Changing the sort order for ONE type of reference only

I am using MLA style.  It auto sorts every reference by Author.  This is fine for my use except for films, which must be in fact sorted by Title not Author/Director.  However, there seems to be no way to change this without changing all the other reference types at the same time.  This is driving me nuts.

How do you cite the film, by title or director?  Assume by title or how are they going to find it in the alpha reference list then?  

even by doing the below, I seem to only end up with the work being treated as “anonymous” and the title now being first rather than alphabetical within the authors.  

Use a different author field rather than primary, then I think the 2ndary sort will be on the title.

I see Author is mapped to Director in the film reference type, while 2ndary author is mapped to Series Director (tertiary to Producer.

If you edit the ref type (from edit>preferences) delete the word “Director” in Author field and remove the word “series” to make 2ndary Author Director?  

But the MLA template out of the box has

Title|. Year Released|. Medium|. Producer, Date Released|.

so you may then need to rejig the output style criteria to add the 2ndary author field (now Director) assuming you want the Director rather to or in addition to the producer, which is in the tertiary author field?  

But as I noted at the beginning, it now gets sorted on title before the authors.  

the only other option is to put a short version of the title in the now empty Author, and then you will need to hide the author in the citation?  

Endnote, at present, cannot perform dual simultaneous sorting of two fields such as film titles and author names which is what’s needed in this particular situation. This is because the information is maintained in two separate fields (Author, Title.) However, there is a workaround which will retain your in-text citations, generate a bibliography that integrates film titles and author names (for non-film references) in ascending alphabetical order, and exclude articles (e.g., An, The, A, etc.) in film titles when determining the alphabetical sort order. (Refer to image 1 for the results.)

The workaround involves: 1) creating a custom field to hold author names and titles (for non-film references.and film references, respectively); 2) creating a custom field for film references types to hold the article (if applicable) of the film title; 3) copying data from the Author and Title fields into the custom fields, and modifying the film title data; and 4) modifying the output style to change the bibliography sort order and the film bibliography template.


[Note: Before proceeding first categorize the references by creating two groups (non-film, and film), then drag the library’s references into the appropriate group.]

  1. Modify reference templates to include customized field(s). [Go to the Endnote toolbar, select Edit > Preferences > Reference types . > Modify Reference Types.
    a. Film or Broadcast reference type templates. Create 3 custom fields to accommodate a) director names (DirName), film titles (AuName&FilmName) and c) articles of film titles (ArticlesFilmName). (Refer to image #2) .
    b. Non-Film reference type templates. Create one custom field to accommodate author names and film titles (AuName&FilmName). (Refer to image #2.)

  2. Copy data into custom fields and modify data. [First select the applicable group of references then go to the Endnote toolbar, Tools > Change/Move/Copy Fields; but the Move/Copy Fields.]

a. Film or Broadcast references.

    1) Copy the Author (director’s name) and film Title field into the custom fields (DirName, AuName&FilmName). The director’s name should be and first name, last name order so change if needed. (Refer to image #2.)
    2) Copy the Title field to the custom field (AuName&FilmName). Then manually modify each applicable record having an article in the film title such that the article is removed and . enter the article in the custom field (ArticlesFilm). (Refer to image #2.)
b. Non-Film reference type template. Copy the Author field to the custom field. (AuName&FilmName).

3.    Modify the output style [go to the Endnote toolbar and select Edit > Output Styles > Edit MLA] .

       a. Bibliography sort order. Change the bibliography sort order to be the custom field (AuName&FilmName).+ Year . (Refer to image #3.)

       b. Bibliography template (Film and Broadcast). Modify the bibliography template to include the 3 custom fields. (Refer to image #3.)

Thanks for this - I ended up doing those references manually due to lack of time - but I will give what you have said a try.