Columbia University Libraries to Develop a Citation Style Language Through Sloan Foundation Award
NEW YORK, January 19, 2012 –

The Columbia University Libraries will soon begin development of a graphical Citation Style Language editor in collaboration with Mendeley, a technology company specializing in research management tools for academics. The project will be funded as a result of a $125,000 award from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.


Through the method of Agile development, an open-source tool will be created to generate, modify, and share bibliographic citation styles. This tool is expected to find widespread use in academic disciplines, particularly in situations where new media and new forms of intellectual production require methods of citation not yet accounted for in current citation styles.

The tool will also enable users to freely develop their own bibliographic styles for annotated bibliographies, personal resumes, or cases where citation conventions are unnecessarily complex.  The code produced during this project will be deposited into an open-source repository at the conclusion of the project.  This will enable the developer community to build upon the advances in visual manipulation of markup language made possible as a result of this collaboration.

The funding comes specifically from the Digital Information Technology program at the Sloan Foundation, an initiative focused on research and development of digital information technology for the conduct of scholarly research and public engagement.

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 11 million volumes, over 150,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 500 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources: library.columbia.edu.

Mendeley is the world’s largest research collaboration platform, with over 1.3M researchers worldwide. Mendeley provides real-time statistics, trends by research area, and recommendations for related research based on its crowd-sourced database of over 130M research documents. Launched in January 2009, the company has offices in London and New York, and its investors include those who previously built Skype, Last.fm and Warner Music Group.

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