Add support for CSL Citation Styles in Latex + possible solution?

Here comes the feature description…
CSL styles offer ~ 10000 citation styles (according to their website citationstylesorg) and are already implemented for the style preview in JabRef

Currently i know of no way how to use these styles effectively in Jabref other than to look at the style. I can’t push the style to my office programs. Neither Libre Office (JabRef uses the jstyle format there. currently 23 styles are on the website jstyles.jabreforg/), nor Latex, nor Microsoft Office.

To be fair: why would we not want to have this feature?
Is it really the job of JabRef to do this? Should the style of the bibliography be taken from the Latex CTAN website (ctanorg/topic/bibtex-sty) or everybody should program his own style, given we have the possibilities to do so? There is even a program that helps to create a jstyle file for Libre Office.

Still, I would say JabRef can and should do it, after all the csl styles are already there. All that needs to be done is to push it.

Related discussions on github:

So i was thinking. Maybe a possible solution could look like this?

Do you think this could work? - Sorry, i am no programmer!

PS. sorry, could only post 2 links as new forum user…

Thank you for posting it and linking the important issues. When working with JabRef and LaTeX, one uses a biblatex or bibtex style. Typically, publishers such as IEEE and ACM offer BibTeX styltes, which should be used (because publishers sometimes retypeset the paper).

The stackoverlfow question recarding CSL support is there: bibliographies - Citation Style Language (CSL) - TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange. More discussion available at bibliographies - Citation Style Language vs. biblatex (vs. possibly other "citing-systems"?) - TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange.

I would say that integrated CSL support for LaTeX would be game changer. However, seeing the large manual of biblatex, it is hard stuff to really do it right. See, the issue is not only about rendering the bibliography, but also the right referencing from the document itself. For example, should [1] be used or [K19] or “Kopp, 2019” to reference a paper by “Kopp et al.”?

Seeing that JabRef already implemented that mostly for our jstyles, that should be doable for LibreOffice.


the citation-style-language package introduced CSL to LaTeX. The package employs citeproc-lua to achieve this. The package can be found on CTAN. The issue tracker is currently located here on Github. See also the initial news and usage reports about this package in the Jabref Forum.

The Citation Style Language (CSL) is an XML-based language that defines the formats of citations and bibliography. There are currently thousands of styles in CSL including the most widely used APA, Chicago, Vancouver, etc. The citeproc-lua project is a Lua implementation of CSL v1.0.2 processor that is aimed for use with LaTeX. The engine reads bibliographic metadata and performs sorting and formatting on both citations and bibliography according to the selected CSL style. A LaTeX package ( citation-style-language.sty ) is provided to communicate with the processor.

This project is in early development stage and some features of CSL (especially collapsing and disambiguation) are not implemented yet. Comments, suggestions and bug reports are welcome.

As of now, the package can parse .bib library files and .json (with csl-json syntax). Bib files will be internally translated to csl following this mapping.

Jabref is currently with its 5.5 and 5.6 version .bib native. As long, as the mapping employed by citeproc-lua is of sufficient quality, there is no need for Jabref to create its own whole new CSL to bibtex/biblatex implementation, instead it might be more efficient to add to and further enhance the existing citeproc-lua implementation.

The greatest issues left for Jabref users and developers is to ponder about

  1. the issues that not yet have been solved by citeproc-lua.
  2. Translation issues between bibtex/biblatex and CSL.

Once the package becomes more developed, the translation problem will remain as the single greatest hurdle, as these three standards (bibtex/biblatex/CSL) may not be fully compatible with each other and perfect translations may not completely possible.

I think, the solution to this problem would be for Jabref to become .json native and fetch and save all data in CSL format.

Doing something like this would have long-term and lasting repercussions and I think it is not the time to talk about this right now, as the CSL package has not matured enough to justify Jabref changing its current modus operandi.

Jabref has other things to work on. For example: CSL implementation for LibreOffice.

Closing this thread for now.

1 Like