How to cite a reference using a superscript number in document

I'm writing a report and have been able to create a bibliography. Due to a limitation in the number of pages allowed, rather then citing a reference by the author and year (Smith & Tucker 2009), I need to use a number that corresponds to the reference in the document and on the reference page at the end of the report. I don't know if in Zotero there is a way to assign a number to a reference.
  • Yes. Use e.g. the citation style for Nature or Vancouver (superscript) from (there are many more). Create the list of references using "Insert bibliography"
  • I'd like to use the APA style for the reference page. Vancover does not list the journal articles in the way I need them to be listed. Is there a way to use APA style for the reference page, but still have a way to use the superscript number in the main part of the document? Also, when I used Vancover, the number in the document appeared like this, (1), I wanted it to just be a superscript, however, when I tried to change it to superscript, the number disappeared.

    Thank you for your help. This is the first time I'm using a program such as Zotero.
  • no, you can't "mix" styles, but you can likely find something along the lines of what you need. If the main requirements are superscript citations and full journal titles, have a look at "American Heart Association", "American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics", or "Journal of Visualized Experiments" all available on
  • Any chance someone who is reading this has made a custom style using superscript numbers (Nature) in the running text and a numbered bibliography with the references in APA style?
    This is what gtucke asked for, and 4 years later I am looking for the same...
    Poor psychologists writing grants with word limit ;-)
  • never mind, I managed to edit the citation style. not sure it went 100% correctly, so not sharing (yet)
  • The link I gave is the style you want.
  • how do i add it to zotero? @bwiernik
  • Thanks a lot @poettli
    Could someone tell me how I can create styles on my own like @bwiernik did.
    I was trying to do what he did to apa style (using superscript nos in the text, and a numbered bibliography in the ama style (

    Any help or advice?
  • This style does what you want, if you want APA.

    Otherwise, you can use the Visual Editor to edit the style:

    Another option, what style are you starting from? I can maybe help you out there. Is this for a specific journal or publisher?
  • Thanks for the reply @bwiernik

    I wanted to start on the AMA style (american medical association). i think its mildly different from APA?
  • I don't understand -- AMA is already superscripted and numerical
  • @adamsmith yes, it is usually. Somehow this ama script that I added from the style library, doesn't put superscript for me. Instead just puts author, year etc in parenthesis within the text.

    Does it work for you?
  • Yes it does. If you're using the style you link to above and it shows author-date, you're not selecting the citation style in the right place. Check under "Document Preferences" in Word. Lots of people look in the style tab in Zotero itself, but what you have selected there doesn't actually have any impact on anything.
  • @adamsmith Awesome! Works now. thank you so much!
  • Hi. I am looking for the same thing. I figured out how to save this link and add it to my style list, however when I used it, the numbering is superscripted, but in [1] rather than just the number. I'm not sure how to change that? Essentially I'm looking for the APA style where the year of publication comes after the authors/before the title, but superscript numbering within the Word document.
  • Thank you bwiernik. I tried this, and it still lists the references with the brackets [ ]

    I figured out how to remove those by finding where that was in the script but I am totally a novice and just guessed, and in the end, the edits I made using the style editor worked for just having the superscript numbers sequentially ordered without brackets around each number/set of numbers, but then when I add the bibliography at the end, it doesn't number them. If there was an easy way for me to add the auto numbering back for the end of document bibliography, great, but otherwise I will just number then to match the document flow/numbering, manually.

    If someone here edits these scripts and can help, I can provide my email to send the current CSL that I edited but that is missing the ability to auto-number when it spits out the bibliography.
  • In the line:
    <layout prefix="[" suffix="]" delimiter="," vertical-align="sup">

    Delete the prefix and suffix parts.
  • Can you write out how that line looks for what you mean?
    Thank you.
  • <layout delimiter="," vertical-align="sup">
  • Hmm, I made the correction that adamsmith suggested to my existing modified script and it still is not producing a bibliography that includes numbering of each reference sequentially, at the end of the document, when I have Zotero produce a bibliography. It doesn't seem (that I can tell) that this edit made any change at all (that I can see anyway) and it must have edited something irrelevant because I don't see any other changes in the formatting of the in-text superscripts, nor the way the full references spit out at the end in the bibliography. Maybe I will just need to continue to manually have Word put the numbering in after each chapter is completed.
  • I'm not sure exactly what edits you made, but I've updated the style here to give the formatting you want:
  • Thanks bwiernik, I saved this, reinstalled it as a new style, created a new document, inserted some references, and ran the bibliography... long story short, it worked, and I am appreciative.
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