How The Output Style Editor Works

The Output Style Editor allows you to create custom output styles by either creating a completely new style or modifying an existing output style to suit your needs.

You can also take an existing output style and add formatting for specific languages (called Alternate Languages).  This is very useful if you will have a multi-language bibliography (a bibliography with references in more than one language).

An Output Style is any combination of in-text citations, notes (footnote or endnote) and a bibliography.  You have to set up each section that is appropriate for your desired output.  

There are two major components to every output style –

All of these items need to be considered when creating or modifying a style.

Note:  This section of the help will provide you with basic instructions on modifying or creating an output style.  Please click on the blue links for more detailed information needed to complete your output style.

Before you begin to define or modify a style, we suggest locating the Instructions to Authors or Style Guide for the particular journal, publication or style format.  This should provide you with the information you need to create your output style, as well as some sample references. In some cases, you may need to write the publisher of the journal or publication as the instructions will not provide you with enough detailed information to make sure your style is correct.

Here are some tips to help you:

Modifying an Existing Output Style

The first thing you need to do is locate an existing output style that most closely matches your desired output.

Note:  You cannot make changes to output styles that are site-wide (the name appears in black text).  You can copy these styles by saving them with a unique name (that will appear in red text) and then you can make changes.  These “personal styles” will only appear in your RefWorks account.

Mac users will see the red text if using Safari, Mozilla and Netscape, but not with IE 5.x.

Locating an Existing Output Style

  1. Select Bibliography, Output Style Editor from the menu.

  2. Locate the output style you wish to modify in the Style drop-down at the top of the screen.  Note:  If you are not sure which style you want to modify, you can view any output style's formatting and sample references by clicking on the View button at the bottom of the screen.

  3. Once you have found a style you want to use, you must rename it (the name cannot be the same as the original) in the area that says Name.

  4. You can also include a link to a web page (perhaps to the Instructions to Authors or publication website) in the Link field.  Make sure you include the entire URL including the http://.

  5. You can add overall style comments or notes to yourself in the Comments area.  Do not include carriage returns in your comments.

  6. Make any changes to the Citation Type settings. 

  7. Click the Save As button.

  8. Your new style will now appear in the Style drop-down in red lettering.  Only you will see this style in your personal account.

  9. Click the Edit button.

Now that you have located a style and renamed it, you are ready to modify it to meet your needs.

Style Components

There are two components to each style –- the Settings and the defined Reference Types.  You will need to check all the settings and styles to make sure they are exact or similar to what you need.

To modify a style you will:

Checking the Citation Type

When you first select an output style to modify, there is a Citation Type drop-down.  The default Citation Type is In-Text Citation Only.  You have three options for the Citation Type (You'll want to make sure the citation type is appropriate for your output style):   

Checking the Settings

Each component of the output style has it's own settings.   The settings are options that are applied to the whole output style.  Settings can include line spacing, ending punctuation, indenting, numbering, sort order, etc.  The settings for your bibliography will be different from the settings for your in-text citations and/or footnotes.

To view or modify the settings:

  1. Click on the tabbed area you wish to check (Bibliography opens by default).
  2. Expand the settings area by clicking on the appropriate heading (i.e., Bibliography settings, Citation settings or Notes settings (this is determined by your selection in the Citation Type drop-down).  
  3. Make any changes and click the save button.  

Checking the Defined Reference Types

  1. As you check each of the appropriate settings, you can also check the defined Reference Types for the Bibliography, In-Text Citations and Notes (as applicable to your output style).

  2. Preview each formatted reference type that has been defined by selecting that type from the Reference Type drop-down located above the Fields for this Type and Output Fields Order boxes. Each reference type that has been set up for the output style will say [defined] after it. You can view it in the Preview of Bibliography Output area at the bottom of the screen.  Make sure the defined reference type matches the examples in the Instructions to Authors.  Look for the proper order of the elements, as well as punctuation and text attributes (bold, italics and underline) where appropriate.

