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    • CommentAuthorjsapovits
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2006
    I've been using Zotero to write a paper for my school where APA format is the norm. I've noticed that when I export a bibliography to APA format Zotero does not put it in the form required by APA (I'm going by the 5th edition of their Publication Manual). So far I have noticed that Zotero does not handle journal articles by more than 3 authors correctly. Zotero does the following:

    Author A, Author B, Author C, et al.

    The proper format should be:

    Author A, Author B, Author C, Author D & Author E. (for 3 to 6 authors)
    Author A, Author B, Author C, Author D, Author E, Author F, et al. (for 6+ authors)

    I have put all of the authors in my citation on Zotero. Hope you can fix this in the near future since a lot of my journal articles are medical and have multiple authors. Thanks!
    • CommentAuthorbdarcus
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2006
    The CSL style for APA has somewhat different rules:

    for citations, first occurrence does +6 use first 6, subsequent +6 use first 1.

    for bibliographic entries, it uses a different rule: for 4+ use the first 3.

    My guess is the second may be a bug that slipped in. Can someone please check this, preferably against the actual APA manual (or post a link)?

    In any case, it sounds like Zotero isn't correctly implementing et al support. There probably needs to be some additional Javascript code added.
    • CommentAuthorjsapovits
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2006
    I actually took my reference from the APA Publication Manual (5th edition) -- this is found in section 4.04 (page 220) and 4.16 (page 240). I'm not sure why the CSL says different.

    Excuse me for adding on to this post as I go but I'm currently working on a paper and found another glitch. For some reason multiple works with the same first author (but different second and third authors) are printing with a letter behind the year of publication (e.g. 2004a) even when there are different years. For example I have two works cited with Author A from 2 different years (2000, 2004). Zotero is printing this as 2004a and 2000b -- again this is not APA format in a bibliography. The only time lowercase letters are used (again section 4.04, page 221) is in the body of the text when you reference a work by an author with two or more works as part of series in the same year.

    Personally I and most others dislike APA format but it's a nursing thing. Even my instructors who do research don't use it that much when they publish. However when you are graded on APA style you quickly make sure everything is right lest you lose points.

    If I come across more issues I'll post them.

    And by the way thanks for providing Zotero. My school pushes EndNote heavily but I could not see shelling out the money when I am only writing short papers each semester and not doing PhD research. So far I've been quite happy with Zotero recognizing it is still in beta.

    • CommentAuthorbdarcus
    • CommentTimeNov 5th 2006
    OK, I've fixed it in the CSL file, which now looks like this for the bib:

    <et-al min-authors="6" use-first="6"/>

    The rest is for the Zotero guys to fix.

    Interesting aside: MS is adding citation support to Word 2007. But while they include APA support, they actually don't implement it correctly. Not only that, but they won't. Instead of the system automatically assigning the correct year suffixes, the user will have the manually add them!
    • CommentAuthorjsapovits
    • CommentTimeNov 8th 2006
    I found one more small problem with the APA format. APA uses initials for the first and middle names of authors in the following format:

    Last Name[comma][space]Initial of first name[period][space]Initial of middle name[period]

    Zotero omits the space between the period of the first name and the initial of the middle name.

    I don't know if it makes a difference but I input my author names in Zotero simply as initials with a period -- would this have caused this problem? Should I omit the period? (Two periods did not appear on my exported bibliography, however) Will Zotero automatically shorten a full name to an initial?

    Sorry I did not have time to do some testing with this myself before posting.

    • CommentAuthorbdarcus
    • CommentTimeNov 9th 2006
    To be more precise, first/middle name isn't relevant; it says to initialize given names.

    In any case, can you double-check this against your APA guide? Or, put differently, are you 100% sure what you say above is correct?

