When AMA reference for book or chapter does not include a publisher, the rendered citation includes an unnecessary semi-colon


I have recently encountered some references for books or chapters that do not have publisher fields. However, when using AMA style, the citation still includes the semicolon that would usually come after the publisher field:

To me, this appears incorrect. Is this the intended behavior?


Yes, it’s intended, in the sense it’s what the style dictates. See here.

But it’s really a bug in the style, as the publisher should be placed in a group; probably the one just following it. E.g. I think we want it changed to something like this (the punctuation would still need fixing though; I just threw this together quickly, though you can experiment yourself if you like):

          <group suffix="." prefix="; ">
            <text macro="publisher" prefix=" "/>
            <date variable="issued">
              <date-part name="year"/>
            <text variable="page" prefix=":"/>

Or since the publisher macro is called in a couple of places, it might benefit from some more invasive changes, like a new “published” macro.

We need to fix the style, but AMA 11 (and I believe 10) actually prescribe “Publisher unknown” in this case, see section 3.12.8:

If there is no publisher’s name available, use “Publisher unknown” in the place of the publisher’s location and name.

(same thing for date)