About Us


The Citation Style Language (CSL) was created by Bruce D’Arcus, and shaped by early contributions from Simon Kornblith of Zotero. In recent years Frank G. Bennett, Jr. and Rintze M. Zelle have spearheaded further development. The CSL styles and locales GitHub repositories are maintained by Rintze Zelle and Sebastian Karcher. Other contributors include:

The contents of this website is by Rintze Zelle.

CSL Supporters

CSL enjoys the support of several patrons:

 Zotero – Even though CSL and Zotero are independent open source projects, their roots have always been firmly intertwined. Zotero was the first program to adopt CSL, with Zotero-developer Simon Kornblith contributing to the core design of CSL. Many CSL contributors (including Frank, Rintze, and Sebastian) became aware of CSL through their use of Zotero. Our current GitHub styles repository is based on the collection of CSL styles Zotero started, and Zotero-developer Dan Stillman maintains the Zotero Style Repository and CSL’s styles-distribution and distribution-updater GitHub repositories. Finally, Zotero kindly hosts and administers this website.

Papers – Papers-developer Charles Parnot has contributed many CSL styles (including most of our Springer styles), and Papers introduced a bounty program to reward those who contribute CSL styles with a Papers license. In 2015, Springer and Papers donated $5000 to the CSL project.

Mendeley and Elsevier – Together with Columbia University Libraries, Mendeley obtained an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant to create a CSL style editor, which was subsequently built by Steve Ridout. Mendeley-developer Carles Pina is an active contributor of CSL styles and helped set up the styles-distribution and distribution-updater GitHub repositories. Both in 2014, 2015, and 2016, Mendeley and Elsevier donated $5000 to the CSL project.

Supporting CSL

Looking for ways to support CSL? You can help us in many ways:

  • Become a CSL style author. Learn CSL, create new CSL styles, and improve existing ones. Follow e.g. the Zotero forums to find out which styles are being requested, and help users with their CSL questions.
  • Get involved in CSL development. Take part in CSL development. Report missing features, help us design and implement new features, write new CSL documentation, or work on the CSL processors.
  • Mention us. If you are a developer and use CSL in your software, please drop us a line and acknowledge the use of CSL in your software (please use the unabbreviated “Citation Style Language”, since “CSL” is a common acronym). Also, if you distribute CSL styles from our style repository, make sure to comply with their Creative Commons BY-SA license.
  • Financially. We currently aren’t set up very well to accept personal donations (e.g., the CSL project is not registered as a non-profit organization). However, if you wish to support the open source community around CSL, consider signing up for Zotero File Storage (the preferred way to donate to Zotero) as a token of appreciation for their continuing contributions to CSL, which includes hosting CitationStyles.org and the Zotero Style Repository. Or buy Frank Bennett’s book on Multilingual Zotero, Citations, Out of the Box: Adapting Zotero for legal and multilingual research.


Thanks to Johannes Krtek, CSL now has some excellent logos:

Full logo Small logo
Full Logo Small Logo

Additional logo variants and SVG source files can be found in the logo repository.

CSL in the News