Citation Style Language

APA 6th using OWL rather than APA

I’m noting some variations in the use of URLs (most especially “Retrieved From”) and online types between various guides to the APA. Note: I’m not a CSL expert.

  • I’m wondering if there’s much of a difference between the actual APA and OWL’s version?
  • Even OWL 1 says blogs are supposed to have “[Web log comment]” after the title (other online guides say “[Web log message]”) but I’m not seeing any such thing in my results. (Using pandoc 1.15.0.4 and pandoc-citeproc 0.7.2).
    • Looking at the CSL, I don’t see anything like that. I do see:
	<else-if type="post-weblog webpage" match="any">
        <text variable="genre" prefix=" [" suffix="]"/>
      </else-if>
This never gets used for my YAML bibliographic data though. I use genre very rarely, basically to distinguish between types of `report` and `thesis`.
  • (I’ve ordered the actual APA 6th and should get it later this week.)

I added a genre field to my YAML data for post-weblog and it did indeed appear in brackets, but it seems odd that I’d have to add APA-specific text in the genre field to my generic YAML data. Doesn’t it make more sense to have the apa.csl have rules for that? For example:

post -> [Online forum comment]
post-weblog -> [Web log message]
videoRecording -> [Video file]

We don’t actually use OWL – it’s just the most reliable freely available
resource for APA. I consult the actual APA manual whenever there’s any
doubt.
Two reasons we don’t do the genre descriptions like you suggest:

  1. We still wouldn’t be able to get anywhere close to what APA wants,
    including for things like Video Recording where different labels might be
    adequate depending on the nature of the recording, so using genre is more
    reliable.

  2. APA is one of the most frequently used styles across locales. By
    hardcoding English terms, we’d completely break localization.

The second of these could be addressed by allowing a significantly higher
number of terms (which would also help with MLA localization), but the
first one still remains, so I’m not sure to what degree I’d want to change
the style even once we have the requisite terms.

  1. We still wouldn’t be able to get anywhere close to what APA wants,
    including for things like Video Recording where different labels
    might be adequate depending on the nature of the recording, so using
    genre is more reliable.

But do you see the downside of loading up bibliography data with APA specific strings? I think that’s a big problem: I can’t use my data with other styles.

  1. APA is one of the most frequently used styles across locales. By
    hardcoding English terms, we’d completely break localization.

The second of these could be addressed by allowing a significantly
higher number of terms (which would also help with MLA localization),
but the first one still remains, so I’m not sure to what degree I’d
want to change the style even once we have the requisite terms.

CSL can’t can’t localize such strings?

  1. We still wouldn’t be able to get anywhere close to what APA wants,
    including for things like Video Recording where different labels
    might be adequate depending on the nature of the recording, so using
    genre is more reliable.

But do you see the downside of loading up bibliography data with APA
specific strings? I think that’s a big problem: I can’t use my data with
other styles.

I see the downside, but most other styles use the genre field much less if
at all, so it’s a smaller problem than you make it out to be. E.g. the
Chicago styles use Genre very sparingly, mainly for theses and reports.

  1. APA is one of the most frequently used styles across locales. By
    hardcoding English terms, we’d completely break localization.

The second of these could be addressed by allowing a significantly
higher number of terms (which would also help with MLA localization),
but the first one still remains, so I’m not sure to what degree I’d
want to change the style even once we have the requisite terms.

CSL can’t can’t localize such strings?

it can’t currently, but even if we had all the strings (which would be
technically easy, if demanding on translations), we’d have to have a way to
actually call those terms, which – since APA is very fond of putting very
specific details in square brackets – I don’t really see how we can do.

So I’ve included APA genre strings in the genre field of my YAML bibliography (below). However, with apa.csl the genre string is not rendered in brackets but as:

martin_r. (2011, October 29). Elementary level geekiness at best. Amazon. Online forum comment. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/review/RC4V08Z8NW6DW/
```---
references:
- id: martin_r2011elg
  type: post
  genre: Online forum comment
  author:
  - family: "martin_r"
  container-title: "Amazon"
  custom2: "fake.mm"
  issued:
    year: 2011
    month: 10
    day: 29
  keyword: "gender"
  title: "Elementary level geekiness at best"
  URL: "http://www.amazon.com/review/RC4V08Z8NW6DW/"
  accessed:
    year: 2014
    month: 02
    day: 13
...