Creating Citation Styles

play_video_now Video: Creating Citation Styles

You can use the Citation Style Editor to modify existing styles or create new styles. The Citation Style Editor is an advanced feature and requires a solid understanding of the principles of citation... and a great deal of patience! Please keep this in mind as you read this chapter.

We recommend the following workflow:

  1. Create a new style or modify an existing style
    Create a new style and give it a new name.
  2. Set citation style properties
    Define basic settings, such as how entries should be sorted in the list of reference or if Citavi should use letters to distinguish multiple publications be the same author in the same year.
  3. Choose Reference Types
    Citavi offers more reference types than you probably will use. In your citation style, you only need to define the reference types that you actually have in your project.
  4. Order elements
    Define the order in which the author, year, title, publisher, place of publication and other bibliographic information should appear in the bibliography, footnotes, or in-text citations.
  5. Define element properties: Names of persons, dates, numbers, page numbers, periodicals.
    Define for each bibliographic element whether it should be separated with a period, a comma, or a semicolon.
  6. Define punctuation
    You can define the punctuation that appears between each element: periods, commas, semicolons, etc.
  7. Create new components
    If you need an element to act differently for a different reference type, create a new component (a component always consists of at least one element). For example, you might just want the last name of the cited author to be displayed in an in-text citation.
  8. Creating new templates
    Up until this point you've defined each reference type for the default use case. If you want to define exceptions, you can define new templates and then repeat steps 4-7. For example, if a reference is cited more than once, you might only want to use a shortened form of the title in all citations other than the first.
  9. Set edit states
    You can set the edit state to keep track of where you are for a particular reference type.
  10. Save
    Click the save symbol in the Citation Style Editor. The citation style is saved as a file with the extension ccs in the Citavi 6\Custom Citation Styles folder. You can give this style to other Citavi users, who can also save it in their Custom Citation Styles folder.


Before creating a new style, you should create a test Citavi project with just the reference types that you actually use in your work. Your test project should include several examples of each reference type, with various combinations of completed and empty fields and variations (for example, one, two, or three or more authors, or a missing year). In the preview you can see if all of the formatting you need has been added.