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I am using biblatex-sbl for my PhD in German and I want to quote my own MA-Thesis. The result of this:

in the notes:

Winkler, Konrad, Verbrennung Brennstoff (mastersthesis, Freie-Universität Berlin 2017),

in the Bibliography:

Winkler, Konrad. Verbrennung Brennstoff. mastersthesis, 2013.

I am wondering about how can I change "mastersthesis" in both cases to "MA-Arbeit"?

 \documentclass{article}
\usepackage{filecontents} 
\begin{filecontents}{\jobname.bib}

@mastersthesis{Winkler.2017,
 author = {Winkler, Konrad},
title={Verbrennung Brennstoff},
 year = {2017},
type = {mastersthesis},
institution = {Freie-Universität Berlin},
}

\end{filecontents}
\usepackage[ngerman]{babel} 
\usepackage[autostyle=true,german=quotes]{csquotes}
\usepackage[style=sbl,ibidtracker=false,idemtracker=false]{biblatex}
\addbibresource{\jobname.bib}
\begin{document}

genannt\footnote{Vgl.: \cite{Winkler.2017}.}
\printbibliography
\end{document}
1

The string used for the @masterthesis entry type is actually mathesis, not mastersthesis, which is not defined in BibLaTeX. In German this is defined is Magisterarbeit.

But you can redefine it as follows:

\DefineBibliographyStrings{ngerman}{
  mathesis = {MA-Arbeit}
}

You then do not need the type field in your entry as it is automatically set to mathesis when you use the @masterthesis.

As an aside you can use \autocite[Vgl.:][]{Winkler.2017} rather than \footnote{}.

MWE

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{filecontents} 
\begin{filecontents}{\jobname.bib}
@mastersthesis{Winkler.2017,
  author = {Winkler, Konrad},
  title={Verbrennung Brennstoff},
  year = {2017},
  institution = {Freie-Universität Berlin},
}
\end{filecontents}
\usepackage[ngerman]{babel} 
\usepackage[autostyle=true,german=quotes]{csquotes}
\usepackage[style=sbl,ibidtracker=false,idemtracker=false]{biblatex}
\addbibresource{\jobname.bib}
\DefineBibliographyStrings{ngerman}{
  mathesis = {MA-Arbeit}
}
\begin{document}
\null\vfill
genannt \autocite[Vgl.:][]{Winkler.2017}.
\printbibliography
\end{document}

MWE output

1

The usual type for a master's thesis is mathesis and not masterthesis. For historical reasons biblatex translates mathesis as Magisterarbeit into German, this is unlikely to change for backwards compatibility reasons (and biblatex-sbl does not override that), so you might as well define masterthesis as a new bibliography string to avoid confusion.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage[ngerman]{babel} 
\usepackage[autostyle=true,german=quotes]{csquotes}
\usepackage[style=sbl, ibidtracker=false, idemtracker=false, autocite=footnote]{biblatex}

\NewBibliographyString{masterthesis}
\DefineBibliographyStrings{german}{
  masterthesis = {MA-Arbeit},
}

\usepackage{filecontents} 
\begin{filecontents}{\jobname.bib}
@mastersthesis{Winkler.2017,
  author      = {Winkler, Konrad},
  title       = {Verbrennung Brennstoff},
  year        = {2017},
  type        = {masterthesis},
  institution = {Freie-Universität Berlin},
}
\end{filecontents}
\addbibresource{\jobname.bib}
\begin{document}

genannt\autocite[Vgl.][]{Winkler.2017}.
\printbibliography
\end{document}

Winkler, Konrad. „Verbrennung Brennstoff“. MA-Arbeit, Freie-Universität Berlin, 2017.


You could also write

  type        = {mathesis},

in the .bib file (or omit it, since @mastherthesis is automatically mapped to a @thesis entry with type = {mathesis}) and just redefine that bibstring

\DefineBibliographyStrings{german}{
  mathesis = {MA-Arbeit},
}

Note that for simple footnote citations

\footcite{<key>}

is preferred over

\footnote{\cite{<key>}}

I usually go one step further and prefer

\autocite{<key>}

with the option autocite=footnote over \footcite.


The style biblatex-sbl was specifically written to satisfy the requirements of the second edition of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) Handbook of Style. It may be tricky to change certain aspects of the style to deviate from the SBL handbook. If you don't need to follow the SBL rules and deviations from biblatex-sbl are expected, a standard style might be the better choice.

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  • 2
    The SBL Handbook basically assumes an English document, so I'm never really sure about other languages. Some customisation has been done by others in german-sbl.lbx, and I'm always open to other corrections, but because there's no standard, people suggest all kinds of things. Jul 27 '19 at 13:34

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