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I originally wrote my thesis in LaTeX according to a Chicago referencing style that called for the author's full name, e.g.:

Firstname Lastname, Title (Publication city, year).

However, for publication I am now supposed to use only the author's first initial, thus (even for first citation, and in the bibliography):

F. Lastname, Title (Publication city, year).

Is there any way to tell biblatex-chicago to use initials in this way without manually updating each entry in my .bib file? My base setup looked something like this:

\documentclass[12pt,a4paper]{article}

\RequirePackage{filecontents}
\begin{filecontents*}{bibliography.bib}

@book{lastname19,
author = {Lastname, Firstname},
title = {Book with a name},
year = {2019},
address = {Publication City},
}
\end{filecontents*}

\usepackage[notes,shorthandibid,backend=biber,sorting=nyt]{biblatex-chicago}

\addbibresource{Bibliography.bib}

\begin{document}
\title{Citing some stuff}
\author{Me}
\maketitle

Some text with a footnote.\autocite{lastname19}

\printbibliography
\end{document}

I'd rather not have to go change the bib entry to read {Lastname, F.}, and the same for several hundred other works, just for this one publication. But since it would also have to take into account complicated names (for instance, what if it's {Lastname, Firstname M.}, can I get F. M. Lastname?), I'm not sure if I'm being optimistic here.

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  • 2
    The option giveninits=true will abbreviate given (first) names to initials.
    – moewe
    Mar 11, 2019 at 12:18
  • 1
    Thank you! It's great there's such a straightforward option. (Out of curiosity, where could I have found out about this, since it doesn't seem to be in the Biblatex-chicago documentation?)
    – Erika
    Mar 11, 2019 at 12:24
  • 1
    It's a standard biblatex feature, so it is probably not mentioned in the biblatex-chicago documentation explicitly. It is documented in the biblatex manual. Of course the biblatex docs have more than 300 pages, so you need to be lucky or know what you are looking for. (In this particular case things are complicated by the fact that 'giveninits' is not actually documented itself, instead it is documented as part of <namepart>inits where <namepart> may be given or any other name part).
    – moewe
    Mar 11, 2019 at 12:34
  • OK, that makes sense, I appreciate the clarification!
    – Erika
    Mar 11, 2019 at 12:40

1 Answer 1

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The standard biblatex option giveninits abbreviates all given (first) names to initials. biblatex-chicago has no issue at all accepting that option.

\documentclass[12pt,a4paper]{article}

\RequirePackage{filecontents}
\begin{filecontents*}{\jobname.bib}
@book{lastname19,
  author  = {Lastname, Firstname},
  title   = {Book with a name},
  year    = {2019},
  address = {Publication City},
}
\end{filecontents*}

\usepackage[notes,shorthandibid,giveninits,backend=biber,sorting=nyt]{biblatex-chicago}

\addbibresource{\jobname.bib}

\begin{document}
Some text with a footnote.\autocite{lastname19}

\printbibliography
\end{document}

F. Lastname, Book with a name (Publication City, 2019).

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