  3. Click on the appropriate link for detailed information on how to define a reference type for a Bibliography, In-Text Citation or Notes.  

    Note
    :  In the Bibliography or Notes reference type definitions, every output style MUST have at least a generic reference type defined.  The generic reference type is used as a default and will be used by any reference in your database that does not find its appropriate defined reference type.  You can modify the generic style, but we do not recommend deleting it. We recommend defining each reference type that you store in your database.  This also applies to In-Text Citations when text information is included in the citation style.  

    If the In-Text Citation format requires numeric values only, then there will not be any defined reference types.

  4. Click on each the individual fields in the Output Fields Order box to change any established definition.  You can use the up and down arrow icons to change the order of the fields or the left and right arrow icons to add or remove fields.

  5. Once you have checked and modified your settings and reference type definitions, click the Save button.  We recommend you generate a trial bibliography using your new style in the Bibliography, Create area of RefWorks.

Creating a New Output Style

You have the ability to build an output style in its entirety (i.e., not copying an existing style – click here for information on Modifying an Existing Output Style).  

Tip:  Before starting, make sure to have the Instructions to Authors available.

To create a new output style:

  1. Access the Output Style Editor from the Bibliography menu option.

  2. Click the New button.

  3. In the Name box, type the name of the new style.

  4. You can also include a link to a web page (perhaps to the Instructions to Authors or publication website) in the Link area.  Make sure you include the entire URL including the http://.

  5. You can add comments or notes to yourself in the Comments area located below the name of your style. Do not include carriage returns in your comments.

  6. Choose your Citation Type (In-text citations only, Notes only, In-text citations AND Notes).

  1. Click the Save As button.

  2. Click the Edit button to continue creating your output style.

Style Components

There are two components to each style –- the Settings and the defined Reference Types.  You will need to establish all the settings and define the Reference Types that are required by your output style.

To start, you will:

Establishing the Settings (Citation, Notes and Bibliography)

You can define the output style settings by clicking the Bibliography, In-Text Citations and/or Notes tabs and expanding the Settings area.  These settings determine spacing, sort order and other information. Your style will have a combination of settings:  Bibliography settings, In-Text Citation settings or Notes settings (this is determined by your selection in the Citation Type drop-down).

  1. The Bibliography Settings are displayed first.  Click on the Bibliography Settings header to expand and display the bibliography settings options.

  2. Establish the settings (detailed information on the bibliography settings is available here).

  3. Click the Save button before continuing.

  4. Click the In-Text Citation tab (or Notes tab) to move to the next group of settings.  

  5. Click on the Citation Settings (or Notes Settings) header to expand and display the options.

  6. Establish the settings (detailed information is available on the in-text citation and notes settings).

  7. Click the Save button.

Defining the Reference Types

  1. You will need to define each reference type needed for your bibliography format, in-text citation format and/or notes format (or as provided in the Instructions to Authors examples). Click on the links for detailed information on how to do this.  You must tell RefWorks exactly which fields to include and how each field should appear (e.g., Periodical Name should be included and must be italicized.  Every space, period, comma, etc. must be defined. We recommend that periodically you update the preview section to be sure you are moving forward correctly.

    Note:
     In the Bibliography and/or Notes formatting, every output style style MUST have at least a generic reference type defined.  The generic reference type is used as a default and will be used by any reference in your RefWorks database that does not have a defined reference type.  You can modify the generic style, but we do not recommend deleting it. We recommend defining each reference type that you store in your RefWorks database.  This also applies to In-Text Citations when text information is included in the citation style.

    If the In-Text Citation format requires numeric values only, then there will not be any defined reference type formats.

  2. Preview each reference type that has been defined by selecting that type from the Reference Type drop-down located above the Fields for this Type and Output Fields Order boxes. Each reference type that has been set up for a particular format will say [defined] after it and will be displayed at the bottom of the screen.  

  3. Once you have checked and modified your settings and reference type definitions, click the Save button.  We recommend you generate a trial bibliography using your new style in the Bibliography, Create area of RefWorks.