    The existing APA CSL style has


    ... which is indeed saying there should be no space. Will be happy to change it with confirmation that's wrong.
    • CommentAuthorjsapovits
    • CommentTimeNov 9th 2006
    I can't find an exact reference in my APA Publication Manual (5th Edition) but it is obvious from all of the examples that there is to be a space.

    I just tried creating a bibliography using Zotero where I put in the full first name of the author. Zotero did list the given name with an initial followed by a period. The space after the period is missing.

    APA format has this space -- I hope you can take my word without an exact reference.

    • CommentAuthorkmc
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2006

    jsapovits is definitely right on this one - all of the examples in the APA manual have a space after the periods.

    I've noticed a couple of other issues with APA format as well:

    - when doing a book section Zotero puts "Pp." before the page number, but it should be "pp."

    - when doing an edited book Zotero puts "Ed" or "Eds" but these should be "Ed." and "Eds." (that is - there needs to be a period after the Ed)

    - when doing a book section, Zotero seems to put both the section title and the book title in italics, when it's actually only the book title that should be in italics

    I also noticed that for journal articles and book chapter titles, Zotero will leave all the words starting with caps if this is how it is entered - for something I'm entering myself it's no problem to enter it with no caps. But if I'm getting something automatically from a web page, it seems I might not always remember to go remove the caps - if Zotero could do that automatically somehow, that would be very helpful!

    • CommentAuthormikepru
    • CommentTimeDec 19th 2006
    Other APA mistakes in Zotero:

    1. All words in journal titles should be capitalized. (eg, Perception & Psychophysics, NOT Perception & psychophysics) Right now Zotero does the latter.

    2. As noted in other posts, there should be spaces after the periods in the author initials.

    3. Zotero puts the issue number in parenthesis after the italicized volume. APA style uses ONLY the volume number, and the issue number is left out. So that should be removed.

    4. The full page numbers should be given in the range. NOT 118-26, but 118-126 is correct.

    Example for points 1, 3 & 4:
    CORRECT: Perception & Psychophysics, 55, 485-496.
    WRONG: Perception & psychophysics, 55(5), 485-96.
    • CommentAuthorsean
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2006
    Thanks for all of your helpful comments on proper APA citation formatting. We ought to be able to handle most of the changes requested:

    1. We can add a space after each author initial
    2. We can adjust Ed/Eds to be Ed./Eds.
    3. We can change Pp to pp
    4. We'll take a look at section and issue number handling to fix any problems

    Where things become trickier is at the level of capitalization and page numbers. Zotero is generating publication titles as they're entered. Since we have no way to know how titles should be capitalized, it's best to adjust them manually. We do have a title-casing function, but obviously it will break down pretty regularly: aren't we all tired of reading about "Ipods" and "Imacs"? Sure, we can ignore English articles and prepositions, but how will this function know which words not to capitalize in foreign titles?

    For much the same reason, Zotero is outputting page numbers as 118-26 most likely because that's what's entered into the relevant item's Pages field. At the moment Zotero has no way of reverse engineering the original page numbers, so for now it's best to edit those page numbers yourself.
    Although the name of journal should have each word capitalized, the title of the article should not - only the first word, of the title and sub-title and any proper names, all others begin with a lowercase letter. Can this please be fixed in the next version?
    • CommentAuthoralwinvrm
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2007
    I wanted to get a new reference manager and was getting my feet wet with Biblioscape and Endnote as I came across Zotero. I immediately liked that Zotero's interface and functioning matches the way I work. Hence my question: When is the update of the plug-in for APA in-text references for MS Word expected?
    • CommentAuthordancohen
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2007
    The plug-in for Word, which will do APA in-text references, is available now:

    We're calling it an "alpha" since it's a first release, but it works quite well (though as you can see from this thread, we have some tweaking to do with the APA formatting).
    Hi, just bumping this post to ask if there a ticket for the changes that were suggested by Sean? I raised some similar issues in this post,
    in June 2007 (sorry didn't pick this one up with search back then) and did not get a reply to the more recent post, and since this was originally raised before in Dec, and zotero has been updated between now and then, I am worried it has slipped through the radar.
    I ask because I spent have to spend a considerable amount of time going through my reference list making these changes.

