Solution for unwanted comma after question mark in book section title

When a book section title concludes with a question mark, Endnote typically adds a comma inside the quotation marks as well when formatting footnotes (at least in the Chicago style following American usage).  So, for example, “What is truth?,”

When formatting a bibliography Endnote is smart enough to replace a question mark followed by a period with simply a period.  See the explanation in Endnote Help under “Endnote Cleans Up”.  But not with footnotes and commas.

I had to help a friend across the sea with this problem today, and I thought I’d post my instructions for working around it.  They show how to define a new reference type you can call “Book Section (no comma)”.  If I’m misled here, someone will correct me, I’m sure.

I hope these instructions are accurate for your computer.  Iuse Endnote 10.2 for Mac, so there may be minor differences.

First set up a new reference type

1.    Go to Endnote> Preferences > Reference Types > Modify Reference Types.

2.    In the drop-down menu at the top, choose the reference type “.Unused 1”.  We’re going to make it the same as BookSection, with a different name.

3.    Re-label it at the top of the table as “Book Section (no comma)”.  Make sure there is no period in front of it.  Periods are for types not in use.

4.    Then enter field headings in the “Book Section (no comma)” reference type exactly the same as in the “Book Section” reference type. (This is fiddly, going back and forth;  there’s got to be a better way!)

5.    Close and save.

Next add this reference type to the style you use

6.    Make sure you’ve selected the style you normally use. (I’ll assume it’s Chicago 15th A.)

7.    Go to Edit > Output Styles > Edit “Chicago 15th A”.

8.    Go toBibliography > Templates.

9.    In the ReferenceTypes drop-down menu at the top, check that there is a tick next to your new reference type, “Book Section (no comma)”.  This makes it show up in the list below.

10. Copy whatever appears under “Book Section” and paste it into the “Book Section (no comma)” field (overwriting anything that is there).  No change in style is needed here because Endnote handles bibliographies OK on punctuation; you’re just making sure there is a template for the new reference type.

11. Go to Footnotes> Templates.

12. Again, check there’s a tick beside “Book Section (no comma)” in the Reference Types drop-down menu.

13. Copy whatever appears under “Book Section” and paste it into the “Book Section (no comma)” field (overwriting anything that is there).

14. In the “BookSection (no comma)” field, now delete the comma after the word Title.  You’re modifying the style only for references that have a question mark, asking Endnote never to put a comma at the end of the title of the book section.

Finally change the reference type of theproblem references

15. Open any book section reference where the title finishes with a question mark or exclamation mark.

16. From the drop-down menu at the top, select your new reference type, “Book Section (no comma)”.

17. When you close the reference it should format without the comma, because you modified your style to format this new reference type slightly differently from a normal book section, namely without a comma.