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Citations go inside square brackets and are separated by semicolons. Each citation must have a key, composed of ‘@’ + the citation identifier and may optionally have a prefix, a locator, and a suffix.

In order to use this feature, you will need to specify a bibliography file using the bibliography metadata field. Here are some examples:

Bibliography: bibliography.bib

Blah blah [see @item1, pp. 33-35; also @item2, chap. 1].

Blah blah [@item1, pp. 33-35, 38-39 and *passim*].

Blah blah [@item1; @item2].

Here’s an example bibliography file:

author="John Doe",
title="First Book",
publisher="Cambridge University Press"

author="John Doe",
journal="Journal of Generic Studies",

A minus sign (-) before the @ will suppress mention of the author in the citation. This can be useful when the author is already mentioned in the text:

Smith says blah [-@smith04].

You can also write an in-text citation, as follows:

@smith04 says blah.

@smith04 [p. 33] says blah.

Read more about CSL and BibTeX.

Citation key requirements

The citation key must begin with a letter, digit, or _, and may contain alphanumerics, _, and internal punctuation characters (:.#$%&-+?<>~/).

Supported bibliography formats

The bibliography may have any of these formats. Note that .bib can be used with both BibTeX and BibLaTeX files; use .bibtex to force BibTeX.

Format File extension
BibLaTeX .bib
BibTeX .bibtex
Copac .copac
CSL JSON .json
CSL YAML .yaml
EndNote .enl
EndNote XML .xml
ISI .wos
MEDLINE .medline
MODS .mods
RIS .ris

Citation styles

By default, your citations will use the Chicago Manual of Style author-date format. Citations and references can be formatted using any style supported by the Citation Style Language, listed in the Zotero Style Repository.

You can specify a custom file using the csl metadata field. The CSL project provides further information on finding and editing styles.