6

SBL Style has a very particular requirement for when citations occur within footnotes.

The standard verbose styles put citations in parentheses when they occur within footnotes by defining \smartcite like this:

\DeclareCiteCommand{\smartcite}[\iffootnote\mkbibparens\mkbibfootnote]
  {\usebibmacro{prenote}}
  {\usebibmacro{citeindex}%
   \usebibmacro{cite}}
  {\multicitedelim}
  {\usebibmacro{cite:postnote}}

But SBL style specifies the following:

When a quotation or a discussion inside a footnote is followed by a full reference, the bibliographic reference can be treated as a new sentence introduced with See or a similar word (example here from Huber 2016).

This is in line with DeSilva’s treatment of Rev 2–3 as part of the text’s use of honor discourse. See David A. DeSilva, “Honor Discourse and the Rhetorical Strategy of the Apocalypse of John,” JSNT 71 (1998): 79–110. However, when a quotation or discussion inside a footnote is followed by a short reference, include the short reference within parentheses, followed by a period (examples modified from Robinson 2016).

Incorrect: It is interesting to note that Richards also seems to anticipate Lakoff and Johnson’s basic definition of metaphor when he writes that metaphor includes “those processes in which we perceive or think of or feel about one thing in terms of another.” Richards, Philosophy of Rhetoric, 116–17.

Correct: It is interesting to note that Richards also seems to anticipate Lakoff and Johnson’s basic definition of metaphor when he writes that metaphor includes “those processes in which we perceive or think of or feel about one thing in terms of another” (Richards, Philosophy of Rhetoric, 116–17).

Incorrect: 55. Entailments are “rich inferences” or knowledge (“sometimes quite detailed”) that we can infer from conceptual metaphors; Evans and Green, Cognitive Linguistics, 298–99.

Correct: 55. Entailments are “rich inferences” or knowledge (“sometimes quite detailed”) that we can infer from conceptual metaphors (Evans and Green, Cognitive Linguistics, 298–99).

Question

Is it worth trying to automate this in biblatex-sbl and if so, how might it be done?

The issues involved that I'm not sure about are:

  1. Adding the period punctuation before the citation when a long form will be printed.
  2. Using a three way test in \smartcite.
  3. Knowing whether the citation will be long or short (this is not known at the time the \iffootnote test is run in the standard \smartcite definition).
  4. Dealing with a cite command containing more than one reference with some long and some short form references. The SBL guidelines say nothing about this, so it's not clear what they would suggest.
  5. Including a default prenote for long form citations if nothing is given.

These issues sound complicated to me. But I can imagine a scenario where this feature would be useful. e.g., not having to worry about changing punctuation and citation commands when inserting a reference earlier in a document that is later referenced as though it were seen for the first time.

As a clarification, this feature would not affect inline citations which are always inserted as footnotes. Neither would it change the behaviour of \parencite and \cite which would continue to behave as expected both inline and within footnotes.

MWE

If the above issues are not insurmountable, here's a MWE to work with:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{filecontents}
\begin{filecontents}{\jobname.bib}
@article{DeSilva1998,
  author = {DeSilva, David A.},
  title = {Honor Discourse and the Rhetorical Strategy of the Apocalypse of John},
  shorttitle = {Honor Discourse},
  journaltitle = {Journal for the Study of the New Testament},
  shortjournal = {JSNT},
  volume = {71},
  date = {1998},
  pages = {79-110}
}
@book{EvansGreen2006,
  author = {Evans, Vyvyan and Green, Melanie},
  title = {Cognitive Linguistics},
  subtitle = {An Introduction},
  location = {Edinburgh},
  publisher = {Edinburgh University Press},
  date = {2006}
}
\end{filecontents}
\usepackage[style=sbl]{biblatex}
\addbibresource{\jobname.bib}
\begin{document}
\null\vfill
Filler text.%
  \footnote{This is in line with DeSilva's treatment of Rev 2--3 as part of
  the text's use of honor discourse \autocite[79]{DeSilva1998}.}

Filler text.%
  \footnote{This is in line with DeSilva's treatment of Rev 2--3 as part of
  the text's use of honor discourse \autocite[79]{DeSilva1998}.}

Filler text.%
  \footnote{Entailments are ``rich inferences'' or knowledge (``sometimes
  quite detailed'') that we can infer from conceptual metaphors
  \autocite[289-299]{EvansGreen2006}.}

Filler text.%
  \footnote{Entailments are ``rich inferences'' or knowledge (``sometimes
  quite detailed'') that we can infer from conceptual metaphors
  \autocite[289-299]{EvansGreen2006}.}
\end{document}

Current output:

MWE output

Desired output:

Desired output

  • Re 1) I personally am not too fond of automatically adding punctuation before a citation, but I can see why it would be useful with this style. Since you can't really control what came before the \cite you might end up with punctuation clashes, though \unspace should at least allow you to get rid of unwanted space. (2) A three-way test should be possibly and if that is what your style wants it should be doable. But (3) is a problem here, there is no good way around that since you could have multiple citations with different ... – moewe Jun 12 at 15:57
  • ... results of \ifciteseen. You'd either have to move all machinery into the loop code (which has its own problems if you want to decide between footnote or not, since you would then spawn a new footnote for each key) or you'd have to do some kind of pre-processing a la authoryear-icomp's \textcite to get the info beforehand. This ties in with (4). – moewe Jun 12 at 16:01
  • Ad 5) Again, I'm not a fan of adding automatic prenote text, but that is probably mainly because I always thing of citations as (Sigfridsson and Ryde 1998) or [1], where I'd find a default prenote just a waste of space. If your style guide comes so close to advocating it, it might make sense for your style to implement such a feature. Certainly, this should be doable and if you add it with an option to turn it off people are not going to complain. – moewe Jun 12 at 16:06
  • @moewe, yes. All your points occur to me as well :(. I think it's point 3. that is technically most difficult for me to implement. – David Purton Jun 13 at 1:12

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