Style Request: Oscola

Oxford Standard Citation of Legal Authorities - the standard citation style for UK law journals. Oxford University provides free download for Endnote, but not Zotero:

Grateful for any assistance! thanks!
  • I am attempting to write Oscola for Zotero. I am stuck on thier version of SUPRA
    any ideas?


    The decision in Mullin v Richards 14 confirmed in English law following the Australian case of McHale v Watson.15 . The 15-year-old schoolgirl in the defendant's situation would have realised as much.16

    14 Mullin v Richards [1998] 1 WLR 1304 (CA)
    15 McHale v Watson (1966) 115 CLR 199
    16 Mullin (n 14) 1308

    it is footnote 16 i cannot do. it links to footnote 14 (n14)
  • that's not currently possible - csl 1.0 introduces the general ability to do that, though I'm not sure how that's looking for Zotero integration.

    I'd suggest you leave a space for the note number that can be edited manually at the end - look at the bluebook law review style as an example.
  • Hi Adam,
    Thanks for the reply.
    I am adapting bluebook as my base.

    Surely there has to be some way. its seems to be a basic enough request.
    The more I build this csl the more i have to leave to edit manually in the end.

    Thanks anyway
  • trust me if I tell you there currently is no way to do this.
    It also is far from a basic request, because it requires Zotero to get information back from the Word processor and put it into a note. No other citation software (with the possible exception of BibTex, which is by design more closely integrated with its word processor) can do this.

    One of the reason csl 1.0 is being created is that Frank Bennett (a law professor himself) was unhappy with the ability of csl to accommodate law styles.
  • ajs2: I will watch the progress of your efforts with baited breath. Any chance it will be available before my 15 Sept dissertation deadline?
  • Hey Andrew,

    I haveit setup alrite but the big issue is the SUPRAs. Citing from books, book sections, cites, journal articles all work. and the Ibid works.
    The supra cant be done as Zotero cant find out what Note number the supra is linked to..... this really kills the advantages zotero brings to Oscola so i dont think i am much good to you.
  • AJS2: If the rest is working (have you set it up for statutes also?), I'd be grateful to have a go with it anyway. The Australian Guide to Legal Citation style that I'm using now has the same issue (though admittedly it uses the (n _) format less), so I'm just going to have to go through and do global find and replaces at the end.
  • AJS2: Any chance of getting hold of your OSCOLA style in its current form?
  • I would be interested to hear if anybody has successfully set up OSCOLA for Zotero.

    @AJS2: can you not do the cross reference with word? Ie, insert / cross-reference / to footnote / footnote number?
  • BTW, the latest edition of OSCOLA has just come out and is available here:
  • Hi,
    I created a Zotero Style for Oscola for my personal use. As it has already been said in the forums, it is impossible to create a style that fulfills all the requirements of the Oscola rules. The .csl file I created works only for secondary sources (as the Oscola handbook calls books, book chapters, journal articles, working papers etc.). This means that it doesn’t handle legal cases or legislation (primary sources - actually, it can handle decisions of the European Court of Human Rights). For my purposes, this was enough.
    Since it doesn’t cover all the Oscola rules, I am not sure if it is possible to make it available in the Zotero style repository. But if somebody is interested in getting a copy, I can send it by email.

    However, three limitations must be mentioned.
    (1) As it has been repeatedly stressed in the forums, Zotero is not able to know in which footnote a document has been cited for the first time. My workaround was: every time a document (article, book, book chapter etc,) is cited for the second time, Zotero will inserted a "(n __)" remark. The number of the footnote in which the document has been cited for the first time must be manually added.
    (2) The Oscola rules require that the first page of a journal article be mentioned. As far as I could find out, this feature will be implemented in a future version of Zotero (see For now, I used the variable "page", which must be substituted with the variable "page-first" (in the line 337 of the .csl file) when this is implemented. The variable "page" prints not only the first page, but the whole page range ("first page-last page"). It is thus necessary to remove the "-last page" manually. Using OpenOffice, you can easily do this by searching "regular expressions". Searching for "-[:digit:]+," (without the quotation marks) does the job.
    (3) The Oscola rules demand that "when referring to ranges of numbers [for example ranges of pages], use both figures for numbers between ten and twenty, and thereafter use as few figures as possible, but always use at least two for the final number". For instance: 1-6, 11-17, 21-26, 22-32, 121-221, 1782-83, 1782-812 . I couldn’t find out a way to implement this in my .csl file.