    Regarding the capitalisation issue:
    Yes, a in built capitalisation function will not work on foreign titles, but since 99% of my references are in English (and I guess this is true for a large proportion of the Zotero user base) I don't see why there is a problem - because it might not help some users shouldn't be a reason not to implement it for the large numbers that would benefit from its implementation (you could always have an option for it). So if a "smart" titling functioning could be implemented, even if sub optimal, it would save a lot of people a lot of time, and I see the request been made on other posts in these forums. Going through each reference to change the case is a considerable pain, and somewhat defeats the reason why I use a reference manager (to save me pain).
    • CommentAuthorsean
    • CommentTimeAug 20th 2007
    Zotero 1.0RC2 offers some built-in text transformation functions. Try right-clicking an item's publication title (or any of its title fields): you'll find a couple of text transformations that may speed up your editing of individual items (e.g. journal titles that import in all caps).

    For varied output (e.g. different citation styles), CSLs offer several options to alter capitalization.

    Finally, regarding our user base: it's very multilingual.
    • CommentAuthorbluepants
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2007
    Text transformations would be great, but I'm using 1.0.0rc2 and I can't find them! Right clicking on a title produces the following items: Undo; Cut; Copy; Paste; Delete; Select All. No text transformations.

    I actually tried to do my own text transformations by exporting the reference, opening in a text editor, using the editors transform tool, saving and importing into Zotero. But for journal articles the journal title always goes missing on re-importing. I notice that there is no tag for a journal title, only two dc:title tags and a z:itemType="journalArticle" that presumably tells Zotero to interpret the second title as the journal title. But how to maintain that during an export / import?
    • CommentAuthorsean
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2007
    Try right-clicking when the field is not in edit mode. In other words, don't click the field first and then right-click. Just right-click.
    • CommentAuthorbluepants
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2007
    Cool! Thanks. It doesn't work unless one of the other fields is in edit mode, though. If no fields are selected, right-clicking on one will simply open it to edit mode.

    No, I take that back. Now I can't get it to work at all! I got it to work on one reference, but I can't replicate it on any others. Everytime I right click, no matter what, it simply opens the field for editing. Damn! I broke it!
    Everytime I right click, no matter what, it simply opens the field for editing.

    This was a bug on Windows. It's been fixed on the dev branch and will be included in the next release candidate within a few days.
    • CommentAuthorbluepants
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2007
    Great! I'll look forward to that.

    While I'm on the topic, is it possible to add Sentence Case to the transform options? ('Cos I know you've got nothing better to do ...!)
    • CommentAuthortibr
    • CommentTimeAug 24th 2007
    I've got a problem with APA format too...
    I have a reference with 6 authors and the "et al." at the end shouldn't be there...
    I didn't have this problem with previous versions of Zotero. The problem showed up with the last updates rc2-3

    (Loomis, Klatzky, Golledge, Cicinelli, Pellegrino, Fry, et al., 1993)

    Loomis, J. M., Klatzky, R. L., Golledge, R. G., Cicinelli, J. G., Pellegrino, J. W., Fry, P. A., et al. (1993). Nonvisual navigation by blind and sighted: assesment of path integration ability. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 122(1), 73-91.

    thank you for your help.
    Thanks for the right click option. That is much appreciated. One comment though - probably best to default for lower case to capitalise first letter, or have a third option.
    The issues with APA style for book chapters I was harping on about have been fixed, thanks.
    • CommentAuthorSimon
    • CommentTimeSep 1st 2007
    tibr: I'll take a look at this.
    • CommentAuthorcaseylw
    • CommentTimeSep 1st 2007
    Zotero's reference formatting for APA-style book chapters is incorrect. In fact, the application is missing a field: Editors. Book chapters in APA-style should be formatted like this:

