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CiteProc is a comprehensive solution for bibliographic and citation formatting. It consists of an easy-to-use XML citation style language (CSL), and the XSLT code to format documents based on them. In essence, it is designed to serve as an XML-based analog to BibTeX, but with dramatic improvements in ease-of-use, metadata flexibility, and international support.

CiteProc reads the source document for citation references, sends a query to a bibliographic database, and then formats the bibliography and citations according to specifications in the CSL file.

CiteProc Overview

The CiteProc code consists of one main stylesheet—called citeproc.xsl—which is imported into a standard document stylesheet.

CiteProc file structure


CiteProc is written in XSLT 2.0, and as such requires a compliant processor. At this point, this means Saxon 8. In addition, it requires a data store for MODS bibliographic data. The eXist XML DB is a good option.


There are two example document stylesheets in the xsl/document directory. Choose one, and run using a citation-style parameter.

CiteProc is free software, licensed under the CC-GNU GPL.


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