Requesting Styles

Rintze M. Zelle edited this page Sep 16, 2016 · 17 revisions

Requesting Styles

A few members of the Zotero user community donate time to create and update CSL styles in response to user requests. Their time is limited, so please follow the instructions below to make the process of requesting styles as efficient as possible. Your request is more likely to be fulfilled if your style is widely used (e.g., we don't have the time to create styles as required by specific universities, departments, or faculty). Alternatively, you can also try editing CSL styles yourself.

New Styles

  1. Make sure that the style you're requesting isn't already available in the style repository. You can also search our styles by format by using our CSL style editor (documentation). Visit the “Search by Example” tab, and change one of the example references into the desired format. Clicking “Search” will show the CSL styles that most closely match your desired format. If you find the style your looking for, but under a different name, request a dependent style (see below).
  2. Search the Zotero forums to see if there is already a forum thread about the style you want to request. If there is a thread, you may be able to contribute crucial information that allows one of the community members to create it, or learn the (technical) reasons why the style cannot currently be supported.
  3. If you can't find an existing Zotero forums thread, create one. Use "Style Request: [name of style]" for the title of your starting post. You post should include the following information:

    • The following two citations - for a journal article and a book chapter - correctly formatted according to the style you're requesting (they're provided here in APA). Please provide exactly these citations, correctly formatted, not any example for a journal and book chapter.
      • Campbell, J. L., & Pedersen, O. K. (2007). The varieties of capitalism and hybrid success. Comparative Political Studies, 40(3), 307–332. doi:10.1177/0010414006286542
      • Mares, I. (2001). Firms and the welfare state: When, why, and how does social policy matter to employers? In P. A. Hall & D. Soskice (Eds.), Varieties of capitalism. The institutional foundations of comparative advantage (pp. 184–213). New York: Oxford University Press.
        As this is frequently misunderstood, please make sure that your post contains a bibliography entry for the Mares book chapter and the Campbell & Pedersen journal article. Otherwise we'll ask you to add those, delaying the process.
    • The ISSN and EISSN of the journal. The NLM Catalog is often the fastest way to look these up.
    • A link to online style documentation (e.g., the link to the "Instructions to Authors" section of a journal's website). It's also very useful to provide a link to a freely available paper formatted with the style you're requesting, as this often clarifies issues not discussed in the style guide (many closed access journals provide a free sample issue; you may also be able to find a freely available PDF of a recent journal paper (e.g., hosted on an author's homepage) by searching Google Scholar).
  4. Subscribe to (email) notifications for your thread. A community member might ask you for additional information, and this way you'll get notified when your style is done.

Dependent Styles

Publications by the same publisher (e.g. "Nature" and "Nature Biotechnology") often share the same style. To avoid having to maintain exact duplicates in the style repository, CSL supports dependent styles. A dependent CSL style (e.g. "Nature Biotechnology") simply points to the more generic independent CSL style with the same style formatting ("Nature"). Creating dependent styles is much faster than creating independent styles, so please mention in your style request whether the requested style is already present in the style repository under another name.

Reporting Style Errors

Making requests for changes to existing CSL styles is very similar to requesting new styles. In many cases, there already will be a Zotero forum thread for your style of interest. Always make sure you have the most recent version of the style installed. Provide clear documentation for how the existing CSL style should be improved. We greatly appreciate you reporting errors in existing styles and will do our best to fix these quickly.