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Zotero: Citation Styles

How to collect, organize, and cite articles, and create formatted bibliographies with the free tool, Zotero.

Zotero: Managing Citation Styles

Creating New Styles

Click on the image below to open Steb-by-step instructions on creating and modifying styles.

As you work, be sure to use the Zotero Reference Test Pane to see instantly the effect of code changes on the style output.

Adding Additional Citation Styles

Zotero comes with the most common bibliographic styles, but many more are available to download.

To install a style (Firefox):

  1. Go to the Zotero Style Repository page in Firefox.
  2. Search for the name of the style you need.
  3. Click the style link, then the Install button (in the pop-up box) to confirm.
To install a style (Zotero Standalone):
  1. Go to the Zotero Style Repository page.
  2. Search for the name of the style you need.
  3. Download the style (Open the style, right click the page and choose Save As).
  4. Open Zotero preferences. Click Cite, then Styles, then the "+" button, and select the style you downloaded (a .CSL file).

The new style will appear in Zotero's style lists.

If Zotero Does Not Have the Style You Need

If you can't find the style you're looking for in the Zotero Style Repository, feel free to request a style.

You can also try to create the style yourself, as shown in the instructions in the box on the left. To get started:

  • Start by checking the Zotero Style Repository.You may find another style that works. (Many publishers share styles across multiple journals.)
  •  If you want to improve an existing CSL style, make sure that you start from the most recent version (the repository shows the date and time each style was last updated).
  • If you want to create a new style, find the style that most closely matches what you need using the previews in the style repository (check “Show only unique styles” to avoid seeing duplicates).
  • Use the Zotero Preview pane to compare installed styles using items from your local Zotero library.

Reporting Syle Errors: First, make certain you have downloaded the most recent version of the style. You can report the error to the Citation Style Forums Use the title: Style Error[Name of Style] and give a link to the style guide or author's instructions that show that the CSL style is wrong.  You can try to edit the style following the Step-by-step Instructions.

If all else fails, as a short term solution, consider setting up an EndNote Web account, make a collection of the references in your paper and export it into EndNote Web.  Write the paper in ENW. You would continue to manage your references in Zotero. UAB affiliates may create an account here. 

Learn more about ENW.

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