Adding additional citation styles on Papers 3 for Mac

The styles in Papers come directly from the official CSL repository. The CSL Library currently has over 7000 styles, and there are still a number of journals not represented. However, Papers regularly updates when new styles are added or amended in the repository. All the styles available with Papers are listed in the style browser that you can access as follows:

  • Go into the Papers Preferences…Citations
  • Click on the popup menu 'Favorite Styles' and select 'More Styles...'
  • This will open the Style Browser

Adding existing styles from the CSL repository

  • The style repository on github has a wide selection of additional styles which are Citation Style Language (CSL) files. You can learn more about CSL files on the website.

  • Search for the style which you would like to add. It may be easier to find your style by pressing '⌘' + 'F' to search rather than scrolling through this long list. Note that some styles are named by their abbreviated version rather than their full name. Once you've found your style, save the CSL file to your hard drive. Keep in mind we take no responsibility for the accuracy of the styles from this site so it is always good to double-check this once your manuscript is formatted. However, the vast majority of these styles should be accurate.

Here is how to add the selected style to your library:

  • Make sure the style has the extension '.csl' (you can also check using the menu File > Get Info in the Finder)

  • Drag the file into the Papers window

Note that once a file has been added, you cannot drag it again as Papers will not erase a file already part of your library. You can however update the file directly where it is stored, in your library. Here is how to find the CSL file:

  • Locate your Papers library on your hard drive. If you're unsure where this is you can find its location by clicking on Preferences > Library in Papers for Mac.

  • Open the folder located at path Papers3 > Library.papers3 > Styles. This is where all your custom styles are stored. Note that to open Library.papers3 you need to right-click and select 'Show Package Contents'

Note that you can even edit a style in your favorite text editor while checking the output in the 'Citations' preferences. The output will be shown when you open the style browser (menu item 'More Styles...' in the popup menu 'Favorites Styles') and select the style being edited. The bottom part of the sheet will show a preview of the output for the papers you have selected in your library. The output will be updated each time you select the window again, and switch back and forth between your text editor and Papers.

If you would like to create a complete CSL style yourself, see our our knowledge base article How to create your own CSL citations style.