    Author, A., Author, B., & Author, C. (2003). Title of the chapter. In A. Editor, B. Editor, & C. Editor (Eds.), Title of the Book (pp. 100-122). Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

    The title of the book is the only part that should be capitalized. If you guys could correct this, I'd be grateful. I have a chunky dissertation proposal due this month, and I'd love it if Zotero could do this automatically.
    • CommentAuthorcaseylw
    • CommentTimeSep 1st 2007
    Two more problems:

    (1) Sometimes in-text citations aren't always in the (Author1, Author2 & Author3, 2003) format. It's standard to write something like the following: "Author1, Author2, and Author3 (2003) showed that...". From what I can tell Zotero can only insert the full parenthetical.

    (2) When references are referred to more than once in-text, it is standard to abbreviate the authors upon the second mention. For example, the second mention of the article should read "(Author1 et al., 2003). From what I can tell, Zotero doesn't accommodate this formatting. If I'm wrong, I'd be happy to know how to do it!

    Zotero's reference formatting for APA-style book chapters is incorrect. In fact, the application is missing a field: Editors.

    Click the "Author" field in the info pane to choose Editor or other creator types.

    FAQ: How Do I Add an Edited Volume or a Book Chapter
    • CommentAuthorcaseylw
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2007
    Thanks, Dan. I tried listing editors (and series editors), but they don't show up in the citation. Also, the page numbers for a chapter don't appear in the correct place -- they should appear in a parenthetical just after the book title (right now they appear at the end of the citation). Am I doing something incorrectly? Thank you!
    • CommentAuthorSimon
    • CommentTimeSep 5th 2007
    caseylw: You are right. There are errors in the formatting of an edited book. I'll take care of these.
    • CommentAuthorSimon
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2007
    caseylw: I saw and corrected the issue with formatting of page numbers. I will commit these changes soon, and they should appear in 1.0 (if not earlier). I don't appear to be having any problems with editors, however.

    As for your other issues, (1) is already available in our developmental build. (There's a "Suppress Author" checkbox that will get you the desired behavior.) (2) is supported, although it only gets used when there are 6+ authors (should be 3+ authors). I've corrected this as well.

    Thank you for your input. Let me know if you're having any other problems.
    • CommentAuthorcaseylw
    • CommentTimeSep 10th 2007
    Thanks, Simon. I greatly appreciate your help.
    • CommentAuthorSamF
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2007 edited
    I'd like to echo Jay A. Babcock's comments from Feb 12th 2007: In APA style, only the FIRST word of the article's title should be capitalized (and also proper names).

    I don't have a hard-cover to cite, but here, as elsewhere, it notes:

    "Capitalize only the first words of book or article titles; capitalize all important words in the name of a journal."

    Currently Zotero seems to ignore capitalization entirely and just paste's the title in however it was saved. This is a problem, as some e-journals capitalize the entire first word(s) of an article, which certainly isn't in any manual of style.

    Obviously if you implement capitalizing only the first work, there will still be the problem that proper names won't be capitalized. However, it would be much easier to go back and capitalize the 5-10 proper names in your article titles than un-capitalize 90-100 other words.

    Any chance of this happening? Thanks!
    • CommentAuthormilliken
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2007
    Also, The APA has a new version of the APA Style Guide to Electronic References (2007) that updates most of the formats for electronic sources. The biggest one is for journal articles and involves DOIs.

    Articles with DOIs use that instead of a retrieval date/url/databasename combination. This can be important because, at least for the EBSCOhost scraper, the doi isn't grabbed. The example from the Guide is:

    Stultz, J. (2006). Integrating exposure therapy and analytic therapy in trauma treatment. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 76(4), 482-488. doi:10.1037/0002-9432.76.4.482

    Many other categories of sources have changed too. Has anyone checked Zotero's current output against the new Guide?
    • CommentAuthorbdarcus
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2007
    Articles with DOIs use that instead of a retrieval date/url/databasename combination.

