Tip: How to modify citation styles



One often notices differences between a default citation style and a journal’s unique requirements at the very end, right before a deadline, so I though it would be good to offer some advice here on how to manage such a situation.

  1. Search for existing CSL files:



  1. Search for custom CSL files. (A google search for “CSL Chicago” and the particular change you want to make can often yield existing CSL files you can import.)


  1. Use the visual editor to modify your own style:


Here is a validator to check if you make a mistake:


You can then import these custom CSL files directly in the PaperPile settings screen.


I have changed the CSL to AIP in paperpile settings, but Google Docs does not follow the change. Why is that? How can I solve this problem?


The style is specific for each document. So you need to change the style directly in Google Docs with “Paperpile > Citation style”


That SEEMS like a good idea, except that one would need a table of some kind that would show the correlation between the reference types in PaperPile and those used in the CSL descriptions. I tried to correct some formatting on a particular reference type but there is no obvious one-to-one or one-to-many relationship between PaperPile’s types and CSL’s, so I could not figure out which one to change in the CSL. How do I know what CSL types correspond to e.g. “miscellaneous” or “unpublished material,” “preprint manuscript,” etc.?


We are working on a major update adding new source types. We hope to cover all major types without the need to manually tweak the CSL styles.That said, if it’s helpful we can publish our internal mappings once they are finalized.

We are painfully aware that some important source types can’t be cited properly at the moment. We hope to get this fixed soon.


How do i upload the CSL file in paperpile ?


Go to the gear in the upper right --> Settings --> Citation Styles. Then click the “Upload CSL file” button.


this is super cumbersome. there’s not a feature you can offer?