    As you can see, the Oscola style I have created has a few limitations. Part of them is due to the fact that I didn’t need to work with cases and legislation, so I didn’t try to handle them; and part of them is due to limitations on the csl language.

    If you are nevertheless interested, please post a comment here. If someone knows if I can submit an incomplete style to the Zotero repository, please let me know.

  • If you are nevertheless interested, please post a comment here. If someone knows if I can submit an incomplete style to the Zotero repository, please let me know.
    Yes! Particularly if the style is just about as much as is currently possible with CSL and Zotero today, it is fine to add an incomplete style to the repository.

    It would be good to document the limitations, probably as comments within the source of the style itself, to make things easier for people who go to look at the style in the future and don't know what it doesn't do and why.
  • Even an incomplete Oscola style would be very useful.
  • Dear afonsodasilva, thank you for your valuable comments. I have created an OSCOLA group here: . Perhaps you could upload your partial style there? I know there are a number of people that are interested in developing an OSCOLA style for Zotero and this may provide us a way to cooperate on this project.
  • Hi,
    thank you for your feedback. I would like to submit the Oscola style, but I wasn't able to find out how. I followed the instructions from, created a trac account, could browse the dev csl (, could see the style tickets ( etc., but couldn't find out how to submit a new style. Does anybody know (in details) how to do that?
    Thank you in advance,
  • Post it to, post the link here, and we'll get it into the repository. Thanks!
  • Hi,
    I joined the Oscola group, but my status does not allow me to submit things to the library ("Library Access: You can only view").
  • Hey there - would be absolutely fantastic if you could make your style available. I've been looking for an oscola citation style for AGES!
    Many thanks for your effort!!
  • edited February 25, 2011
    Sorry for the delay. I uploaded the style as a gist:
    If someone could upload it to the repository it might help out others.
    If you find any errors, please let me know.
    Thank you in advance,
  • @afonsodasilva - sorry about the previous inability to upload the file to the group - apparently this was because it was a public, open group. I have now changed the status to public closed. You should be able to upload now. Let me know if you have any problems.

    Best regards
  • Hi All,

    same here: I'd be extremely interested in even an incomplete OSCOLA. So far I have used Australian Legal Citation - which is close.

  • Bzwingmann - look two posts above - you can download the style using save as... from the "Raw" link on the top right
  • Hi,
    I am still unable to upload to the OSCOLA group.
    But anyone can download the csl file at GitHub.
    I corrected some problems in a new version you can find here:
  • @afonsodasilva, that's my fault (again). I think I have fixed it now. (...Are there any more technically literate volunteers who would like to help administer the group?) I have also downloaded your file and added it to the group library. Any ideas on how to take this forward from here would be gratefully received.
  • Hi, I've also been working on a style for OSCOLA, though I've not got as far as afonsodasilva clearly has.

    I've sent a request for membership to the group so Paul would be grateful if you could let me join? Don't know what the membership criteria are?

    Have downloaded the CSL from github, thanks @afonsodasilva, great job! Have noticed just a few issues which I can help tweak as & when I've a chance.

    Does anyone know the people behind Bailii or the Statute Law Database? It would be great if they could be persuaded to tweak their sites to make them more OSCOLA-compatible.
  • @hwk, I've approved you. There is no real criteria at present, it is only so that we can have a shared library. Feel free to upload your OSCOLA style, I'm sure it would be very useful.
  • Hi guys, sorry about this question but I'm a total noob.

    I've downloaded
    but I don't know what to do with it.

    Can it be installed into my current version of Zotero which is 2.1 (or something close to that)
  • you can download the style using save link as... from the "Raw" link on the top right of that page. you can then drag the .csl file to any open FF window to install. That should work with 2.1, provided the style has nor errors in 2.0
  • Hello everyone!

    belated thanks to adamsmith for the download link! worked like a charm - until I updated to Firefox 4.0 and Zotero 2.1. Since then when I try to use the style in Word (2007), I get the following error message:

    "this style is undefined"

    I've tried reinstalling the WinWord integrator and also redownloading the style from the link above - neither works but other styles work fine...

    Is the style not compatible with Zotero 2.1? I read in another thread that the old Bluebook style had problems - if the OSCOLA style was adapted from it, would that explain the problem?

    Could just be me though :-)

    any help would be greatly appreciated!
  • edited April 8, 2011
    The style at is invalid CSL 0.8.1: see the validation report
Sign In or Register to comment.