    To be more precise, the rule is then:

    if DOI, use DOI
    else if URL, use URL

    This goes back to the fact that it is incorrect to store the URI for the journal database site as a URL; it should be stored as a link.

    • CommentAuthormc
    • CommentTimeNov 11th 2007 edited
    The edition of a book is not showing up in an APA bibliography, i.e. where there is an edition other than the first the bibliography should read:
    Author, A. (Year). Title of book (2nd ed.). Place: Publisher
    Author, A. (Year). Title of book (3rd ed.). Place: Publisher
    Author, A. (Year). Title of book (4th ed.). Place: Publisher

    BTW: Word 2003, Word plugin 1.0b1, Zotero 1.0.0rc6.r1847
    • CommentAuthornh
    • CommentTimeNov 11th 2007
    Is there any way that the issue number could be removed from the APA formatting of journal articles in bibliographies? It appears to have been requested in this thread in 12/2006, but hasn't been done by version 1.0.1.

    In APA format, issue numbers are excluded unless the journal resets page numbers with each issue. I assume zotero has no way of knowing whether that is true for any given journal, but since 98% of journals use continuous pagination, it makes more sense to have the "default" behavior be to leave out the issue number.
    • CommentAuthormilliken
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2007
    I notice that a ticket has been added to add DOIs to the APA bibliography style for articles. Thanks!

    I hope the rest of the changes, for blogs, e-books, wikis, email lists, and several other categories of sources will also be updated too.

    I'd be happy to send a pdf of the new version of the APA Style Guide to Electronic References to anyone who would be working on it, if they don't have their own copy.

    Btw, all of this hard work is appreciated!
    • CommentAuthormc
    • CommentTimeNov 14th 2007
    Can I second millikel's comment and add editions of books to the list of APA fixes (see my previous post) above?
    • CommentAuthorrytmisk
    • CommentTimeNov 28th 2007
    I wonder if it would be possible to add conference presentations which have no proceedings to the apa bibliography output like exemplified on

    Would rock!

    • CommentAuthorkmc
    • CommentTimeDec 19th 2007
    Simon: From your September 6 post:

    "I saw and corrected the issue with formatting of page numbers. I will commit these changes soon, and they should appear in 1.0 (if not earlier)."

    I have version 1.0.1 installed and I'm still getting page numbers going at the end of the citation instead of after the book title.

    Also, I was happy to discover the suppress authors function, but noticed that it still leaves a comma and a space before the year.

    Example: Olivares et al. (, 2002) studied…

    Not a huge deal to correct as I'm writing, but it would be nice if this could be corrected in future versions.

    Thanks for all your hard work on this!
    • CommentAuthoradamw4
    • CommentTimeJan 12th 2008
    Is there any way that the issue number could be removed from the APA formatting of journal articles in bibliographies? [...] In APA format, issue numbers are excluded unless the journal resets page numbers with each issue. I assume zotero has no way of knowing whether that is true for any given journal, but since 98% of journals use continuous pagination, it makes more sense to have the "default" behavior be to leave out the issue number.
    I noticed this was changed recently because it affected some of my references to articles in online-only journals, which look rather odd now without the issue number. I had a look at the APA CSL file using the csledit.xul method I've seen referenced here, and managed to add some code which checks to see if the reference has page numbers; if it doesn't (presumably meaning it is an online-only journal) it includes the issue number. This worked for me within the csledit.xul interface, but probably would need further proper testing to be sure it doesn't mess anything else up. I also don't really have any CSL knowledge, and only figured this much out by looking at the rest of the APA CSL file for similar code to copy. Perhaps ideally there would be a little check-box or something for each item to tell Zotero whether to include the issue number or not. In any case here is the additional CSL code:
    <if variable="page">
    <text variable="issue" prefix="(" suffix=")"/>
    • CommentAuthorbdarcus
    • CommentTimeJan 12th 2008
    I'd like to return to the issue of, um, issue numbers that adamw4 brings up again. In short, I think this was the wrong decision and plan to change it back unless people here can convince me otherwise.

