Chicago Style Interview Disambiguation


I have a disambiguation problem and have been unable to find a solution!

I am using Chicago style.

I have a chapter composed of two interviews with the same person conducted on different days.

When I cite them, in the first instance they are referenced in full:

Smith, Bob, interview by me, location, July 25, 2014.

Smith, Bob, interview by me, location, January 1, 2012.

But in subsequent references they are only referred to as:

Smith, Bob.

Smith, Bob.

This gives no indication which of the two interviews they are from.

My only solution so far is to change the style of ‘Interview - Short’ to include the interview date… but this is overkill for interviews with other people that I only interviewed once.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give!

  • Jeremy

 I believe the same setting as those which “merge duplicates” are in play here and has to do with which fields endnote considers when it is defining duplicates (which is completely different from the “duplicate” setting when you search the library for duplicates, which we can control).    Can you reconfigure your field usage so that a “title” equivalent field is being used rather than the date field that you are using?  This is what is in the help file, but the last time I checked, not all the fields listed below were really used to distinguish whether a citation was a true duplicate. causing problems like you are seeing.  

Formatting Preferences (from 7.2.1 help) 

Merge Duplicates in Bibliography

When you select this option, EndNote automatically omits duplicate references from a bibliography. Use this option if you are citing references from multiple EndNote libraries in one paper. In this situation, the same article reference might appear in two libraries and would have two different record numbers. EndNote will not identify the records as duplicates unless you have this option set to merge duplicates.

When you select this option, EndNote checks the bibliography for duplicate references during the formatting process. If duplicates are found, they are removed. References are considered duplicates if they are the same reference type (such as Journal Article or Book) and the following fields are identical: Author, Year, Title, Secondary Title (Journal, Newspaper, Magazine, Book Title, Series Title, Conference Name, and so on), Volume, Issue, and Pages.

Thanks Leanne,

Your information about merging duplicates helped.

On relfection I realised that it was more of a question about the Chicago style so I contacted them and got the following response which might be helpful for others:

First, when you write a citation in a note, write the name in the normal way: Bob Smith. Otherwise the note is hard to read, especially if you have several citations in a row. (The last name comes first only when you make an alphabetical list, like a bibliography, that uses surnames for alphabetizing.)


Second, you are right –the name by itself is useless, so add the date. Smith, interview, January 1, 2012.

More from Chicago staff:

I would certainly add the date to all citations that wouldn’t make sense otherwise.


As for the others, rather than worry about consistency, give the readers what they need. If something in the text tells the reader when the interview took place, you don’t need to add it in the citation. If you did all your interviews in March 2012, it might not matter to readers which day it was. (Although it might, if some event hinged on the interview or if the interview was affected by some event.) If your interviews were over a twenty-year span, a reader might need to be oriented, and they probably won’t remember from the first time you cited it.