make things worse, this is the one article I currently do not have access to, so I can't use the first sentence as a title either. – Arc Feb 19 '15 at 22:24
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    If you are referencing the article via some other source, the honest thing to do is to say so and give that source. This conveniently also solves the problem of citing an article with no title or author. (Andrew's solution to cite via its "incipit" is the best way forward when you are able to cite the article directly.) – jon Feb 19 '15 at 22:28
  • The format marked as "desired" is the common practice for these kinds of articles. It is also how similar articles are cited in other works. The source citing the article is provided, but the article itself needs to be cited too, as it is not the author of the secondary text being cited but the author the author of the secondary text is citing. I appreciate your comments, but I am not interested in citation advice. I just want to know how to format it in biblatex-chicago. Thank you. – Arc Feb 19 '15 at 22:34
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    it would be much easier to help you if you had provided a complete example for tests. I would try the misc-type and the journal as title. – Ulrike Fischer Feb 19 '15 at 22:49
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(Too long for a comment.)

According to the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed., § 15.52:

"Quoted in" in author-date references. If an original source is unavailable, and "quoted in" must be resorted to, mention the original author and date in the text, and cite the secondary source in the reference list entry. The text citation would include the words "quoted in."

Costello, Bonnie. 1981. Marianne Moore: Imaginary Possessions. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

In Louis Zukofsky's "Sincerity and Objectification," from the February 1931 issue of Poetry magazine (quoted in Costello 1981) ...

This is based on the policy that quotations must be scrupulously checked and verified (and that authors need to be honest about how they have accessed their sources). See, e.g.,

§ 2.30

Checking quotations. All quoted matter should be checked against the original source, for both content and citation, before a manuscript is submit­ ted for publication. This authorial task is crucial because manuscript ed­ itors will not have access to all the sources that the author has used.

§ 2.58

An author who appears to have been careless in transcribing should be asked to check all quotations for accuracy, including punctuation. The editor should ensure that sources are given for all quoted material, whether following the quotation or in a note. In edit­ing previously published material, especially if it has been abridged, the editor should read for sense to ensure that nothing is out of order or has been inadvertently omitted. Discrepancies should be queried.

§ 13.6

Ensuring accuracy of quotations. It is impossible to overemphasize the importance of meticulous accuracy in quoting from the works of others. Authors should check every direct quotation against the original or, if the original is unavailable, against a careful transcription of the passage.

That said, when you have access to the actual article, I believe the right and useful thing to do is to provide a title based on the incipit of the article. This will allow others to track down the source (more easily) if they so desire -- which is the reason for giving a citation in the first place.

Addendum As @moewe has pointed out, the author of the biblatex-chicago package notes some further general difficulties regarding citing newspaper articles (see § 4.1, s.v. 'article'). Regarding “unsigned newspaper articles or features” (CMS § 14.207), the guide itself makes two suggestions: (1) that they are "best dealt with in the text or notes" -- i.e., don't include them in the bibliography; or (2), when an entry is needed, use the name of the newspaper as the author. The biblatex-chicago documentation makes a few other suggestions; none, however, deal with the difficult case of an article that lacks both title and author.

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  • Jon, everything you have written is absolutely correct and I appreciate your help, but it has nothing to do with the question. Citavi correctly formats articles without titles, biblatex-chicago creates a mess. This was the issue. It is especially the case if you follow it with "Quoted in", because it ends the reference with a comma where there should be a full stop. Once again, the "desired" version is the standard practice and not my invention. Let's keep this on topic. – Arc Feb 19 '15 at 23:45
  • @mvg -- biblatex-chicago is an implementation of the Chicago Manual of Style (currently, the 16th ed.). If you want to use it for other purposes -- like Citavi (whatever that is) -- you are of course free to do so. I suggested an "answer" for people who are using biblatex-chicago and want to adhere to CMS' guidelines. In this case, as I read it, you wouldn't actually \cite a source you haven't actually seen; nor does it appear in the reference list/bibliography. For what its's worth: in the Chicago style, when there's no author of a newspaper article, the 'author' is the newspaper. – jon Feb 20 '15 at 3:15
  • You might also want to include the aside in the biblatex-chicago doc (page 8) about newspaper articles being better dealt with in the text and notes and not necessarily needing a bibliography entry (the last is my interpretation). – moewe Feb 20 '15 at 5:20
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Changing the type to misc and setting the journal as title worked perfectly. Huge thanks to Ulrike Fischer's answer the in the comments.

@misc{.10.11.1865,
 title= {{Japan Times}},
 keywords = {newspaper},
 date = {1865-11-10}
}
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    Thinking about it (it was late yesterday) it is probably more logical to put "Japan Times" in the author field. Beside this I agree with the other comments: It is cheating if you cite a source that you didn't read and can't access. – Ulrike Fischer Feb 20 '15 at 8:50
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According to the biblatex-chicago manual available at the CTAN Website you can use the @article for a newspaper article with some tweaking(see pages 7-8).

If, however,you need to refer to a “magazine” or a “newspaper,” then you need to add an entrysubtype field containing the exact string magazine...

So for the example in the question the following should format the reference correctly.

@article{.10.11.1865,
 entrysubtype = {magazine},
 keywords = {newspaper},
 journaltitle = {{Japan Times}},
 date = {1865-11-10}
}

While recognising that the OP did not have access to the article at time of asking, if you did you would cite page number and if there was no article title, which can happen with some older newspapers, you can use the section/column header that it is located in such as obituaries, letters to the editor, interviews, the names of regular columns(this you would see a lot in older papers, so for example a column may be called "News in Brief" with little snippets of news), etc.

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