Sorting a bibliography

Lucky for you, ComWriter does all this hard work!! Here are some notes about how we sort reference lists.

 

Reference list sorting options

We have three options that can be found on the 'References' tab of the Style Guide (see image below).

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Sorting names: single name

We have a few rules for sorting names. They include:

  • Nothing comes before something; However, most Style Guides have a rule to be applied so that there is 'nothing'; e.g., use the Short Title. In this case, it will be treated as if it were an 'organization'
  • Ignore punctuation in the LastName (e.g., D'Alpage will be treated as dalpage for sorting)
  • Ignore spaces in the LastName (e.g., Von Trapp will be treated as vontrapp for sorting)
  • Ignore 'The' as the first word (Tip: unusually names can be added as an 'organization)
  • Sort by LastName; if similar names found, sort using FirstName, then MiddleName
  • Unusually names (e.g., Saint Augustine; 'The Hulk') can be added as an 'organization.
  • Single word names (e.g., Madonna; Aristotle) can be added using 'organization' so the computer isn't looking for initials.

 

Sorting names: multiple names

We have a few rules for sorting names. They include:

  • Ignore punctuation in the LastName (e.g., D'Alpage will be treated as dalpage for sorting)
  • Ignore spaces in the LastName (e.g., Von Trapp will be treated as vontrapp for sorting)
  • Sort using the LastName for each contributor
  • Name confusion (e.g., two people with the same name and initials); most Style Guides have a rule to be applied so that this gets resolved (e.g., adding the full FirstName after the surname or included the MiddleName).

 

Sorting names: organizations

We have a few rules for sorting organization names as 'contributors'. They include:

  • Ignore punctuation in the name (e.g., hyphens, periods, apostrophes)
  • Ignore 'The' as the first word
  • An ampersand (&) gets treated as 'and'

 

Suppressing subsequent author name

Some Style Guides require the author name to be replaced with 3 mDash symbols (e.g., Chicago). This is set up inside each template and will be applied if the list of author(s) are the same on multiple reference entries.

 

Missing the author name

Each Style Guide has a rule for what to do if the first contributor (usually, an author) is missing. Generally, the Short Title gets added an treated much like an 'organization' name.

 

Sorting dates

We have a few rules for sorting titles. They include:

  • Nothing comes before something; if 'n.d.' is added (required by some Style Guides) it is treated as if it were blank for sorting purposes
  • Sorting is numerical, then alphabetical (e.g., 2001, 2002a, 2002b)

 

Add a, b, c, to year published

Some style guides require that a, b, c, etc. be added to the Year Published (e.g., 2018a and 2018b) if the author list and year published are the same. In this case, the a, b, c, will be added to the in-text citation as well as the reference list. Typically, this will be added to all 'Author-date' in-text' style guides. The setting for this feature can be found with the 'Primary Citation Style' setting on the 'References' tab of the Style Guide (see image below). 

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Sorting titles

We have a few rules for sorting titles. They include:

  • Ignore punctuation in the name (e.g., hyphens, periods, apostrophes)
  • Ignore 'The' as the first word
  • An ampersand (&) gets treated as 'and'

 

Tips

  1. Always add the entire name for every entry; especially, if they are the same author, otherwise the computer might treat them as different authors. Also, this way the Style Guide can determine how to present the name (there are around 15 options for formatting a name in the Style Guide).
  2. Do not add any full stops after initials; the Style Guide determines if that is required (or not). 
  3. Unusually names (e.g., Saint Augustine; 'The Hulk') can be added as an 'organization.
  4. Single word names (e.g., Madonna, Aristotle) can be added using 'organization' so the computer isn't looking for initials.
  5. There is an excellent reference guide to be found on McGraw-Hill's website 'Rules for Alphabetic Filing'

 

See also

  • Reference settings
  • Adding research material
 
© Composeright Pty Ltd, 2018
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