Mendeley and Elsevier Donation for 2016

Posted by Rintze M. Zelle

For their third straight year, Mendeley and Elsevier have kindly supported the open source Citation Style Language project with a $5000 donation. Donations allow us to hire developers for small projects, purchase materials such as the latest style manuals, and support our style repository maintainers. We’re very grateful for this continuing sponsorship!

In July, Carles Pina from Mendeley also updated over 150 CSL styles for Elsevier journals. Our collection now counts over 8300 free CSL styles, for use with Mendeley, Zotero, Papers, and many other applications.

Further development of the Citation Style Language specification has been on the back burner as we have focused on maintaining the CSL style repository. Fortunately, previous donations allowed us to pay a bounty to Sylvester Keil for the development of an automated system to check GitHub pull requests. The system, coined “Sheldon” after the socially inept and obsessive-compulsive character Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, has become a great time-saver and helped us improve the quality of our styles. This focus on quality seems to be paying off: a recent study [paywalled] in The Journal of Academic Librarianship concluded that Zotero and Mendeley, using CSL styles, produced the most accurate citations among leading reference managers.

Going forward, we keep trying to handle all style repository contributions in a timely manner. We also plan to return to development of the Citation Style Language specification in the coming year.

We’d like to end with a call to other publishers. Please do reach out if you want to make sure we have accurate and up-to-date CSL styles for all your journals. Often, all we need is a spreadsheet of your journal metadata, with journal titles, ISSNs, and, if multiple citation formats are used across your collection, an indication of which journal uses which citation format. We’ll gladly (and without charge) use this metadata to generate CSL styles for all your journals. You can also help us by standardizing citation formats across your journals.