Non-destructive modified citations

ProCite handled unformatted citations in which the author was to be omitted with a tag, something you’d have something like “{Smith, 1999 #1 /d)”, although I don’t remember exactly what it was.  EN, of course, handles it by omitting the author, e.g., "{ , 1999 #1}.

In many ways, the ProCite approach was superior, because it didn’t remove information (this author).  Why does this matter?  In decending order of general relevance.

  1. The citation was meaningful–I could tell it was by Smith.  In the EN version, I can’t tell what the cite was, unless I look up what citation 1 is. 

  2. If I’m passing around with co-authors a document with unformatted citations, it was easier to sort out errors.   The EN approach invites, “Is this citation #1 from your Library or mine?”.  Much easier to figure out, “Oh, Smith #1 is mine.” Shouldn’t be a problem and if things are translated into the (very cool) travelling library, it won’t matter. But, sometimes our co-authors aren’t as technologically competent as we’d like.

  3. Many of increasingly are using non-Word means of writing, e.g., MultiMarkdown or its relative Pandoc.  In Pandoc, a cite-key will look something like [@Smith_1999_1] or, to omit the author, [-@Smith_1999_1]. I can easily code going from that to the EN format, but I can’t easily go the other way for a no-author cite, since the author information is missing from "{ , 1999 #1}.

I suppose the benefit of the EN approach is that it is very visual – no author in temporary citation, no author in final citation – but it would be nice if there were at least the option to do it in a non-destructive fashion.

Thanks for the consideration.