This is a short guide to the Abbrevs Filter, a plugin bundled with the Juris-M reference manager. The Filter is used to install abbreviation lists, to edit specific abbreviations, and to suppress selected elements (such as a country name, or the name of the court in cites to a dedicated reporter).

Note: While the Abbrevs Filter can be used with any style, it is particularly tailored to support legal referencing in the JM family of styles (those with a name that begins with those two characters). This guide assumes the use of a JM style.

Invoking the Abbrevs Filter

The Abbrevs Filter can be opened from any of three locations: the Style Editor in the Juris-M client; or in a word processor document, the Quick Format or Classic View citation add/edit widgets. In each case, invoke the Abbrevs Filter by clicking on the Abbrevs button.

Quirk alert: The Abbrevs button is disabled the very first time Add/Edit Citation is clicked in a newly opened document. Completing the citation insert or edit and reopening it will wake up the button. Alternatively, click Refresh before calling up Add/Edit Citation.


Figure 1: Abbrevs button in the Style Editor


Figure 2: Abbrevs button in the Quick Format word processor dialog


Figure 3: Abbrevs button in the Classic View word processor dialog

Abbrevs Filter Dialog

The Abbrevs Filter dialog is in four sections. The role of each is explained after the screenshot below.

abbrevs-dialogFigure 4: Abbrevs Filter dialog

  • Style: This shows the style currently set in the citation formatter. Abbreviation editing in the dialog will take effect only for this selected style.
  • Suppress Jurisdiction Names: [1] The JM styles include the country (or international organization) name in all legal references. Where this top-level jurisdiction is obvious from the context, use this field to suppress it in citations. Typing into the field will call up a list of country/organization names. Selecting a name will add it in a bubble following the field. Click on a bubble to remove it. Alone among the settings in this dialog, suppression of country names is global, affecting all documents.
  • Lists: Clicking on this wide button will open a pull-down set of abbreviation categories, each with its own list. Select a category to view the texts for which abbreviations can be set in the current document. See below for further details on editing the entries in these lists.
  • Import/Export: List data can be imported in either of two modes: Input from defaults and Input from file. Click on the label itself to toggle the mode. To import from a default bundle, click on Select a resource to select a data bundle for import, choose an import method from among the three options, and click Import. Click on Export to write the current data to a file. The exported file can be imported for use with another style or on another system.

Editing abbreviations

Selecting an abbreviation category opens a list of values for which abbreviations can be set in the current document. [2] Each category has a specific function, described below. See the final section for important details on editing field content.

Abbreviation categories

It is worth studying the category descriptions carefully, as some have special functions. Note that entries that appear in a given category may or may not be actually used in the document, or by the selected style.

  • Classic Work: Juris-M recognizes a Classic item type (a JM extension that is alien to Zotero and the official version of the Citation Style Language). One entry for each cited item of this type will appear in this list. This item type is used for frequently cited works that are customarily reference by a short name. For example, in legal writing Blackstone might be referenced as a Classic work.
  • Entire Institution: [3] Items in this category set the “key” of deciding courts in vendor-neutral citations. In jurisdictions that have adopted such a standard, the key is used in lieu of the reporter name when that value is omitted from metadata.
  • Hereinafter: This category should have an entry for every item cited in the document. It can be used to specify a custom short form for use in backreferences to that resource. For example, in some styles the “Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women” would be back-referenced as “CEDAW.”
  • Institution Part: In Juris-M, institution names include all creators entered in single-field mode, the Publisher field, the Court field (on the Case type), the Institution field (on the Report type), and Legislative Body field (on the Statute and Regulation types). Institution names may consist of multiple parts of a hierarchy, divided by a vertical bar (“|”), and beginning with the top-level name of the institution. The individual parts are listed in this category. The most common use for Institution Part is to abbreviate or suppress the names of courts.
  • Journal, Reporter: This category lists journal and reporter names. Ordinary use is straightforward—just enter the short form of the journal name—but a dirty trick may be needed where a reporter is dedicated to decisions of a particular court. That too is documented below.
  • My Nickname: Personal names used in the document should be listed under this category (as of this writing, I am not sure whether that is currently the case). The category is useful in the very limit case of an interview conducted by the author, in which the author&srquo;s own name should be written as “the author” or the like. This allows Juris-M data for such resources to be stored in a portable form, with the author&srquo;s own proper name. Abbreviations entered in the My Nickname category are omitted when abbreviation data is exported.
  • Number field (string): This category should show only those numeric fields that have non-numeric content. (As of this writing, that is not the case. This is a bug.) Abbreviating such values will rarely be necessary, if ever.
  • Place or Language: This category includes abbreviations for the Place, Jurisdiction, and Language fields. Among these, the latter two have special characteristics. Jurisdiction values are listed only as a generic entry, since listing them “by jurisdiction” would make little sense. Language values include both language codes entered at the beginning of the field, and values connected by a less-than sign to indicate translation (e.g. en<ja to indicate translation from Japanese into English).

Abbreviation entries

Ordinary abbreviations are straightforward. Simply click on the field to the right of the entry in the abbreviation listing, and enter the desired text. Where the text to be abbreviated appears in a primary legal source, it will be listed in several instances, one for each level of the jurisdiction hierarchy. This enables abbreviations targeted to particular jurisdiction levels, in the relatively rare cases where these differ. Several “tricks” are available in abbreviation fields, and these are documented below.

Text formatting

The formatting tags recognized by the citation formatter (documented in the Zotero Knowledge Base) can be used in abbreviations. Formatting should ordinarily be left for the citation style to handle, but rich text may be useful in the Classic category.

Suppressing a following variable

A use case in legal writing that poses a challenge for most reference managers is the disparate treatment of cites to dedicated and aggregated reporters. For example, consider the following discrete citations to a California Supreme Court case:

  • Holzer v. Read, 13 P.2d 697 (Cal. 1932)
  • Holzer v. Read, 216 Cal. 119 (1932)

The jurisdiction omitted in the second reference because the Cal. reporter is dedicated to decisions of the California Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the raw citations generated by Juris-M look like this:

  • Holzer v. Read, 13 P.2d 697 (United States Cal. Supreme Court 1932).
  • Holzer v. Read, 216 Cal. 119 (United States Cal. Supreme Court 1932).

Suppressing the country name as documented above yields this:

  • Holzer v. Read, 13 P.2d 697 (Cal. Supreme Court 1932).
  • Holzer v. Read, 216 Cal. 119 (Cal. Supreme Court 1932).

To suppress the court name in both citations, and the jurisdiction in the second only, set the following values in the Abbrev Filter listing for Journal, Reporter:


The exclamation mark is programming shorthand for not, and jurisdiction and authority are the respective names of the Jurisdiction and Court fields in the Citation Style Language (CSL). If an abbreviation of Cal. is set for the jurisdiction, both cites will render correctly.

Suppressing an entry

To suppress the text of an entry entirely, enter this as its abbreviation:


This method of suppressing output should be used as a last resort. Where suppressing the country name (documented above) or suppressing a following variable will serve the purpose, those methods should be used instead.


[1] This is a misnomer, and will be changed to Suppress Country Names in a future release.

[2] Note that the values listed are limited to those present in the current document. It is not possible to edit the full list of abbreviations available in the style via the Abbrevs Filter. The only way to accomplish this would be to export abbreviation data, and edit the exported JSON data file directly, taking care to adhere to JSON syntax rules.

[3] As the description indicates, the sole use of this category is in vendor-neutral citations to court judgments. The label will be changed in a future release to reflect that fact.