Note styles such as Chicago Note and (for legal writing) OSCOLA and the McGill Guide make frequent use of “hereinafter” references, in which a short descriptive phrase or acronym is substituted for a long title. This makes footnotes more readable, but it presents a difficulty in that the “hereinafter” reference is not, properly speaking, part of the metadata of the item. The nicknames applied may vary from document to document. Worse, different “hereinafter” short forms may be required by different styles.
With the latest version of the citeproc-js processor (released today), the Abbreviations Gadget can be used to set “hereinafter” short forms on individual items at the document level. The short forms are keyed to a subset of the item metadata — specifically, the first-named creator (author, editor, etc.), the title, the item type, the date, and the jurisdiction. Hereinafter short forms are exported and imported together with the rest of the user’s abbreviation lists, and will take effect on any item with matching metadata details. The short form can of course be edited or set to nil as required.
I’m pretty excited about this one (hence this announcement). It’s been a long time coming; the code underlying it has been taking shape slowly in the citeproc-js processor over the past couple of years. It’s all very exciting to see it actually run in a document — but I wouldn’t rush to the stores just yet. As you can see from the screenshots below, there are a few rough edges still to be worked out in, um, character encoding transformations, among other things. But if you use note styles in your writing and have been frustrated over this style of back-referencing, I’m sure you will be as happy as I am that we’ve got the beginnings of a solution in place. It will get better from here.