"Complete" generic German style as template

I'm in the process of writing a generic German style for the humanities with well-ordered and documented code and full support for all Zotero entry types and fields (it's more work than I thought!). I do this mainly in order to have a "complete" template from which I (or others) can more easily derive specific styles for journals, publishers etc. I have already contributed a few styles to the CSL repository (Leviathan, Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft) and have some others (Archiv für Mediengeschichte, Navigationen, Schüren, Transcript) that I haven't made public so far. I will also try to write a "complete" German style with author-year citations. My question is whether it is a good idea to make these "template" styles public once they are done and thoroughly tested.
  • My question is whether it is a good idea to make these "template" styles public once they are done and thoroughly tested.
    Just keep in mind that for the CSL repo, we generally only accept styles that are based on a published citation format. But the German situation is notorious messy, so we might relent a bit here.
  • AFAIK the styles in the CSL have the main goal to be used: A style for a journal can be used to make the bibliography for a submitted paper to this journal. A style from an university can be used in a thesis.
    ...a generic German style for the humanities with well-ordered and documented code and full support for all Zotero entry types and fields...
    This sound to be different, but I think you may want to achieve a different goal: to clarify with a concrete example how to write CSL styles in all details. Moreover, it should focus on German styles in humanities (which I think are containing some of the most difficult style constructions).

    Is this somehow close to what you are imageing? How do you want to share the documentation and implementation of these template styles? (I don't think submitting to the CSL repo is the only possibility...)
  • Given the fact that CSL in general and the csleditor in particular encourage derivative works, I think having one or two high-quality, relatively generic German styles might be quite useful and I'd likely be arguing for inclusion (though as zuphilip says, even if we don't end up taking it for the repo, you should definitely make it available).

    I do wonder, though, if there really is no available citation format in German that this could follow and then you'd just fill out the gaps according to your best judgment? Why would "generic" have to mean that you essentially make up a new style, as it sounds you're inclined to?
  • I am the last person aggainst inclusion of a German CSL style in the repo (they make currently less than 1,8% of all CLS styles ;-). However, for documentation, tutorial or discussion there might be better suitable possibilities: wiki, markdown, help websites...
  • I would be interested in the transcript style. Do you have that somewhere? Can you upload it to the CSL style repository?
  • Here is a Dropbox-Link (not sure if that is allowed on Zotero forums) to the draft of my generic "complete" CSL style for German humanities called "referenz-geisteswissenschaften-heilmann". It goes to (sometimes absurd) lengths to produce sensible output from whatever input it gets. Due to limitations inherent to CSL, it cannot get everything right, though. I have checked it intensively but its length and complexity make it hard to snuff out every "bug". I want to comment the code carefully in the weeks to come but for now it only has my, inconsistent, random comments in it. It has gotten so long that http://validator.citationstyles.org cannot validate it. Make of it what you will:


    And here is a Dropbox-Link to my Transcript 2 CSL style. I honestly have no idea what state it is in as I have not done work on it in a long time. It is probably badly broken and totally outdated. I personally would not touch it but try to adapt "referenz-geisteswissenschaften-heilmann":


  • excellent, many thanks!
  • It validates fine for me using Chrome btw.
  • I had a look. This looks fine. In case anyone else downloads this. make sure you read the further information for the generic style, which forces you to change the way how you enter information to zotero into various fields:
    - Bei Artikeln (article-journal, article-magazine) muss der Verlagsort
    (publisher-place) ins Zotero-Feld "Extra" eingetragen werden, und zwar
    nach dem Muster "{:publisher-place: Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania}".
    - Bei Filmen (motion_picture) muss das Produktionsland ins Zotero-Feld
    "Extra" eingetragen werden, und zwar dem Muster "{:publisher-place: USA}".
    - Das Originalpublikationsjahr muss ins Zotero-Feld "Extra" eingetragen
    werden, und zwar nach dem Muster "{:original-date: 1964}".
    - Für Reihen (collection) muss das gewünschte Präfix "Bd.", "Vol.", "Nr."
    o.ä. für die "Nummer der Reihe" (collection-number) ins Zotero-Feld
    "Nummer" eingetragen werden (nach dem Muster "Bd. 7").
    - Um bei Beiträgen in Sammelbänden (chapter) mit demselben Autor und
    Buchautor die Abkürzung "ders." zu erhalten, muss diese selbst
    (statt des Namens) ins Zotero-Feld "Buchautor" eingetragen werden.
  • Thank you so much, @tillheilmann !
  • Okay, quick word of advice: I just realized that referenz-geisteswissenschaften-heilmann.csl has at least two issues that only surfaced with my switch from Zotero 4.x to 5.x. The issues are minor and I should be able to fix them shortly:

    - There is an extra comma between collection-title and collection-number that should not be there.
    - For report, genre and number are separated by " , " instead of " Nr. " if number checks true for is-numeric.
    - For chapter, we get a wrong ", in" after title when there is no container-title.

    As I said, these should get sorted out quickly and I will post a link to the new version in this forum.

    If you want to help: I would very much appreciate you thoroughly testing referenz-geisteswissenschaften-heilmann.cls on your machines with your CSL processors and documents. If something fishy or just plain wrong comes up, please drop me a line and I will try to fix it. Remember: This is not about getting it right cosmetically the "one true way", but getting it right consistently in one of many ways possible. When we have achieved that, we should be able to adapt the reference style reasonably fast and take it anywhere (at least for German humanities) and it supporting all types and all variables in CSL.

  • I have uploaded "Referenz Geisteswissenschaften (Heilmann) (German)" to


    See the code for instructions and comments.

    In the coming weeks, I will use the codebase to update the styles "Geistes- und Kulturwissenschaften (Heilmann) (German)", "Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft (German)" etc.

    (As it turned out, of the three issues mentioned in my last post, two could not be resolved because they are due to the workings and limitations of CSL and the respective processors like citeproc-js.)
  • For the record: "Referenz Geisteswissenschaften (Heilmann) (German)" had two serious flaws concerning citation locators. I have uploaded a new version which you can get from the link posted in my previous message.
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