This doesn’t come up a lot, but we just had a request for such a style, so
I thought I’d bring it up:
Rintze and I would like to institute a policy to not accept any styles for
journals by predatory publishers onto the CSL repository. We’d use the list
by Jeff Beall as the principal criterion:
The reasons, I assume, are obvious: we don’t want to lend any support
and/or legitimacy to such “publishers.”
Let us know if there are any objections, otherwise we’ll adopt this policy.
Sebastian Karcher, PhD
Department of Political Science
That’s an interesting topic, all new to me. It’s the first time I hear about “predatory” publishers. If that was to be an “official” policy, the criteria would first need to be clarified and public. Maybe the best way would be to start with a more detailed explanation that would be part of the official CSL page. We don’t need thousands of words, just half a page or so explaining this in more details. Without more details, it’s hard to have an opinion
Agree with others, but the link Sebastian provides includes a link to a
Yep, I just meant that the criteria applied should be highlighted (which I
assume is the plan). Apart from anything else, it would help raise
awareness that these characters are out there. Seems a good move.
Is there already any written criteria for what should or should not
be accepted in the style repository?
No. We have
which would be the place to include such information. We currently only say
that "We’re particularly interested in styles for journals and published
Rintze and I have already been rejecting styles occasionally, usually based
on the fact that they were non-journal styles that were not documented
anywhere or that they were for a very limited group of people (e.g. an
edited book with 10-20 contributors or an in-house style for an
organization). We could make these more explicit and add predatory
If style submissions were to be rejected, I assume that would happen
on GitHub in a way that would be publicly visible to all?
That’s an interesting topic, all new to me. It’s the first time I hear
about “predatory” publishers. If that was to be an “official” policy, the
criteria would first need to be clarified and public. Maybe the best way
would be to start with a more detailed explanation that would be part of
the official CSL page.
I would actually like to not be in the business of defining this in detail;
that’s why I suggest falling back the Beall’s list (he is a librarian at CU
Denver and widely regarded as the authority on the topic. I should
mention that he’s not entirely uncontroversial in OA circles, since in his
talks he at times “blames” open access for the rise of predatory
publishing, but I’ve never seen anyone serious disagree with the content or
the criteria for his list).
The two reasons I’d like to keep the description of what is predatory
publishing out of the instructions short is that 1) our "contributing"
instructions are already quite long, making them too long will discourage
submissions 2) it’s much easier to just point to someone else that argue
and defend for the criteria ourselves.
We’re particularly interested in styles for journals and published style
guides. We will generally decline submissions of styles that are neither
for a journal nor described in a publicly available document, not for use
by the public (e.g. in-house styles for small and mid-sized organizations),
or are published by “predatory publishers” as defined by their inclusion on Beall’s
We’re particularly interested in styles to meet the requirements for journals and standard published style guides. We are less interested in styles that are specific to a single university department or to a small or mid-sized organization or workgroup. We will generally decline submissions of styles that are to be used for manuscript submissions to “predatory publishers” as defined by their inclusions on Beall’s List.
We’re particularly interested in styles to meet the requirements for journals and or standard published style guides. We are less interested in styles that are specific to a single university department or to a small or mid-sized organization or work group; as these styles are not likely to be used by the general public. We will generally decline submissions of styles that are to be used for manuscript submissions to “predatory publishers” as defined by their inclusion on Beall’s List.
David Lawrence, PhD, Director
4438 Ingraham Street
San Diego, CA 92109, USA
v: +1 858.391.4400 | Skype: dwl-sdca | @David_Lawrence1 www.safetylit.org
As Sebastian pointed out, Beall’s list of predatory publishers has a
good reputation (at least better than that of most of the listed
publishers), and a quick Google search will usually show whether a
particular publishers indeed engages in this particular kind of amoral
We don’t get a lot of CSL style submissions from this type of
publishers (it’s actually rather rare that we are approached by any
publisher, reputable or not; usually it’s us contacting the
publisher). The reason we bring it up is because an individual, who
apparently contemplates submitting a manuscript to a journal from one
of these predatory publishers, asked for a CSL style today:
I agree that a short note at
would be a good thing. Basically, I think we should: a) avoid lending
credibility to predatory publishers and enabling their business model,
and b) warn users against them. I think the following suffices:
“Help us improve our repository and contribute new styles, or fix up
existing ones. We’re particularly interested in styles for journals
and published style guides. We reserve the right to refuse styles that
only appeal to a small audience, and styles for journals from predatory publishers.”
as I say above, I’m aware of concerns about Beall and his agenda, but not
about the content of the list he maintains. Do you have another suggestion
that would be similarly easy to implement? (as Rintze says, this isn’t
something we deal with with any frequency, so I don’t think either of us is
interested in creating too much complexity here)
I think we have a consensus. For the sake of brevity I’d use Rintze’s
version on the contributing page. Our first check would be Beall’s list,
but (as we do in general) we’ll decide this on a case-by-case basis if
there are good arguments for inclusion.
All of this will happen publicly on github. I don’t expect anything
contentious to be happening there–it hasn’t in the past, but in case it
does, we’ll mention it here.
Adding a CSL item-type „software“ or „computer-program" of course doesn’t make much sense without reference manager support. I see that Papers has the item type „computer program“, Zotero has „computer program“ (mapped to CSL item-type book), and Mendeley has “computer program“ mapped to article. Given that these three reference managers all use the same term, maybe „computer-program“ would be the best name for a CSL item-type.
Our APA style actually does implement their guidelines reasonably well, I
think, for the mapping as used in Zotero: specifically, we consider
something a computer program if it is a book with a version. CSL’s "medium"
is put into square brackets. Obviously that’s a workaround and not a
I’d be happy to add computer_program (underscore in line with how we handle
two-word item types like personal_communication: hyphen signals a subtype
as in article-journal or entry-dictionary) in the next release. I think
given both the prevalence of specific rules of citation and the use of the
item type in reference managers, the case is pretty obvious.