Mendeley Supports the Open Source CSL Project

Rintze Zelle 2

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.

Mendeley contributes 2000 citation styles to the open citation style repository at citationstyles.org

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 »

Make your citations look exactly how they should with Mendeley's visual citation style editor




Image via kalyan02

We’re very happy to announce the release of the first true “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” citation style editor for open source CSL citation styles – produced in collaboration with Columbia University Libraries and supported by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Most academic journals insist that papers submitted to them conform to the journal’s own idiosyncratic style of citing research. This has led to a proliferation of thousands of different citation styles, often with only minuscule differences in things like the placement of commas or use of italics. To support their users in this arduous task, modern reference management tools like ours ship with 2789 different citation styles for use when formatting a bibliography in Word or Open Office.

It turns out that 2789 was still not enough!Read More »

Citing research is about to get a whole lot easier.

After the storm - raindrops on roses 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 »

Citation Style Refresh

We have updated the citation styles available in Mendeley Desktop from the main repository for CSL styles.  This adds 514 new citation styles and includes updates to many others.  You can browse and update styles from within Mendeley Desktop by going to View -> Citation Style -> More Styles.  Updated styles will have a blue ‘Update Available‘ label next to them. Click on the style and then click ‘Update Now‘ to install the updated citation style.

If you have developed new citation styles and you want to make them available to Mendeley users, please submit them to the CSL repository.

One on one with Bruce D'Arcus, creator of the community-driven Citation Style Language

Bruce D'ArcusMost of our users know that Mendeley can format citations automatically in most word processors. Some may not realize, however, that this bit of magic wasn’t developed entirely by us. Rather, we use tools that were created by a global community of academics and released for everyone to use. I recently had a conversation with the initiator of this movement, Bruce D’Arcus, on where the project is going, what it means to research, and how you can take part.Read More »