How does Zotero parse things in the name fields?
There are actually three parts to the story of names in Zotero (“creators”, in techie lingo):
- Creator types;
- Field mode; and
- Name-part parsing.
Each of these topics is covered below. The first two are very simple.
Each name field has a label to its left, which is actually a button. Clicking on it will open a list of possible *creator types* for the current item type. You can change the type of an individual creator by clicking on its label and selecting from the list.
There is a small square icon to the right of each name (just before the (+) and (-) buttons used to add and remove creators). Clicking on the square icon will toggle the name between single-field mode and two-field mode.
- In single-field mode, the field content is not parsed when generating citations. 1) This mode is ordinarily used for institutional names.
- In two-field mode, the field is parsed to (even) smaller parts when generating citations. Two-field mode should ordinarily be used for personal names. This includes Asian names! The CSL processor in Zotero can correctly format names in a variety of languages, 2) and across all citation styles; but this flexibility requires correctly entered data. It is not a good practice to “force” a particular form by selecting single-field mode unnecessarily.
In two-field mode only, personal names are parsed into five separate parts for formatting purposes. Here they are, with a brief explanation of each:
- Family name: The family or clan name of an individual is the primary “family name” in Zotero: 3)
- The family name of “Sam Spade” is “Spade”.
- The family name of “Jeremy Atticus Finch” is “Finch”.
- The family name of “Kuruma Torajirō” is “Kuruma” (note that the family name part of this Japanese character's name is written first).
- Given name: This refers to an individual's “own” name, or names:
- The given name of “Sam Spade” is “Sam”.
- The given names of “Jeremy Atticus Finch” are “Jeremy Atticus”.
- The given name of “Kuruma Torajirō” is “Torajirō” (the lead protagonist of the Japanese “Tora-san” series).
- Dropping particle: Dropping particles, a feature of some European names, are descriptive elements that are placed between the given and the family name when written in “normal” order. A dropping particle is never placed with the family name when written in “sort order”.
- In “Ludwig van Beethoven”, “van” is a dropping particle.
- In “Jean de La Fontaine”, “de” is a dropping particle.
- Non-dropping particle: