AGLC 4 is on the way

The 4th edition of the Australian Guide to Legal Citation is on the way in the next month or so. I've seen part of the 4th edition in draft form, but not 100% sure of all changes yet. I thought this might be a good opportunity to talk about what types of documents aren't currently easy to cite, what kind of workarounds you've been employing and whether we can tackle any of these with the new style.

I'm keen to help improve the style but I'm at 101 stage for style editing. There's also no point proceeding without talking to other users. How are you using it and where are your points of pain? Big ones for me are looseleafs, Hansard, international materials, gazettes and a few others. If this is something people want to talk about I'm happy to share an editable document to track it.

  • You're aware of which is a sample library for data entry for the 3rd edition style?
  • Ah, I'd seen it but wasn't sure what that was for. So I can add examples to this group?
  • The group is intended as the official reference group for the style -- it uses the reference examples from AGLC3 and shows how to enter data to get the formatting specified in the guide.
  • I've got my AGLC 4 and keen to coordinate with others for authoring a new style - separate conversation from finding work arounds for legal documents not served by the existing style.

    Is this the type of thing users generally work on together? How has the community handled it before?
  • Typically one person codes the style and then adjusts based on feedback. The actual creation of a CSL style doesn´t lend itself well to collaboration. The only question to answer before submitting a pull request would be whether it would make sense to keep an AGLC3 style (because e.g. some journals will still require it) or to just replace it.
  • Hi StinaW and adamsmith,

    Adamsmith and I worked on the original AGLC3 - happy to do so again if you are keen.
  • The MelbLR has released a summary of changes document which would be really helpful to use as the basis for edits. I can collate a list of the changes to make an AGLC4 style.
  • edited October 18, 2018
    From my end, if I were going to fully take this on, I'd need some funding again. If someone else, like Stina, wanted to work on it but needed occasional advice, I'd be happy to do that for free.

    Edit: the former is assuming that the changes are fairly significant. If it's just a couple of tweaks I can obviously just make them.
  • thanks for that adamsmith - absolutely understand this and will pursue some funding in the meantime.

    I will review the changes and see what they are slated to be and update shortly.
  • Hi @adamsmith I think I've wrangled up some funding to help this get going - are you able to email me at all? david.carter [at[


  • Hi @StinaW hope you are well.

    Keen to have a chat about this and to put together a list of high priority changes we should look at embedding into the AGLC4. I have a confidential copy of the new version which we can work from to develop this. Would you mind emailing me at all - you can find my address at my UTS Law Faculty profile (just don't want to write it up here from spammers).

    David Carter
  • Hi guys, any updates on aglc4? my uni is already using it over summer semester :(
  • We should have at least an initial version by the end of the month the latest.
  • Sorry everyone, I received no email notifications for the updates after September. David I'm emailing you now.
  • Hello, just wondering if there is an estimate timeframe for this? Appreciate the hard work you all put into it. Cheers
  • The AGLC4 styles is now available and will show up on shortly. It comes with a sample library using the examples from the AGLC4 guide to demonstrate data entry, in particular for legal items:

    Although I've tested this quite thoroughly, his may still have some rough edges, so error reports welcome -- please do make sure you've checked the sample library for data entry, though, and refer to specific pages/sections in the AGLC4 guide when reporting.

    And thanks once again for David Carter for organizing support for this.
  • Oh, existing users will automatically moved updated from AGLC3 to AGLC4, but AGLC3 will remain available, so you can keep using that by installing from .
  • Thanks so much for your work on this.
    A couple of things that don't seem right:
    1. Short titles of cases are not displayed in subsequent references. This worked in AGLC3, but its not working in AGLC4.
    2. Pinpoint (page) references are appearing in the parentheses with 'n 1'

    So, for example I'm seeing the following for a subsequent reference:
    "Victoria Park Racing and Recreation Grounds Company Ltd v Taylor (n 1 495, 497–498)."

    But it should be:
    "Victoria Park Racing (n 1) 495, 497–498."

    Please let me know if there's a more appropriate place to report such issues.

  • Hi @studentpete , thanks for picking this up - we are running a list of fixes that need executing, and this is certainly one. Appreciate it.

    @adamsmith and @StinaW will keep this in their list.


