A Citation Style Language (CSL) Cite Processor
Ruby Cucumber



CiteProc-Ruby is a Citation Style Language (CSL) 1.0.1 cite processor written in pure Ruby. This Ruby gem contains the processor's rendering engine only; for more documentation on the whole cite processor, please refer to the documentation of the citeproc gem instead.

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Install CiteProc-Ruby and all official CSL styles (optional).

$ [sudo] gem install citeproc-ruby
$ [sudo] gem install csl-styles

Start rendering you references with any CSL style!

require 'citeproc'
require 'csl/styles'

# Create a new processor with the desired style,
# format, and locale.
cp = CiteProc::Processor.new style: 'apa', format: 'text'

# To see what styles are available in your current
# environment, run `CSL::Style.ls'; this also works for
# locales as `CSL::Locale.ls'.

# Tell the processor where to find your references. In this
# example we load them from a BibTeX bibliography using the
# bibtex-ruby gem.
cp.import BibTeX.open('./references.bib').to_citeproc

# Now you are ready for rendering; the processor API
# provides three main rendering methods: `process',
# `append', or `bibliography'.

# For simple one-off renditions, you can also call
# `render' in bibliography or citation mode:
cp.render :bibliography, id: 'knuth'

# This will return a rendered reference, like:
#-> Knuth, D. (1968). The art of computer programming. Boston: Addison-Wesley.

# CiteProc-Ruby exposes a full CSL API to you; this
# makes it possible to just alter CSL styles on the
# fly. For example, what if we want names not to be
# initialized even though APA style is configured to
# do so? We could change the CSL style itself, but
# we can also make a quick adjustment at runtime:
name = cp.engine.style.macros['author'] > 'names' > 'name'

# What just happened? We selected the current style's
# 'author' macro and then descended to the CSL name
# node via its parent names node. Now we can change
# this name node and the cite processor output will
# pick-up the changes right away:
name[:initialize] = 'false'

cp.render :bibliography, id: 'knuth'
#-> Knuth, Donald. (1968). The art of computer programming (Vol. 1). Boston: Addison-Wesley.

# Note that we have picked 'text' as the output format;
# if we want to make us of richer output formats we
# can switch to HTML instead:
cp.engine.format = 'html'

cp.render :bibliography, id: 'knuth'
#-> Knuth, Donald. (1968). <i>The art of computer programming</i> (Vol. 1). Boston: Addison-Wesley.

# You can also render citations on the fly.
cp.render :citation, id: 'knuth', locator: '23'
#-> (Knuth, 1968, p. 23)


Optional Dependencies

CiteProc-Ruby tries to minimize hard dependencies for increased compatibility. You can speed up the XML parsing by installing Nokogiri; otherwise the REXML from the Ruby standard library will be used.

Similarly, you can install either of the gems EDTF or Chronic to support a wide range of additional inputs for date variables.

CSL Styles and Locales

You can load CSL styles and locales by passing a respective XML string, file name, or URL. You can also load styles and locales by name if the corresponding files are installed in your local styles and locale directories. By default, CSL-Ruby looks for CSL styles and locale files in


You can change these locations by changing the value of CSL::Style.root and CSL::Locale.root respectively.

Alternatively, you can gem install csl-styles to install all official CSL styles and locales. To make the styles and locales available, simply require 'csl/styles.


The cite processor and the CSL API libraries have been developed for MRI, Rubinius, and JRuby. Please note that we try to support only Ruby versions 1.9.3 and upwards.


The CiteProc-Ruby source code is hosted on GitHub. You can check out a copy of the latest code using Git:

$ git clone https://github.com/inukshuk/citeproc-ruby.git

To get started, install the development dependencies and run all tests:

$ cd citeproc-ruby
$ bundle install
$ rake

If you've found a bug or have a question, please open an issue on the issue tracker. Or, for extra credit, clone the CiteProc-Ruby repository, write a failing example, fix the bug and submit a pull request.


Thanks to Rintze M. Zelle, Sebastian Karcher, Frank G. Bennett, Jr., and Bruce D'Arcus of CSL and citeproc-js fame for their support!

Thanks to Google and the Berkman Center at Harvard University for supporting this project as part of Google Summer of Code.


Copyright 2009-2015 Sylvester Keil. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2012 President and Fellows of Harvard College.


CiteProc-Ruby is dual licensed under the AGPL and the FreeBSD license.