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Under biblatex, if an @incollection entry had no bookpagination field, this would be understood to have a default value of "pages", and where necessary the page range would be preceded by p. or pp.. However, in biblatex-chicago this is no longer the case:

This, a standard biblatex field, allows you automatically to prefix the appropriate string bookpagination to information you provide in a pages field. If you leave it blank, the default is to print no identifying string (the equivalent of setting it to none), as this is the practice the Manual recommends for nearly all page numbers.

(From the biblatex-chicago manual, p. 24 http://ctan.math.washington.edu/tex-archive/macros/latex/contrib/biblatex-contrib/biblatex-chicago/doc/biblatex-chicago.pdf)

Is it possible to change this, so that the default behaviour is again to put in "p." or "pp." (i.e. to have the default be "pages" rather than "none")? I could of course go through my (now very long) bib file and add in an explicit line

bookpagination = "pages",

to every @incollection item, but this would be inefficient. Is there any way to do this globally?

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Standard biblatex defaults to bookpagination = {pages}, if no bookpagination is given. biblatex-chicago avoids this and essentially falls back to bookpagination = {none}, by adding a test to the field format. We can remove this test and go back to the standard behaviour.

The MWE retains the biblatex-chicago format for @articles, but you can get "p."/"pp." there as well by simply removing the \DeclareFieldFormat[article,periodical]{pages} block.

\documentclass[american]{article}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage{babel}
\usepackage{csquotes}

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

\addbibresource{biblatex-examples.bib}

\DeclareFieldFormat{pages}{%
  \iftoggle{cms@comprange}%
    {\mkcomprange[{\mkpageprefix[bookpagination]}]{#1}}%
    {\mkpageprefix[bookpagination]{#1}}}

\DeclareFieldFormat[article,periodical]{pages}{%
  \iftoggle{cms@comprange}%
    {\iffieldundef{bookpagination}%
       {\mkcomprange{#1}\isdot}%
       {\mkcomprange[{\mkpageprefix[bookpagination]}]{#1}}}%
    {\iffieldundef{bookpagination}%
       {#1\isdot}%
       {\mkpageprefix[bookpagination]{#1}}}}%

\begin{document}
\cite{sigfridsson,westfahl:space,gaonkar:in}
\printbibliography
\end{document}

Gaonkar, Dilip Parameshwar. “On Alternative Modernities.” In Alternative Modernities, edited by Dilip Parameshwar Gaonkar, pp. 1–23. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2001. isbn: 0-822-32714-7.//Sigfridsson, Emma, and Ulf Ryde. “Comparison of methods for deriving atomic charges from the electrostatic potential and moments.” Journal of Computational Chemistry 19, no. 4 (1998): 377–395. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1096-987X(199803)19:4<377::AID-JCC1>3.0.CO;2-P.//Westfahl, Gary. “The True Frontier: Confronting and Avoiding the Realities of Space in American Science Fiction Films.” In Space and Beyond: The Frontier Theme in Science Fiction, edited by Gary Westfahl, pp. 55–65. Westport, Conn. and London: Greenwood, 2000.


If you are interested in getting the page prefix also in citations, you may want to add

\DeclareFieldFormat{postnote}{%
  \iftoggle{cms@comprange}%
    {\mkcomprange[{\mkpageprefix[pagination]}]{#1}}%
    {\mkpageprefix[pagination]{#1}}}%

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