Mendeley Donates to the CSL Project

Posted by Rintze M. Zelle

CSL has seen a lot of growth in recent years: more than 20 software products use CSL (see the frontpage), and we offer over 6750 free citation styles, covering thousands of scientific journals.

We could only have come this far with our great user community, and with a lot of institutional support from Mendeley, Papers, Zotero, and others.

Mendeley has been using CSL since their first release in 2008, and adopted Frank Bennett’s citeproc-js CSL processor in 2010. They have since moved away from simply using CSL to become one of our biggest contributors. Carles Pina of Mendeley helped us improve the central CSL style repository, and create CSL styles for 1500 Elsevier journals. Mendeley also collaborated with Columbia University Libraries to created the Visual CSL Editor, which was funded by a Sloan Foundation Award and released in 2012.

Now, Mendeley, together with Elsevier, stepped up once more, and made the first major financial contribution to the CSL project. We received a $5000 donation, which we will use to cover project expenses and help ensure the long-term sustainability of CSL. Mendeley is one of the most popular products to use CSL, and this level of involvement is crucial in helping us move CSL forward. We hope others will follow Mendeley’s lead, and we look forward to continue improving CSL.

In particular, we will collaborate with Zotero on their upcoming data model redesign, which should help us provide guidance to other projects on which fields each item type should carry and, among other things, improve support for primary and archival sources. We also plan to adopt features from Frank Bennett’s Multilingual Zotero into official CSL, such as better support for legal citations and citing items in multiple languages. We’ll of course continue to maintain the project website and documentation, and handle style submissions to the repository. Finally, we’ll keep reaching out to publishers to further increase the number of journals covered by CSL styles.