Citation Style for Biotropica - little help needed.

Hello all. Let me start by saying, that this is my first xml document. I desperately need a citation style for the journal Biotropica ( Here is a free recent issue (

By modifying the Harvard author-date style, I was able to get a style file that is VERY close to what the journal wants. I’ve pasted the code in:

I still have a couple of issues I can’t resolve.

1. In citation, when references are collapsed by year or year-suffix, I need tthem to be separated by a semi/colon. For example:

(Condit et al. 2000, 1995, 1998, Connell 1971, Cortes & Hunziker 1997)

Needs to be

(Condit et al. 2000, 1995, 1998; Connell 1971, Cortes & Hunziker 1997)

2. I also need, the references to be sorted by date in the citation. I can probably do this by selecting multiple references in chronological order from Zotero, but I was wondering if this could be programmed into csl. For example:

(Condit et al. 2000, 1995, 1998; Connell 1971, Cortes & Hunziker 1997)

Needs to be:

(Condit et al. 1995, 1998, 2000; Connell 1971, Cortes & Hunziker 1997)

3. In Bibliography, I need the references to be sorted according to these rules:
Cite references in alphabetical order by first author's surname. References by a single author precede multi-authored works by the same senior author, regardless of date.
List works by the same author chronologically, beginning with the earliest date of publication

I think these tasks may be accomplished by modifying the <sort> command, but I’m not sure how.

Thank you very much for your help. I'm really excited about learning csl, so I would appreciate if you could illustrate your answer so I can learn. I want to create a bunch of styles for ecology, biology and population genetics, so I want to learn this very well.


  • edited May 23, 2009
    Issue 1 can't currently be solved in CSL, and it might never be. The author of CSL has expressed some concern with regard to supporting these types of difficult-to-implement unruly rules:

    Issue 2 requires a sorting command in the citation section. See for instance
    and some documentation at

    Issue 3 is to my knowledge not yet supported, but probably will be with the next release of CSL and the accompanying updated CSL processor.
  • Actually, 1 is a reasonable request; it's asking to delimit the author disambiguation group. I just don't actually recall if we support that currently (probably not).

    I think issue 3 is the AGU example that I think Frank figured out.
  • edited May 23, 2009
    thanks to Rintze and bdarcus.

    So I stand:
    Issue 1. Can't be fixed. Need to do it by hand.

    Issue 2.
    I added the following to the citation section:
    <key macro="author"/>
    <key variable="issued"/>

    and didn't help. I also added
    <key macro="author"/>
    <key macro="year-date"/>

    and that didn't help either. I think I have to select the references from zotero in the proper order.

    Issue 3: I added the following to the bibliography section>
    <key macro="author"/>
    <key macro="year-date"/>
    <key variable="title"/>

    this appears to have done the trick, but I have to do more exhaustive testing.

    Could you please let me know (dummy instructions) on how to upload the finished style to the Zotero dev list?
Sign In or Register to comment.