Per the SBL Handbook of Style (§184.108.40.206), generation designations in names should be handled as follows:
First note: Tremper Longman III, “Form Criticism, Recent Developments in Genre Theory, and the Evangelical,” WTJ 47.1 (1985): 46–67.
Subsequent note: Longman, “Form Criticism,” 58.
Bibliography: Longman, Tremper, III. “Form Criticism, Recent Developments in Genre Theory, and the Evangelical.” WTJ 47.1 (1985): 46–67.
But, how do you get this output when using Zotero to insert and update your references in Microsoft Word or one of the open office suites?
For the longest time, the best thing I could come up with was to include the generation (e.g., “III”) in the surname field after a space following the surname. But, then this will repeat in subsequent notes after the surname. So, even in short-format notes, this would get you “Longman III” rather than just “Longman”.
Similarly, in the bibliography, this method will list the generation immediately after the surname rather than, as it should be, after the given name. Thus, you’d get “Longman III, Tremper” rather than “Longman, Tremper, III”.
This is all workable, of course. And it’s a far cry easier from the way things worked in the days of typing out footnotes and bibliographies with a typewriter.
But, there’s still a good bit of manual editing required to bring things fully into line at the end of the process. And, where there’s one-off manual editing, there’s the potential for missing something.
Is there a better way? Indeed, there is.
Instead of inserting the generation after the surname, the generation needs to be included in the format “, [generation]” after the given name in its field.1 Thus, for Zotero, the proper entry isn’t “Longman III” and “Tremper” but “Longman” and “Tremper, III”.
This small adjustment allows Zotero to identify the generation suffix (e.g., “, III”) and manipulate it appropriately according to what SBL style requires for a given kind of footnote or for the bibliography.
What reference manager do you use? How does it handle generation information?
Disclaimer: The views expressed on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person(s) or institution(s).
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” I only recommend products or services I genuinely believe will add value to you as a reader. But, if you click one of these links and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission from the seller at no additional cost to you. Consequently, I am disclosing this affiliate status in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”