Citation Style requires different use of "country-specific" citation style.

Fabian v. shared this question 6 months ago
Need Answer

Dear Support-Team,

I have been using citavi with quite some enjoyment. Now, however, I'm running into some 'advanced' issues with which I have no clue how to start dealing with. (I have had no experience with the programming of citation styles yet). I have one major issue and two smaller one's that I would like to ask about since I'm writing anyway. :)

1: I'm writing a work in English concerning German issues, citing a lot of German works but also works from other jurisdictions.

The citation style that I have been using until now is OSCOLA (as available via the style finding option), as I though this would be internationally more understandable. After digging into this style some more, I found out that foreign sources should be cited in their native format, as until now 90% of my sourcing is not from the UK, that represents a huge issue, I currently see no option in citavi to tell the program to use a different citation style entirely for a German court decision as opposed to an English court decision. Is there an effective way to let Citavi know, where a source is from and cite it differently accordingly?

2: OSCOLA and essentially every law reference style requires the literature list / reference list to be separated into several categories most importantly, legal decisions, should be listed separately from books & articles. The pre-programmed law citation styles I have tried until now don't seem to do this, which led me to do this manually in previous works. Is there however, a proper way to do this?

3. A relatively simple one; I would like to stop citavi from shortening my second reference of a case to just a number ( of the first footnote it was cited in), for example (349.), which is just impractical. I seem to recall an option to stop shortening second or third etc. citations, but I was wondering if this could be done only for a certain type of reference?

I'm sorry if these questions have been answered elsewhere!

I hope you can help, many thanks in advance.

Kind regards,

Fabian

Comments (3)

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Leaving aside the oddity that I think a German-speaking user (the use of a properly numbered list implies a non-English background, and if anyone is offended by that I can provide a quote attributing this opinion to an English legal academic to back that up) asks a Swiss-German company a question that is being answered by another native German speaker:

Question 1)

A look at the citation style in the citation style editor gives us a clue as to the answer.

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OSCOLA, as provided by Citavi, expects that the user enters the jurisdiction in Custom Field 4. So one could simply enter "D", and modify the condition that is currently used for "EU" to catch the German cases and provide one's own template. One could also be precise and enter "BB", "BE", "BW", "BY", etc, and see if the content of Custom Field 4 is in a list of German jurisdictions, but unless you are writing about administrative law or fixtures (true story, it's in the Palandt), there isn't much point in differentiating different German jurisdictions.

I personally do not think the approach makes a whole lot of sense. Jurisdiction is a property of the court, not the decision (arguably with the exception of the Privy Council, which I solved by having multiple "Privy Councils" as authors), so it should be entered as information about the court, not the decision. In my citation style, I thus enter jurisdiction as a court's "Last name", and test for that.

OSCOLA as provided by Citavi has a whole lot of other issues as well.

  • For example, OSCOLA only requires that court information is printed in brackets if the court is not apparent from the name of the reporter (ie pre-1865 nominate reporters) or the neutral citation. Citavi always prints the court.
  • The court information should only be the abbreviation. Citavi prints the entire name.
  • Citavi's OSCOLA has a weird redundancy with years, printing indiscriminately both year of decision and year of being reported (OSCOLA doesn't care about the first one at all if the reports are numbered by year, but a lot of other citation styles would require the first to be printed in parentheses if different from the year of the reporter). In other words, Citavi forces you to manage the output by manipulating the input (not entering decision dates in the database), which is a pretty odd thing to do for a citation manager where the appearance of the output should not be steered by manipulating the input but by a logical set of rules.
  • The support of parallel references is… rudimentary
  • Minor annoyance alert: Citavi removes the periods after journal abbreviations and from the court abbreviation, but not after the v in the style of cause even though if you logically think about it, you have to enter it there in case you have a citation style that needs it (easier to remove periods automatically then to add them).

None of these issues are insurmountable, and if they don't bother you, I wouldn't waste time fixing them, but they are worth keeping in mind.

Question 2)


This is possible by grouping the bibliography.

Question 3)

Again, the citation style editor is our friend.

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Repeat citations will print the citation key or title in a repeat citation. This will be empty for German cases with the exception of some decisions by the First or Tenth Senate, and potentially Constitutional Court decisions, but you will have to create your whole new set of templates for German decisions anyways.

