Ordering of several citations in bibliography with same author

I have a paper where I have several citations from the same author. Using Harvard style, I want them listed in order of importance, but I can’t seem to control this order. End note adds the suffix letter, but it puts the least important citation as ‘a’. I want papers and proceedings to come above personal communications but it is not working like that. The order of citation in the body of my paper would be a good order for them to be listed, but it is not working like that either (I do not want the whole bibliography to be listed in ‘order of appearance’).

Jones 2009a Personal Communication

Jones 2009b Personal Communication

Jones 2009c Major Contribution (Conference Paper) - this should be ‘a’

I have (by chance) entered them into the library in order of importance but this also does not seem to have an effect (i.e. ‘a’ above is record number 200, whilst ‘c’ is record number 11.

I have tried editing the bibliography sort order in the style and also looked at whether reference type affects the order but have had no luck so far.

Any help appreciated.


Two things come to mind:

  1. Instead of letting EndNote determine the sequence (“a”, “b”, “c”, etc), could you manully insert the sufix letter in the year field for those references where you want to have listed in order of importance?   Then generate the bibliography .  A problem with this approach, however, is that the sequence may not be applicable for other papers or projects, necessitating manual changes once again.)

  2. Another possibility (which worked in limited testing but also like #1 above may not have broad application across papers/projects) might be to add a number to each reference type’s name.  The number would correspond to your “order of importance”.  So for example, the “Conference Papers”, “Conference Proceedings” and “Personal Communication” reference type would be renamed to establish a hierachy of importance:

1 Conference Papers

2 Conference Proceedings

3 Personal Communication

(Although this example is based only on the 3 references in your example, the idea would be to number each reference type in a sequential order of importance).

Once the reference types have been renumbered, have the “Reference Type” field displayed in your EndNote library then sort the references based on the Reference Type field.  Then generate the bibliography.

Harvard sorts by Author, Year then Title, hence the “major Contribution” must have an alpha later than “P” (or there are other authors dictating the order).  The only way to override this, is to finagle as suggested by CrazyGecko.  Other suggestions are to put the Personal Communications in as text (suffix).  I our area (Science), Personal Communications are raretly listed anyway in the bibliography, and do not usually have a year anyway.   Will they have a title?  If so, could you retitle it (since it is personal communication) with a word that is alphabetically after the Major Contribution? 

Thanks for the suggestions. I will try them out. If I add the suffix letter I assume I will need to edit the style to remove the automatic suffix. Otherwise I will get 2009aa?

@drenem wrote:

If I add the suffix letter I assume I will need to edit the style to remove the automatic suffix. Otherwise I will get 2009aa?



If you add your “importance” rating suffix (e.g., a, b, c, etc.) to the year (e.g., 2009a), the result will not have an extra letter added so no style editing is needed.