    My reading is this:

    APA allows, but does not require, omitting issue numbers in continuously paginated periodicals. But since a) not all periodicals are continuously paginated, b) we have no way of knowing or encoding that they are, and c) redundant-ish information is not a bug (I really cannot see anyone being bothered by an additional "(3)"), I think the proper behavior is to include the issue number.

    • CommentAuthorpaulanus
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2008
    Another issue: Since summer 2007 APA has modified its handling of doi/URL for articles available online (though maybe in print in as well). However, it appears that the reference type needs to be set to "electronic journal" rather than "journal" so that doi/URL are included -- at least this make it work in EndNote.
    However, there is no such a ref type in Zotero, and using "journal" and APA style in Zotero will not output doi/URL.

    Any suggestion for a work around in Zotero? Maybe adding "electronic journal" as new ref type?
    I am using Zotero now, and I agree that its interface is fantastic. however, there are still a couple of errors in its APA format.

    1.the volume number is not italicised.
    2.the issue number is still there. (Mentioned above)
    3. without capitalizing the important words of journal names (Mentioned above).

    Also, once a while, not very frequently, but not rarely either, automatic capture omits the year of the publication (like this article in Pubmed: Research in paediatric neuropsychology past, present and future).

    Especially when I use Zotero to generate bibliography automatically, these small problems are really annoying and reduce the productivity a lot. so if they can be solved, I would be very grateful.

    • CommentAuthortimlevin
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2008
    Is there any way to get the "report number" to show up in exported HTML? I don't see it in any style I have exported (see entry below) but APA requires it: "If the issuing organization assigned a number (e.g., report number, contract number, or monograph number) to the report, give that number in parentheses immediately after the title" (

    Etu, T., & Ehuy, C. (2008). An analysis of comfort. Princess Anne, MD: Big School.

    Author = {Timothy Etu and Cynthia Ehuy},
    Title = {An Analysis of Comfort},
    Publisher = {Big School},
    Address = {Princess Anne, MD},
    Number = {NS-CS-06-001},
    Month = {August},
    Year = {2008}}
    • CommentAuthorwlamia
    • CommentTimeMar 1st 2008 edited
    I'm just trying out Zotero, and I put in a couple of simple sources, books I found on Amazon. When I put the citation in a document and generate the APA bibliography, it seems to be putting the number of pages in the book in the bib. list. This isn't at all standard. Why is it doing this, and how do I get it to generate correct citations?

    update: I had the wrong citation type attached to the record - when changed to 'book' it seems to work correctly. However, Zotero is not generating standard APA dissertation citations, even when the source is captured from Digital Dissertaions.
    • CommentAuthorjamaral
    • CommentTimeMar 18th 2008
    Help! When I generate a bibliography in APA format, I'm getting a comma after the article title rather than a period. Thanks!
    • CommentAuthorTjowens
    • CommentTimeMar 20th 2008
    We just fixed this in the dev version of the style. It should update in the next few days on your local copy of Zotero.
    • CommentAuthormikowitz
    • CommentTimeMar 20th 2008 edited
    The updated version of the APA style has been pushed to the repository. Your copy of Zotero should auto-update within 24 hours, or you can update manually by clicking Update Now in the General pane of the Zotero prefs.
    • CommentAuthorsimmers
    • CommentTimeMar 20th 2008
    I am having problems with the capitalization of titles in references -- extensions.zotero.capitalizeTitles is FALSE, but all except first letter in a title is lowercase. Is it possible the updated version has a problem - or perhaps it is my newbie ignorance...
    • CommentAuthorerazlogo
    • CommentTimeMar 20th 2008

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