DOI Reference in APA-style

  • 5th edition APA had URLs and DOIs for digital sources (like Chicago author-date).
    I know that Chicago author-date isn't the same as APA, but my point was - if adhering to a specific style isn't super important anyway, why not use something else? But that's up to you.

    For the style that you want the above is still true:
    If you want an APA style that never prints URLs or DOIs, just create a custom style by deleting
    <text macro="access" prefix=". "/>
    from the style - done.

    The reason the include URL works the way it does is that leaving the URL out entirely is really part of a style and can be coded as csl, so there is no need for an option
    (although if there is really strong demand for that I guess it should be feasible - the current "include URL" options is confusing anyway, so turning that into a three-options menu "never include URL, always include URL, include URL only when no page range is given" might work).

    If you want a custom style that isn't widely used (e.g. something that you personally like, but don't publish in, like what you're asking for here), csl/Zotero gives you the possibility to create and implement that. Right now that's still a little messy - but I think still pretty much feasible with the instructions we give you - but as I said no one denies that it would be desirable to make that process easier and GUI based.
    Maybe the folks over at Mendeley could do something for their money and create that ;-).
  • Maybe the solution is to have a contributors page that allows individuals with the ability to create their own styles and to put them up for others to use. Like many sites, users could rate/comment on styles.

    This would facilitate more ideosyncratic desires, not increase the workload of (or interfere with) those who are maintaining the mainstream styles, and open up the possibility for more creative - or perhaps just less institutional - approaches to how citation styles are developed.
  • hmm - sorry to be negative, but I don't think that's such a great idea, either.
    Everyone can contribute to the repository and if someone has a style that s/he believes is of broader interest, we (and by "we" I mean the people most active on the forum) encourage those people to post their styles.

    So that possibility already exists. If someone doesn't believe her/his style is going to be of broader interest - why post it? I just don't think there would be much demand for such a platform - and someone would have to set it up and organize it so that anyone can find anything. That's not even the case for the current repository yet (which is really unfortunate I think), so I just don't think this should have any priority in terms of using developer resources.
    What people can obviously do is just open a "personal styles" forum threads and just post links to their styles uploaded anywhere on the internet.

    But honestly - and I speak as someone who has coded probably in excess of 50 different styles by now - do you really think a "more creative" and "less institutional" approach to citation styles is a good idea? (and yes that is a rhetorical question).
  • I might be a rhetorical question but yes I do.

    Output styles could be used to create annotated bibliographies, futher reading lists, workbooks of notes, lists, etc. Why not allow people to develop different approaches to doing these thing? Really?

    And that is not taking into account that there are clearly quite a few people who have more modest ideosyncracies - like the ability to remove doi's. It has already been pointed out that many people won't be able to change the code themselves and it seems healthier to work out how to address these needs rather than just identifying reasons why nothing can be done to help.

    I don't know the logistics of setting up a contributor page but the model I was talking about is used everywhere - from phone ringtones, to firefox addons to openoffice addons, etc.
  • edited January 12, 2010
    read my posts, please. I don't say nothing can be done.
    I've said twice in this thread alone that a way to allow regular users to change styles using a GUI-type editor would be highly desirable. I also think it's possible. I just think it's hard and that's why it hasn't been done yet.
    So I'm not identifying reasons why nothing can be done, I'm identifying reasons why I think the ideas that you just came up with are imho not going to be very useful to address the issue.
    Zotero really is a tiny project in terms of staff, it's hard to overstate how scarce developer time is.
  • edited January 14, 2010
    Thankyou for your advice about editing the APA style a few comments above, it proved to be fairly easy to do. I hadn't been able to follow the instructions at the beginning of this thread but found this very straightforward using the chrome panel. For anyone wanting to do it the one line of text is right towards the bottom of the style code.

    From what has been said above you need to:

    1. open the chrome panel by typing "chrome://zotero/content/tools/csledit.xul" into the firefox address bar.
    2. select the APA style and copy the contents to a text editor.
    3. delete the line <text macro="access" prefix=". "/> (near bottom of the file)
    4. change the text in the <title> and <id> lines, at the very top of the file, to something new (eg APA 6th no-doi)
    5. Save the file as a txt file but with the extension as .csl (not .txt)
    6. drag the file into an open firefox window

    This worked for me
  • There are some basic step-by-step instructions similar to those above in the help wiki:
  • Hello, everyone!

    I'm sure this will seem like an insignificant problem to many of you, but I'd like to know how I can include a blank after the 'doi:' in the reference list. At the moment, it looks like this: doi:http://... Given that 'doi' is not part of the link itself, I'd like it to look like this: doi: http://...

    I've tried adding a blank before the link in the Zotero DOI box, but it doesn't seem to accept/ save it.

    Could anything be done about this? I don't think anybody wants it as it is.

  • actually doi should be followed by a number and not a link and if you check the APA guide closely (e.g. here you'll see that there is indeed no space between doi: and the number.
  • Thanks a lot, Adam.

    The number IS a link if you put "" before it. I made a mistake thinking I would have to include the entire string rather than just the number.