  • @studentpete with apologies for the delay, both issues you pointed out are now fixed in an updated version of the style.
  • Hi,
    Thanks for that.
    I've got another request. Could the pinpoint reference formatting be changed so that when I select "Paragraph" from the pinpoint dropdown menu, the reference appears in square brackets as per AGLC? The alternative solution I've been using has been to type the pinpoint into the suffix field with a preceding comma and space (eg ", [24]")
  • Hi,
    I've just realised that short titles are being displayed as well as the full title in subsequent references. As per my previous example:

    So, for example I'm seeing the following for a subsequent reference:
    "Victoria Park Racing and Recreation Grounds Company Ltd v Taylor, Victoria Park Racing (n 1 495, 497–498)."

    But it should be:
    "Victoria Park Racing (n 1) 495, 497–498."

    This can be remedied by clicking "suppress author", however I think it would be better if it was automatic.
  • Hi @studentpete and @adamsmith - hope you are both well!

    I see also that subsequent references to legislative material (statute) are being rendered with an error:

    For example, first reference in footnote is correct: Public Health Act 2010(NSW).

    Second subsequent reference (not immediately following it and so not ibid) is: Public Health Act (n 81)

    ...this subsequent reference is using the 'Name of Act' Zotero Field in the manner of a short title for subsequent references when there is no Short Title entered into the record in Zotero.

    A short title (in the sense that we use that term in Zotero) should be used in relation to Statues only when there is a short title entered into the Short Title field, otherwise, use the full title of the legislation for the subsequent reference, i.e.: Public Health Act 2010(NSW). This would also mean that no cross-reference is required '(n 81)' unless a short title is used, but tbh I don't think that is the most important consideration, a cross reference being there in a subsequent reference that uses the legislation by its name and not short title is by the by in my reading of the AGLC4.

    You can see the difficulty when each state and territory has a 'Public Health Act' (for example) and the year and jurisdiction is taken away in subsequent references - it is unclear which jurisdiction's materials are being referred to.
  • @studentpete ah yes, sorry, seeing that too. (But just making sure, in your example, the parentheses around (n 1) are correct, right? You have them incorrectly closing after the page pinpoint, but that should really be fixed.

    @davidjamecarter -- is that covered somewhere in the manual or is that just a convention?
  • Hi @adamsmith hope you are well! I hope this helps explain! :-)

    It is in the manual:

    Rule 1.4.1 is the general rule on short titles (for all reference types). For legislation and cases it says that ' a short title (see rule 1.4.4) may be used followed by a cross-reference [the (n x) system] in parentheses.'

    Rule 1.4.1 means that short titles are optional for legislation and cases....and so should be driven by the inputting of a short title into the Zotero Short Title Field.

    The use of short titles for legislation is governed by two rules: Rule 3.5 and Rule 3.1.7. Rule 3.5 is the more important, but 3.1.7 i'm putting in here for completeness.

    Rule 3.5 says 'A shortened title for an Act, piece of delegated legislation or Bill may be provided and used in subsequent references in accordance with rule 1.4.1.'

    Again this means that a short title is optional for legislative materials and should be driven by inputting of a short title in the Zotero Short Title Field.

    Rule 3.1.7...that says 'A short title may be given to a portion of an Act, piece of delegated legislation or Bill'.

    This means that, commonly, the 'Criminal Code' (which is Schedule 1 to the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)) may be given a short title, as it is a portion of an act. So the reference would be (I'm not including italics here):

    1. Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) sch 1 (‘Criminal Code’).
    31. Criminal Code (n 66) s 80.2(5).

    In practice, it is far more common to use short titles for the 'portion of an act' than for shortening of an Act's title due to the problem of ambiguity (below) when citing multiple Acts with the same name but from multiple jurisdictions or the same Act from the same jurisdiction with the same name but in multiple versions (versioned by the year enacted).

    Summary: short titles may be used, but given they are optional it is important that they aren't automatic. This is due to the fact that each Australian jurisdiction has legislative materials that are named in the same or similar ways (e.g. Crimes Act or Public Health Act etc) so that without the full repeated citation as a default you can't tell which piece of legislation is being referred to in subsequent references as the jurisdiction (NSW) and year (1901) is taken away.
  • Hi @adamsmith,
    Thanks. Yes, that was my mistake. The parentheses are in the right place.
  • Hello @adamsmith , I was wondering whether it might be possible to please include support for 'Bills' in AGLC 3/4. There is not yet a type that is appropriate for the citing of UN documents (rule 9.2), but I understand from elsewhere that Bills gets closest to what is needed.

    Sponsor, \textit{Title}, Code, Session, Bill Number (Date).
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