Style Request: Oscola

  • Hi I seem to have the same problem as Bzwingmann. Would be amazing to get this sorted but I am also a NOOB with programming etc!
  • Hi Bzwingmann,
    Hi micheal.ofloinn,
    Hi all,
    I think (and hope) I have fixed the issue. Could you please install the style again (from the same github address) and try it?
  • Hi again,
    I created a new file and it now complies with CSL 1.0. For those using Zotero 2.1, I suppose this is the best choice.
    You can find the new file here:
    The original file (compatible with CSL 0.8.1, for older versions of Zotero) may still be found at
    If you find any errors, please let me know.
    (if someone knows how I could upload the new file to the general github/CSL repository (at, please let me know; I couldn't really understand the readme file).
  • Hi Afonsodasilva,

    just downloaded the new version and tried with a couple of journal articles: it works wonderfully - thanks ever so much!!
  • Hi,
    I posted a new version of the file. Some minor issues have been fixed.
  • afonso - is this ready for the repository?
    If so, I think the only thing missing is the <link .../> line in the info section as specified here:

    Also, Zotero now supports setting single quotes and outside commas in the terms so you don't have to use the ugly prefix suffix solution in the title macro. See here:
  • Hi all,
    I posted another version of the file. Now you should be able to insert a bibliography into your texts.

    Hi adamsmith,
    I think it is ready for the repository.
    I added the </link .../> line you mentioned.
    I didn't change the prefix/suffix solution in the title macro because I didn't understand how to do it. But I suppose this is not a problem, is it? If it is, please let me know how to fix it.
  • OK, it's up on the github csl 1.0 repository
  • Dear afonsodasilva,

    just to say a big THANK YOU that you keep working at this!! Without people like you all the not-so-tech-savvy people like myself would be lost :-)

    best wishes,
  • There seems to be a simple bug in the OSCOLA style found in the Zotero repository when citing "document" items. Currently a cite will generate the following:

    ‘document name’, July 19, 2011

    However, the OSCOLA style in general uses paranthesis for dates. The correct cite should be something like this:

    ‘document name’ (July 19 2011)

    I could probably fix this myself, as I know a bit of CSL, but I don't really know where and how to submit the fix. It would be fantastic of someone could either (a) fix it, or (b) tell me how to submit a fix :-)
  • I'd be much obliged if you could fix this - while I do a lot of the small fixes, I find legal citations very confusing so I try to stay away from it.
    Make sure your new style validates and then post the modified style as a public gist to and I'll put it up for you.
    See here for more
    though you can ignore all the parts referring to new citation styles.
  • Thanks for the quick reply! I am travelling for a few days, but will get right back to this when I get back sunday-ish.
  • edited September 6, 2011
    great, just post in this thread, I'll pick it up.
  • @Oby, adamsmith,

    Like the other legal styles, OSCOLA can be implemented more fully and more cleanly using the MLZ extended schema hosted at I have placed a copy of the style on the site, and opened a separate repo for styles that make use of the MLZ extensions. It's fine to use make updates to the official copy in the citation-style-language/styles GitHub repo, but divergent development will be taking place in the fbennett/mlz-styles repo during the coming year.
  • Oby
    edited September 12, 2011
    @fbennett: That is probably a good solution long-term. However, I am only using this style to cite articles and books for my thesis (I do cases manually, since they need their own bibliography anyway). So the current OSCOLA erves me well for the time being.

    @adamsmith: Here is OSCOLA with the document date fix mentioned above:

    Since there is no option to disable ibid in the word processor plugin (this is a feature that should really be added) I also made a no-ibid OSCOLA style by doing a couple of quick edits. It has the document date fix. Could you add it to the repository? Here is the URL:
  • Oby
    edited September 12, 2011
    [mods please delete]
  • ok, styles are up, thanks
  • Hi,
    I use OSCOLA. I notice that citations of web pages do not include the URL and access date. From the discussion above I gather there may be a fix (the date fix mentioned above) but I don't know where to download it to. I also find that a lot of instructions in the documentation are incomprehensible to the non-initiated. Am I looking in the wrong place?
  • The fix is already included in the style on the repository - - but does not, I believe, refer to webpages. As noted, there is a larger effort to improve legal citation styles underway here:
    but they haven't finished OSCOLA either and it currently requires to install an experimental version of Zotero.

