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A Serial for a Style


You may or may not know it, but Papers relies on the fantastic styles provided by the Citation Style Language (CSL) repository to support formatting of your manuscript in hundreds of different styles (more than 1700 in Papers 2.1.8). Despite this large choice, your favorite journal may not be listed there. The best way to get this repository to grow further and cover more fields of research is to get more people to contribute new styles.

In a post on our support pages we show you how to create your own CSL style. A few of you have been adventurous enough to give it a try and have produced new CSL styles for their own use. We helped a few of you as well in the process, and for the first time in Papers 2.1.8, have added new styles that were the fruit of that labor. But there were only a handful of these, and we know there must be dozens more out there, ready to be added to the list.

To boost the process, and provide more incentives to the CSL creators out there, we have decided to start a new initiative, “A Serial for a Style”. The idea is very simple: if you create a CSL style and contribute it to the CSL style repository, we’ll give you a free Papers2 serial number. That’s one of the way we also want to give back to the CSL community.

Here are the specific rules:

- The style must be new – not a duplicate of an existing style
- Your name and email must be in the author or contributor field of the style – we want you to take full ownership (with great power, comes great responsibility, yada, yada)
- The style must use the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) – that’s the only allowed license in the repository, so that all software can freely use the styles, including Papers
- The style must contain a URL that links back to instructions to authors, or some other authoritative document
- The style must have been submitted to the official CSL repository – please follow the instructions on the CSL wiki, as we want you to make it as easy as possible to the CSL folks that maintain the repository. This means among other things that the style needs to be written in valid CSL version 1.0.
- 1 serial maximum awarded per style – thus, only one contributor per style will get the serial

We also recognize some of you might want to contribute more than one style. We also want to encourage that, but we have to be reasonable in the number of serials we can give away, so here is the rule we will apply:

-1 style –> 1 serial
- 5 styles –> 2 serials
- 10 styles –> 3 serials
- 15 styles –> 4 serials
- …_etc_… with each additional 5 styles corresponding to one additional serial

The above rules are informal, not a binding contract. We just make here a promise that we will award the serials based on contributions to the CSL repository. You just have to trust we will honor our promise. In return, please do not abuse the system and the rules. Finally, note that we don’t know yet for how long we will run this initiative: it might be limited in time.

Posted on Saturday, January 14th, 2012.

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