We run unto a few common errors/complaints with the APA style in particular but other styles as well. Given the title of this post I will address a few of them here.
1. The title is not in Sentence Case
The APA style guide specifies that titles should be in Sentence Case, however, the default APA style used by Paperpile (and Mendeley and Zotero) does not apply this specification. The main reason for this is that there is n way to identify proper nouns. For example, the title “An analysis of the labor conditions at Beringer Gold mines” would mistakenly be written as “An analysis of the labor conditions at beringer gold mines” if sentence case were enforced.
If this is not a concern for you, use this edited style: apa-sentence-case-v2.csl (21.5 KB) You can add it by going to the gear in the upper right of Paperpile --> Settings --> Citation Styles --> Upload CSL file. If you have additional differences between this style file and the style guide, let me know and I will attempt to edit it.
2. Author names include first names, extra initials and/or middle names.
This usually happens when two items from the same author are cited, but the author names are not identical. For example, suppose two articles by Paul Pierson are cited, but in one the author is is recorded as “Pierson, P” and in the other as “Pierson, Paul”. The expectation is that the intext citations will look like (Pierson 2000) and (Pierson 2005). However, the APA style demands disambiguation when including less information could mistakenly identify different authors as the same. As a result, the actual in-text citations with look like (P. Pierson 2000) and (Paul Pierson 2005). Unfortunately, there are no standards for how authors are recorded by publishers.
The solution to this problem is to ensure that the authors are written the same way in all the cited articles. This can be done by editing the references in your library. If this does not work, the citations may have been disconnected from your library, in which case they can be edited by going to Paperpile --> View all References in the Google Docs menu.
3. Location and Publisher missing
This one is new for me, and the best explanation is that the location and publisher information is missing in the library metadata. This can be edited as above. We are working on improving the quality of book data.
4. In-text citations appear as (Author and Author 2017) where they should be (Author & Author, 2017)
We occasionally get this question. It is a result of not having formatted the citations in which case the citations will appear as blue text in the Pseudo-style we use for our placeholders. The solution is to format citations via Paperpile --> Format Citations in the Google Docs menu.
I may have missed or poorly explained something. If so, please let me know below.