    We can't improve documentation unless you're more specific about what you're looking at and what you're not understanding.
  • Thanks - but if the fix does not refer to webpages, then what does it refer to? what else has URLs and dates of access?
    As for documentation - point well made, my apologies. I was referring to instructions on how to revise the citation style 'if you feel confident enough', but I now realize that perhaps this refers to amending zotero (not me!!!), rather than customizing my own downloaded program. Is there anyway that I can modify the specifications on my 'own' computer?
    And another error: OSCOLA does not require citing the full range of pages of journal articles, only the first page.
    Thanks again!
  • I don't know where you see any discussions of URLs and dates of access. As I understand it, Oby's fix just puts the publication date in parentheses. It doesn't appear to me that webpage citations are currently supported.

    You can try to customize the style yourself, yes, but that is not entirely trivial so the instructions have to be slightly technical, although we try to keep the as accessible as possible:
  • @yaelronen: If you look in the current version of oscola.csl (in the main repository, not the new mlz-oscola.csl file from, you'll find a macro commented out at line 596. If you uncomment that line, you should get URLs for web pages and other things. The macro (access-note) may need some work -- the original author presumably commented the line out because it wasn't producing correct results.
  • Oby
    edited September 20, 2011
    I only have one comment to add: As you mention, OSCOLA doesn't require full page range for journal articles, but it is nevertheless allowed. You can "choose" easily by not giving a full page range when saving journal articles in Zotero.

    If you do fix the URL issue, please give us the fix. If not, please post here so I can fix it later.
  • "You can "choose" easily by not giving a full page range when saving journal articles in Zotero."
    that wouldn't be recommended as it breaks other styles. Instead, you can use the variable page-first instead of page.
  • Hi everybody,
    sorry for not having posted anything about the requests and commentaries in the last months. I don't know why, but I didn't receive any alerts that new messages have been posted (I think I received this kind of alerts in the past).
    Anyway, I also fixed some problems myself in the last months (for example, citations of newspaper and magazine articles weren't working correctly).
    I will try to merge both versions in a new file (the one with my fixes and the one with the fixes you submitted in the last months). I think I will be able to submit it in the first weeks of 2012.
  • Hello,

    I also strongly support a change allowing to display url and date. The present file does not seem to support it and it is pain to edit it manually!


  • For those who come by this thread, there is some activity going on with legal styles that affects OSCOLA.

    The original OSCOLA style version in the Zotero CSL repository, which works with official Zotero, is maintained by afonsodasilva.

    There is a separate version of the style that I maintain, on the CitationStylist site, which (currently) works only with the experimental multilingual version of Zotero. The new version is being built against a test suite, and will cover all use cases in the OSCOLA guide when complete. Both the style and its documentation are a work in progress at this point, however, so if you are not comfortable working with development software (the multilingual version of Zotero is not an official release, and the core developers do not provide support), you should use the OSCOLA version in the official CSL repository.
  • edited January 21, 2012
    Hi again,

    Sorry for the delay in posting an update. I have just uploaded a new version of the Oscola style into my gist page:
    I fixed some problems with newspaper and magazine articles and especially with webpages. Please, download and test it, and post a commentary if you find something wrong. And please let me also know if I missed any bug you have already mentioned here.

    To Oby: you mentioned a problem when citing "Document" items. You are right. The weird thing is: although there is a document type called "Document" in Zotero, there is no item type with this (or similar) name within the CSL specifications ( If someone knows which item type within CSL is equivalent to the "Document" type in Zotero, please let me know.

    To yaelronen: you wrote that "OSCOLA does not require citing the full range of pages of journal articles, only the first page". The style I create only use the full range when you cite an article without pointing to a specific page. If you point to a specific page, only the first page is cited. Please, confirm if this is what you are getting too.

  • documents is a fallback category - only way to test for it is to test for the absence of all other categories. Using the document item type is not recommended - anything that is a document can also be classified as something else - usually a manuscript or a report is a good choice.
  • Hi,
    I checked the styles repository ( and although the date of the last update of the Oscola style is February 6th, the version available is still the old one. It would be nice if someone could upload the newest version (available at
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