Are you a publisher or journal editor? Our goal is to save your authors (and editors) time and effort by making it easier for them to create citations and bibliographies in your preferred citation format. To this end, we would like to provide free CSL citation styles for all your journals. Please read on to see which steps you can take to help us achieve this goal.

CSL styles - a guide for publishers

1) Standardize your citation formats across your journals

The most helpful step you can take is to standardize the use of citation formats across your journals, and use as few different citation formats as possible. Ideally, adopt one of the existing popular citation formats, such as APA style (in the social sciences) or ICMJE Vancouver (in medicine).

Standardization has two advantages: first, because there are fewer citation formats to support, we can focus our efforts to ensure that our CSL citation styles for the remaining formats are as accurate as possible, and second, it makes it possible for us to automatically generate CSL citation styles for all journals that use the same citation format.

Please also clearly mention on your “Instructions to Authors” pages whether your journals use a common citation format, or even create a central “Instructions to Authors” or references page for all your journals. This saves us time, since otherwise we often have to look closely at the specified citation format of each journal to make sure they’re the same.

2) Make your journal metadata available

Once you have standardized the use of citation formats across your journals, the second most valuable step is to make your journal metadata available to us. To be able to automatically generate CSL citation styles for your journals, we need a spreadsheet of all your active journals, with the following fields:

  • journal title
  • print ISSN
  • electronic ISSN
  • field of study/discipline (e.g. “medicine”, “physics”, etc.)
  • citation format used (if you use more than one citation format across your journals)
  • URL to the “Instructions to Authors” page of the journal (optional)
  • language in which the journal publishes (if your journals publish across multiple languages)

It also helps us to know which journals are new, which have been discontinued, which are being renamed, merged, or split, and which have migrated to or from another publisher.

Ideally you would make this spreadsheet publicly available, so that we can download the latest file whenever we have time to update our CSL styles for your journals. But if you rather share the spreadsheet directly with us, that’s fine too. (note that as part of our workflow of generating CSL citation styles, we deposit a spreadsheet with your journal metadata in our public journals repository on GitHub.)

3) Help us create CSL styles for your citation formats

See our Authors page for information on how to create or request new CSL styles, or report errors in existing CSL styles. We generally have CSL experts available for hire to create CSL styles for you, so please don’t hesitate to contact us for a quote.

If you already created your own CSL style, follow our instructions to submit it to our repository.

4) Mention the availability of CSL citation styles

Once we have created CSL citation styles for your journals, please mention their availability on your “Instructions to Authors” pages. We recommend linking to the Zotero Style Repository, which mirrors our style repository on GitHub and has a user-friendly interface for browsing our repository styles. While you can also self-host CSL styles, our repository styles benefit from our quality control and maintenance, are kept under version control, and can easily be improved by both you and the user community.

Please always use “CSL” or “Citation Style Language” when referring to our styles, instead of solely focusing on the reference managers that can use our styles. So instead of “Style for Mendeley”, write something like “CSL style (for Zotero, Mendeley, Papers, etc.)”.

5) Support the CSL project

The Citation Style Language project is primarily run by volunteers. While we’re more than happy to see for-profit publishers and commercial software tools use our styles, we do ask you to consider supporting the CSL project. Your donations help us run the project in a sustainable manner.

In addition to financial gifts, you can also support CSL by donating some of your software developers’ time to help us with small coding projects.

Please get in touch if you would like to support the CSL project.

Publishers with automatically generated CSL styles

As of June 2014, over 5400 of our styles have been automatically generated using metadata from the following publishers. We’d love to add your name to the list!

Publisher Number of generated CSL styles
Elsevier 1806
Springer 1408
Taylor & Francis 615
BioMed Central (BMC) 302
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 203
Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI) 124
American Psychological Association (APA) 96
Karger 92
IOP Publishing 68
Future Science Group 58
Copernicus 48
BMJ 47
Landes Bioscience 45
American Chemical Society (ACS) 44
Frontiers 43
Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) 41
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) 41
Annual Reviews 41
Thomson Reuters Legal, Tax and Accounting Australia 26
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) 26
Elsevier Current Opinion 16
American Institute of Physics (AIP) 15
Healio 14
Cell Press - Trends Journals 14
Cell Press - Research Journals 13
American Society for Microbiology (ASM) 13
American Physical Society (APS) 12
American Meteorological Society (AMS) 12
American Sociological Association (ASA) 11
Geological Society of America (GSA) 10
International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) 9
Inter-Research Science Center 9
Spandidos Publications 8
American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 8
The Royal Society 7
Public Library Of Science (PLOS) 7
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) 7
American Fisheries Society (AFS) 6
Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS) 5
Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA) 5
Society for General Microbiology (SGM) 5
The Company of Biologists 5
Oikos Editorial Office 5
Endocrine Society 4
American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) 4
Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) 2