In german computer science it is quite common to use citations like [HoBo12] or [HoBo12, pp.1-4] for say, Hoy, Jane; Boy, John 2010: The great story. The rules for composing this label depend on the amount of authors and their order. Seemingly, this is defined in DIN5015-2 and ISO690, but the wikipedia page only talks about the bibliography and not about the in text references. Weirdly, there is a Zotero style named DIN1505-2 which kind of does that, but still seems to have a few bugs or the official definition (which I can't find talking about this topic) thinks that weird things are nice e.g. [HoBo12, pp.1-2, WVDE13, p.2] (notice that a ; would be nicer).

I think this style is quite nice and would like to use it for an English text. Therefore I would like to choose an accepted style from an english speaking nation.

Question: Are there any other styles in that form (maybe even defined in a Zotero CSL-format)? I still think it looks a bit big with the additional page information. Something like this would be perfect [HoBo12:1-2; WVDE13:2]. Is this an offical style?

  • Depends on where you're publishing. And if it doesn't exist, shouldn't be hard to modify the CSL format you already have.
    – Thomas
    Oct 11, 2013 at 13:33
  • It's for a book & internal documents, thus I can do what I want, but being able to argue that it is an accepted style might be benefical. Changing the CSL was done in 5 minutes, that is not really an issue. Just compared to the APA CSL the DIN5015-2 CSL quality is low. Oct 11, 2013 at 14:42
  • Very interesting, I did not know that such a standard existed. Do you have perchance a link to a description this abbreviation standard? Unfortunately ISO standard are not cheap to obtain. Oct 12, 2013 at 17:33

1 Answer 1


I can't recall ever seeing such a format being used, particularly in the context of books (as opposed to papers). Part of this is, I think, a desire to be clear. For instance, what does [WVDE13:2] mean? Does it refer to the second chapter, or to page 2? Or does it refer to a specific work? Without the clarification of "p.", it's relatively ambiguous from a first glance. As a reader of a book, that can get very annoying over extended periods of time.

Given that, you are free to use any style that your publisher allows; if it's something relatively unorthodox, then you should explain that somewhere (perhaps a comment prefacing the bibliography would suffice).

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