I am very new to scripting and coding, so apologies if I haven't explained this properly. I am using biblatex-chicago and running into issues with my newspaper references. I realize the Chicago manual states that you might not need the article in the references if you provide info in the text, but I need to include them in references for this project.

I am citing historic newspapers without authors. It is properly compiling such that it is using the publication title as the author, but will not provide an alphabetical suffix to the in-text year to distinguish between sources. So, for example, I have two articles from "The New York Journal" from 1897. When the below code compiles, the in-text citation reads as (The New York Journal 1897, The New York Journal 1897). I have attached the way it looks in the references as well. To test this issue, I added a fake author name to these items, and when there was an author name specified, it properly sorted the years into 1897a/1897b. So the issue seems to be arising from the use of the journal as the author name.

This is my code:

\usepackage[authordate,autocite=inline,uniquename=false, maxcitenames=1, cmsdate=both, includeall=false, noibid=true, backend=biber, natbib]{biblatex-chicago}


 \autocite{thenewyorkjournal1897, thenewyorkjournal1897a}



The references are the following:

  title = {Where {{Morgue Bodies Go}}: {{Superintendent Murphy Gives Some Damaging Evidence Against Ex}}-{{Keeper White}}},
  date = {1897-01-09},
  journaltitle = {The New York Journal},
  pages = {3},
  entrysubtype = {newspaper},
  file = {/Users/alannawarner/Zotero/storage/SSFIS9FC/ed-1.html}

  title = {White {{Was Paid}} for {{Cadavers}}},
  date = {1897-01-10},
  journaltitle = {The New York Journal},
  pages = {24},
  entrysubtype = {newspaper}
  • 1
    To reproduce the issue it would be extremely useful to have the two entries thenewyorkjournal1897 and thenewyorkjournal1897a from your Dissertation.bib. (We don't need the full Dissertation.bib, just paste the two relevant entries here.) That said, this looks like something you should report to the biblatex-chicago developer (regardless of whether or not you get an answer here), this appears to be a clear bug and the biblatex-chicago developer is usually very responsive.
    – moewe
    Jul 23, 2021 at 5:14
  • Thanks! edited post to include the entries
    – Awarner
    Jul 23, 2021 at 12:32
  • Your entry titles are stored in Zotero in Title Case, where Zotero expects them to be sentence case. If you change that, the superfluous braces in the titles go away.
    – retorquere
    Aug 29, 2021 at 22:47

1 Answer 1


You should definitely report this to the biblatex-chicago maintainer. His email address can be found on the first page of the biblatex-chicago documentation. He is usually eager to help and quick to respond.

While you wait for a response, here is an extremely clunky workaround that works by copying the journaltitle into a new name field that can be used for labelname and thus disambiguation for Biber. We remove the field on the biblatex side to avoid any side effects.


\DeclareDatamodelFields[type=list, datatype=name]{



      \step[fieldsource=entrysubtype, match=\regexp{\A(newspaper|magazine)\Z}, final]
      \step[fieldsource=journal, fieldtarget=journaltitle]
      \step[fieldsource=journaltitle, match=\regexp{\A(.*)\Z}, final]
      \step[fieldset=journalname, fieldvalue=\regexp{{$1}}]

\DeclareLabelname{\field{shortauthor} \field{author}%
  \field{shorteditor} \field{namea} \field{editor}%
  \field{nameb} \field{translator} \field{namec} \field{journalname}}%

  title        = {Art A},
  date         = {1897-01-09},
  journal      = {The New York Journal},
  pages        = {3},
  entrysubtype = {newspaper},
  title        = {Art B},
  date         = {1897-01-10},
  journal      = {The New York Journal},
  pages        = {10},
  entrysubtype = {newspaper},

Lorem \autocite{a}
ipsum \autocite{b}


Lorem (The New York Journal 1897a) ipsum (The New York Journal 1897b)

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