As a Mendeley user, you might already be familiar with the Citation Style Language (CSL).
This open source project, created by Bruce D’Arcus from Miami University, and run by a small team of volunteers, has become quite popular in recent years. CSL is currently used by over 20 software products, and there are over 6750 freely available citation styles for thousands of scientific journals. And CSL has a long history at Mendeley: since our first release in 2008, Mendeley has been using CSL styles to format citations and bibliographies (from 2010 onward, we also have been using the open source citeproc-js CSL processor by Frank Bennett of Nagoya University).
Over the last few years, Mendeley has moved away from simply using CSL and become one of its biggest contributors. Our very own Magnificent Code Matador, Carles Pina, collaborates with Sebastian Karcher and Rintze Zelle at the CSL project to improve the central CSL style repository, and he helped create CSL styles for 1500 Elsevier journals. We also collaborated with Columbia University Libraries to create the Visual CSL Editor, which was funded by a Sloan Foundation Award and released in 2012.
Now we’re increasing our support by, together with Elsevier, making the first major financial contribution to the CSL project. We have made a $5000 donation, and we hope this helps ensure the long-term sustainability of this valuable project.
Sebastian Karcher and Rintze Zelle commented that Mendeley is one of the most popular products to use CSL, and that this level of involvement is crucial in helping them move CSL forward. They hope others will follow Mendeley’s lead, and look forward to continue improving CSL, with better support for multilingual citations, legal citations, and archival sources. The CSL project also continues to reach out to publishers to further increase the number of journals covered by CSL styles.
Here at Mendeley we’re really proud to support an initiative that helps the academic community with their research. We would also like to hear your experiences of using CSL and what improvements you’d like to see implemented. As usual, feel free to get in touch with Mendeley via the feedback forum, or leave a comment here.
Scholars looking to publish in one of the approximately 30,000 peer reviewed scholarly journals (per Ulrich’s) have a big problem on their hands. They have to prepare the text of their manuscript according to the style specified by the journal, process the images as specified by the journal, prepare the necessary disclosures, deposit datasets into the appropriate repositories, and do a host of other activities according to their field, and then every citation must be written in a specific format that is (often trivially) different for every one of the approximately 2000 publishers of peer-reviewed scholarly content. As if doing the research isn’t hard enough!
Slowly, ever so slowly, technology is changing this practice.Read More »
One of the great built-in features in Mendeley is without a doubt the citation plugin for your word processor of choice. We currently support most of popular word processors such as MS word (Mac and Windows), OpenOffice, Neo Office, and Libre Office. We’re continuously working to improve the efficiency and general user interface of this plugin because we feel it is an important component within Mendeley Desktop and your overall research workflow.
That being said, I’d like to touch on a small aspect that many Mendeley citation plugin users are probably unaware of. If you add multiple citations at the same time, the appropriate citation style is used for such situations. For example, if you were citing 3 articles and they were the 3rd, 4th and 5th citations added, they’d probably be added as follows 3-5 (if using a numeric inline citation style format like “Nature Genetics”.). However, if you went in to the document and wanted to add another reference in that bundle, it would show up as 3-5 6. That is not good.
Quick solution? Delete the citations and add all four together. Which would mean remembering which reference they were, selecting all four and adding them in again.
Better solution? Merge the citations! Just select the 3-5 and 6 citation and then go to your citation plugin options in your word processor and select Merge citations. The end result should be 3-6. No need to go track down the references again. Just select, merge. Done.
Check out this quick 2 minute video showcasing our Word plugin:
Here are the previous eight entries in our How-to series:
The most laborious part of any research paper for me, and probably for many of you, is making sure that the references are formatted in the proper style. Is the title supposed to be in italics? Do I need a period or a comma here? It has always seemed like exactly the kind of thing that a computer should be able to do for me, and now with Mendeley it can. Mendeley uses a system for formatting references called the Citation Style Language (CSL), which is sort of like HTML, but for citations. With Mendeley, you simply tell your word processor what citation style you want (picking from a library of thousands of styles) and our word processor plugin handles the rest.Read More »