    In terms of punctuation, it still doesn't make sense not to have a blank after doi: although I understand you may not want to get involved in this.
  • right - of course dois can be turned into links - but if you follow the link above that's not the form APA (or for that matter any other style I've seen) wants it, nor is it the way translators automatically read the data into Zotero, so it shouldn't be in the doi field.

    I code APA according to APA requirements, which don't have a space, so I'm not going to touch the style itself - and style rules frequently don't make sense. But it's very easy to add in the style for your personal usage:
    First have a look at the instructions linked to by komrade above.
    Then, in APA find this:
    <if variable="DOI">
    <text variable="DOI" prefix="doi:"/>

    and add a space after the colon:
    <text variable="DOI" prefix="doi: "/>
    and follow the instructions to get your own custom APA back into Zotero.
  • Super! Thank you very much!
  • Hi all,

    My version of Zotero 2.1.5 does not seem to be importing the DOI reference for articles I find online (eg via Google scholar) - I have it set for APA 2006. Would be really grateful if anyone could suggest how I fix it. I can see the DOI field in citation info in zotero but its blank
  • nothing to fix - what type of data Zotero imports depends on the database - it imports everything it can get - generally google scholar doesn't have the highest quality data. You'll have to search for and paste in the DOIs by hand or find better sources for your data (the best sources are usually the journal publisher website.)
  • Hi Adam,

    Thanks for your quick reply and advice. Ill search through databases as you suggest - Im actually not familiar with how to import the citation via a database...usually i just click the folder option in the url with google scholar...will the folder option appear for database citations as well?
  • Many databases are supported by Zotero and will show the folder/article icons in the address bar.
  • Hope this is the right thread. My Harvard style is now starting to add DOI or date accessed to journals but this is not desirable nor yet the referencing style of the journals to whom I submit. Not sure why it is just starting and can I prevent it? I have in preferences no tick for the date accessed. The new references are downloaded from EBSCO with the new tools for Safari.
  • which style specifically?
  • I am using Harvard Reference format 1 (author-date) - no disambiguation by adding names. Here is an example of what I get:

    Ang, L. & Buttle, F., 2006. CRM software applications and business performance. Journal of Database Marketing & Customer Strategy Management, 14(1), p.4–16. Available at: [Accessed February 7, 2012].

    Hendricks, K.B., Singhal, V.R. & Stratman, J.K., 2007. The impact of enterprise systems on corporate performance: A study of ERP, SCM, and CRM system implementations. Journal of Operations Management, 25(1), p.65–82. Available at: [Accessed March 20, 2012].
  • have you tried re-installing the style from the repository - that shouldn't happen with the style that's currently up, but it would with an old version of the style (Harvard 1 isn't currently maintained very thoroughly - I'd recommend switching to a different Harvard style anyway, but this particular problem should go away by updating).
  • I failed to reinstall and am a bit confused. Harvard 1 preview shows the date accessed etc, but that never occurred before - unless EBSCO and PROQUEST have recently added those fields or the Safari "grabber" - which works brilliantly - now adds the data accessed field where before it was blank. So reinstalling Harvard 1 might now work. There are a lot of other Harvard styles - too much choice! When I am King of the World my first order of business will be to mandate one style for all references - full stop. Likely improve research output globally by 20%. If you can suggest a "standard" Harvard with disambiguation that would be great - or if I can suppress a field. And final bit I struggle to add new styles - do I first click on "get new style" or first on the plus button? Thanks as always
  • ignore the preview - it doesn't reflect the style wrt to accessed dates/URL display.

    I forgot the details about installing a style on Zotero standalone - maybe someone else can fill in the easiest way to do this?

    The standard style depends on the discipline and country - if you're in the UK, using Harvard Limerick or Harvard Anglia-Ruskin might be a good idea. In the US, maybe use Elsevier's Harvard.
  • I have the same problem, i don't want to add doi in APA style. However, I am really low tech. I don't know how to add new adapted APA as you recommend earlier. Please instruct me step by step for beginners. Thank's a lot.
  • you can use the link provided by Rintze somewhere towards the top on the first page of this thread. Otherwise, sirrahn provides quite detailed and easy to follow instructions for how to do this with the current APA style a little further down.
  • If you are a teacher and you are passing out reading lists or any other documents lacking DOI's you need to realize how much more difficult you are making it for your students to learn new stuff.

    Because many institutions allow students to access a paper directly on the basis of their ip-address. A DOI is unique, and word processors today automatically create links to documents, so that the DOI can be clicakble in the reading list that you could/should be creating. When you use DOI's your students can therefore download a cited paper in one click, accessing the correct source paper for sure. If, on the other hand, you only include pre-computer era data like author and journal name, the process becomes much more cumbersome. In the worst case scenario, the student copy-pastes the author and date into google only to realize that the author has such a common name that the source is not easy to locate. Even if they locate the paper, it might be a different version of it, since many authors publish preprint, drafts and other versions on their own pages. So in this case 1) the student has to use much time and effort into doing something mechanical and boring that machines and computers were designed for and 2) does not necessarily know if the paper they are reading is the same one that you are intending...

    Given that the official styles recommend or require DOI, and it makes living in the digital age so much easier, it seems really almost bizarre that a teacher would want to go through the trouble of making their own custom citation style just because they find doi's aesthetically displeasing...
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