Alphabetical Sorting


I'm new to Zotero.
I looked through all the tutorials, searched the forums but wasn't able to find a solution to my problem.

I've added all my citations to my library. I'm now adding them one by one in Word as I'm writing my article and then I create a bibliography at the bottom of my .doc. I thought that my bibliography would automatically be sorted by alphabetical order (by author's name).
But the citations are added in the order they appear in my article.
I'm using Vancouver style.

Is there something I'm missing?

Thanks in advance,
  • Bibliographic sorting is style-dependent. Vancouver, like most numbered styles, sorts by the order in which references are cited.
  • You're not missing anything, I think. The Vancouver style does not sort the bibliography, so references will appear in document order. A switch to a style that does sorting (such as Chicago Author-Date) will reorder the bibliography (so long as that style remains selected).
  • Thank you for your response!
    Then I think there's a problem with the editorial rules I must respect. They're asking for a Vancouver style for the citations, but with bibliography numbered in alphabetical order...

    Is there any matching style ? Or should I use another app for creating my bibliography ?
  • what's the journal? It's easy enough to do in Zotero, I can write you the style.
  • edited January 14, 2010
    It's a french radiation therapy journal called "Cancer/Radiothérapie". The instructions are available here : (english beginning page 8 and references instructions at page 10).

    That would be great if you could create that style (vancouver citation with bibliography listed in alphabetical order by first author's name)! Thank you!
  • go here
    download using the "Raw" link on the top right.
    Install by dragging the downloaded file to an open Firefox window.

    I have not checked the instructions - this is just vancouver with alphabetical numbering, if you find any further issues, please report back here - if there is more, please consult this and post a complete list:
    if everything is OK, I will committ the style to the repository
  • edited January 14, 2010
    Wow, you really made my day! I can't thank you enough for this! It would be just perfect if the citations could appear as [1], [2], ... instead of (1), (2), ... in the article and in the bibliography. But I don't want to take too much of your time. If it's too complicated, I'll edit it myself in word.

    Thanks again!
  • done - no worries - total less than 5mins work.
    re-install from the same link as above - Zotero will ask you if you want to update the style, click OK to that.
  • Perfect! I can't thank you enough! What a great community behind Zotero! I'll keep using it and talk about it to my colleagues!
  • adamsmith, is there something similar that can be done for AMA styles, whereby the biblio is alphabetized rather than in the order of citation? Refer to Journal of Sports Physical Therapy ( for any help!

  • edited February 13, 2010
    installation instructions and disclaimers as above.
    Name of the style will be American Medical Association (Alphabetical Bibliography)
  • Wow! That's pretty cool. Thanks so much!

    Just curious, but is there a way for Zotero to take a "Journal Title" that is in First Letter Caps Like This Is and convert it to Sentence case? Or is this just something I should fix in the record field?

    Fantastic app. You don't know how much time I could have saved all these years had I gone this route.
  • bob - yes, in principal Zotero can do that, but we try to avoid it in public styles, because it also puts proper names in lowercase, - e.g. country names like "Journal of the american..." etc.
    We generally recommend storing titles in sentence case, because Zotero does conversion from sentence to title case better than vice versa.
  • edited February 23, 2011
    Hi Adam!
    I am also trying to get the AMA - Alphabetic Bibliography that you discussed above (for use in JOSPT). I clicked on the link you gave but I am not sure how to get this new formatting to work in my document. Can you help? How soon will it be available on the regular listing of styles?
  • once you're on the github page
    download the style using save as... on the "Raw" link on the top right.
    Install the downloaded ama-alphabetical.csl by dragging to any open Firefox window.
    Then select the new style in your document.
  • Adam,
    I have tried this several times and it is just not working for me. I seem to have downloaded it but I don´t find the AMA-alphabetic style listed as an option anywhere - not in the Zotero master list nor in my document when I look in the Zotero toggle to change the bibliography style. ?
  • walk me through exactly what you're doing to install the style from the moment you're on the github page. Be as precise as possible - you're probably missing a crucial step on the installation process, but I can't tell which one without more details.
  • I go to the github page.
    I don´t see a "save as" option, but I click on the "raw" to the right.
    I open a new Mozilla firefox window and drag the "ama-alpha.csl" to that window.
    When I try to do this a second time, I am told that it is already installed.
    I go to the Zotero Citation Style list and it is not listed (I am not sure if it would be)
    I go to my document that already contains a Zotero bibliography in normal AMA style.
    I try to change the bibliography style and a page pops up that displays the standard style options. ama-alpha is not one of the options.
  • Adam,
    I live in Abu Dhabi and it is past midnight here now so I am going to bed. I will check again tomorrow to see your comments. Thanks for trying to help - I hope we can work it out! C
  • OK, first thing - right-click on "Raw" to get the "save link as..." option.
    You'll download the file to your harddisk. From there, drag it to FF.

    Zotero (via a FF pop-up) will ask whether you want to install the style. Click OK.
    When I try to do this a second time, I am told that it is already installed."
    I don't know what you mean here - what is telling you what exactly? This does not sound like a Zotero related message (Zotero would ask whether you want to update the style when you install it the second time.)

    The style will appear as "American Medical Association (Alphabetical Bibliography)" In Zotero - make sure you're not just overlooking it. It should show up in Word right away, but if you don't see it, first check the styles in the Zotero preferences.
  • Adam - It worked! The problem was that I didn´t download it to the hard drive first, I just dragged the link to a new Mozilla page instead. My computer speaks German and so I have to interpret the commands that are listed. They vary a little bit from the English commands.
    Thanks so much - this makes my life (at least paper-writing-wise) a lot easier!

  • Freut mich - wünsche eine gute Nacht dann.
  • Hello I'm having a similar problem. i have my citations in the right format but American Journal of Sports Medicine requires alphabetical listing of references. is there a way to change my bibliography format to list them this way?
  • what style gives you the correct formatting?
  • i have the right formatting with the national library of medicine with the exception of the alphabetical ordering as I mentioned and the journal name isn't in italics.
  • I just uploaded a style "American Medical Association (AMA) - alphabetical" to the repository at
    try that and see if it works for you - that's what the publisher of AJSM says to use.
  • oh you are so great! thanks that worked like a charm, I was really stressing about this.... but not anymore. I appreciate the effort
  • I have an additional question to add to my previous post from January. Is there away to add the pubmed id (PMID) to the end of each citaion in the references automatically? The PMID is included in the meta data of most of my citations already.
  • Hi,

    I'm trying to format my references for the journal: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. The format for references is that which has been adopted by the United States National Library of Medicine [Patrias K. National Library of Medicine Recommended Formats for Bibliographic Citation. Bethesda (MD): The Library; 1991. Available from: NTIS, Springfield, VA; PB91-182030.]

    I was currently using the National Library of Medicine citation in the styles repository; however, the journal requires it to be alphabetical. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
  • Maybe add this above line 233 (between the starting bibliography tag and the starting layout tag):
    <key macro="author"/>
    <key macro="title"/>
Sign In or Register to comment.