So I spent the morning trying to fix a little problem I’ve been having with my BibTeX style. jurabib is probably the most customizable .bst out there, and likely the best thing for the humanities, since it supports some rather powerful footnote-style referencing and a lot of formatting options. Nevertheless, as its name implies, it was designed for the juridical field, and its abilities in terms of Oxford/Chicago-style citations are pretty under-documented, if not actually under-supported.
My problem: getting the damned thing to put quotation marks around article titles. As it turns out, though, I had been using an older version of the style file: despite the fact that development seems to be frozen just on the brink of rolling out a new Chicago style file, there does seem to be some ability in the existing software to format things as I would like them.
So, after a few hours of updating, installing, wrangling, web-searching, typesetting, and a lot of trial-and-error, I finally figured out how to get things to format as I want them. Book titles and journal titles in italics. Article titles in quotes (they’re single instead of double, but it will Just Have To Do For Now). Repeated references formatting similarly. This, indeed, fixes the problem I was having with recurring citations being formatted according to a book-style repeated reference, it being hard to specify the difference between the two without a bit of work beyond my immediate means, or a really kludgey fix. This latter option, which was going to be my embarassing fallback had I failed to succeed, would have been simply to add quotation marks to every article title in the database — though I imagine that would have caused plenty of problems in terms of getting TeX to read it verbatim. Mercifully, I won’t have to do anything so egregious.
So, here’s what I came up with, for those of you out there, struggling with the same problem (I know you exist):

Using the latest beta (I’ve got jurabib-0.61beta-2007.03.17-svn-rev-77), include the following customizations in the preamble (some of these are my own and don’t necessarily pertain to the fix, but I suspect that they are relevant to anyone writing history):

% jurabib customizations
\AddTo\bibsenglish{\renewcommand*{\urldatecomment}{accessed on }}
\AddTo\bibsenglish{\renewcommand{\lookatprefix}{\space(see n.~}}

And in the end, where you reference the .bib file:


It was that jox bit that confused the hell out of me for a while, since there is nothing in the jurabib documentation that says peep about jox.bst, except to mention that it is part of the installation. Plus, there’s a fair bit of conflicting information on the jurabib site itself regarding the status of jox.bst, jhuman.bst, and the oxford and chicago packages. Funny, that.
So I popped those customizations into my working draft of the MA, and things are looking good. Many problems solved, and not a moment too soon! I might have started to pull my hair out if it had taken much longer…
I’m having a beer in celebration before I take the latest draft of my MA in hand and proceed to cut about ten pages. Wish me luck!


2 thoughts on “\TrIuMpH.

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