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Citations: strip braces {} in titles in bibliographies in basic style?

From: William Denton
Subject: Citations: strip braces {} in titles in bibliographies in basic style?
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2023 20:42:46 -0500 (EST)
User-agent: Alpine 2.22 (DEB 394 2020-01-19)

Let's say we have a file Basic.bib, like so, with one or two pairs of braces around words that need special case preservation:

  title = {{LaTeX} and Friends},
  author = {van Dongen, M.R.C.},
  date = {2012},
  location = {Berlin},
  publisher = {Springer},
  doi = {10.1007/978-3-642-23816-1},
  isbn = {9783642238161}

  title = {Lisp and {C}},
  author = {Example, Example},
  publisher = {Example},
  date = {2023}

Either one or two braces works and could well be used. The Zotero extension Better Bibtex has a FAQ explaining why it uses two by default: "because the Bib(La)TeX case protection rules are incredibly convoluted."¹

We also have an Org file (where "/n" means no citation but the work stills goes in the bibliography; note that the basic citation style is set):

# ---------
#+bibliography: Basic.bib
#+cite_export: basic

[cite/n:@friends] [cite/n:@lispandc]

# ----------

Exporting to text (C-c C-e t A) gives this:

# ----------
Example, Example (2023). /Lisp and {C}/, Example.

van Dongen, M.R.C. (2012). /{{LaTeX}} and Friends/, Springer.
# ----------

The braces are there. The're also visible in the HTML and ODT exports. In LaTeX, in this example, they're exported but ultimately invisible because of how LaTeX handles "\textit{Lisp and {C}}".

Should they be stripped?  I suggest they should.

The basic style is very basic and doesn't do anything fancy in bibliographies---just some italics on titles, which it's showing in the text export with slashes, and does nicely in the others---but I wonder if it should remove the braces. They are used to preserve case in titles, but the basic exporter doesn't change case. Passing the braces through means people will have to edit them out in every basic export.


¹ https://retorque.re/zotero-better-bibtex/support/faq/#why-the-double-braces

William Denton
Librarian, artist and licensed private investigator.
Toronto, Canada
CO₂: 421.66 ppm (Mauna Loa Observatory, 2023-12-11)

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