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Dear Jan,

Sie haben fast recht, aber ich bin einen Holländer, der in Deutschland forscht. Also komm ich auf Deutsch schon okay klar aber auf English doch immer noch besser. ;)

Thanks a lot for you comment here. It looks like it that if I really want to have a holistic, understandable and functional international legal citation style, I will have to start doing and learning a lot of the programming myself. Opening the citation style editor can be quite daunting if you don't know where to start, but your descriptions already provide a good starting point! In the context of OSCOLA, this would mean creating essentially an entire parallel rule set for each source type, for each jurisdiction cited.... Sounds like fun, especially since it seems I cannot have two styles open at once in the editor (preventing easy copy&pasting out of native styles).

This is perhaps a bit beyond the questions asked here, but maybe you could give me some further advice, since from your answer it looks like you might have some experience here. Is there a citation style that you would recommend in my situation; I'm writing my Doktorarbeit in English at a German uni, on an international topic however, a large part just considers the German perspective?

At any rate, thank you for your previous answer and even more so for any further advice!

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Fabian

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Dear Fabian,

I think Dutch and German lawyers might have a shared passion for numbering, at least that is my impression. Maybe I'll comment on a few points

“Sounds like fun, especially since it seems I cannot have two styles open at once in the editor (preventing easy copy&pasting out of native styles).”
Theoretically, the "Citation Style Editor" is only a fancy GUI for editing what is essentially a plain XML-formatted text file. You could copy and paste between text files, but I wouldn't really recommend that, because the structure is quite complex. It's not impossible, but yes, unfortunately, I believe one has to bit the bullet here.

“In the context of OSCOLA, this would mean creating essentially an entire parallel rule set for each source type, for each jurisdiction cited.”

The rule really seems to come from page 32, so it would only affect statutes and cases.

“This is perhaps a bit beyond the questions asked here, but maybe you could give me some further advice, since from your answer it looks like you might have some experience here. Is there a citation style that you would recommend in my situation; I'm writing my Doktorarbeit in English at a German uni, on an international topic however, a large part just considers the German perspective?”
I am not sure. I wrote my thesis on Canadian law at a German university, and programmed the entire Canadian Guide to Legal Citation in biblatex. Without bragging too much, in comparison I think Citavi's style editor is fairly straightforward. As far as citation styles go, I think OSCOLA might not be a bad choice, but I would definitely make a few amendments. It might be worth considering if instead of having one template for each jurisdiction, whether there are not jurisdictions that can be grouped together. For example, I grouped together Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and Italy, because I figured the general format of a case citation in each country was sufficiently close, at least the way I did it.

I then created a custom condition to catch these cases. I must correct myself, partially. I wrote the "jurisdiction" in the "Last Name for Sorting" field of each court. I still strongly suggest doing that, for the reason mentioned above: jurisdiction is a property of the court, not the individual decision. So I entered the condition here:

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And my condition goes as follows:

using System;
using System.Linq;
using System.Collections.Generic;

namespace SwissAcademic.Citavi.Citations
{
		public class CustomTemplateCondition : ITemplateConditionMacro
	{
			public bool IsTemplateForReference(ConditionalTemplate template, Citation citation)
		{

			// User Options

			List<string> jurisdictionsAustriaGermanyItalyOrNetherlands = new List<string>
            {
				"AU",
				"D", "Br. Z.", "BB", "BE", "BW", "BY", "HB", "HE", "HH", "MV", "NI", "NW", "RP", "SH", "SN", "SL", "ST", "TH",
				"I",
				"NL"
			};

			// Static Strings

			Reference reference = citation.Reference;
		 	if (reference == null) return false;

			IList<Person> courts = reference.Organizations as IList<Person>;
			if (courts == null) return false;

			Person court = courts.FirstOrDefault();
			if (court == null) return false;

			string jurisdiction = court.LastNameForSorting;
			if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(jurisdiction)) return false;

			// Dynamic Variables

			bool JurisdictionIsAustriaGermanyItalyOrNetherlands = false;

			// The Magic

			JurisdictionIsAustriaGermanyItalyOrNetherlands = jurisdictionsAustriaGermanyItalyOrNetherlands.Any(jurisdiction.Equals);
			return JurisdictionIsAustriaGermanyItalyOrNetherlands;
		}
	}
}
Essentially, the last name for sorting is compared against a list of valid jurisdictions.