I'm writing my bachelor's thesis with OpenOffice Writer. Most of my sources are websites, and the author or publication year is often absent.

With Writer's bibliography system, you can specify whether to display author, publication year etc. for a certain type of entry, eg. WWW document, but the same settings will be used for every WWW document (whereas I would like to have the author displayed when and only when applicable).

I know there are "user-defined" entries, but this system seems a bit clumsy, as you can't rename them from "User-Defined1" and so on.

I think MS Office Word has a better system, but I've heard that the open-source alternatives are just as good, so why buy it? I've also tried Zotero and Mendeley, but it seems they can't display inline citations in the [1][2] style, which I would prefer.

Would rather avoid using LaTeX/BibTeX, since they seem like overkill.

  • 4
    Not saying that LaTeX/BibTeX are the only or best alternative, but if your current software cannot do what you want, while LaTeX/BibTeX can, you may want to reconsider what is or is not "overkill". Mar 7, 2015 at 11:00
  • Mendeley uses the same styles as Zotero (CSL) - as do a large percentage of the reference managers available. You can edit the styles yourself to do exactly what you want, they are just XML files. Mar 8, 2015 at 18:12

2 Answers 2


Okay, apparently you can get the [1] style in Zotero, but it's not installed by default.

Also, there's a "protect from manual changes" checkbox which can be unchecked in Writer. This way you can edit the entries in pretty much any way. It's far from ideal though, as manual changes are overwritten every time you update the bibliography.

  • 1
    I edited out "duh": I think downvoters thought you were insulting the asker, not realizing that you are the asker. But maybe you could elaborate on how the "protect" checkbox helped? Mar 7, 2015 at 13:51

Alternatively you can use the WWW-document type in every case instead of a second or third user-defined one. Build the bibliography entry for WWW-documents in a way that it always reflect an Author.

If no Author is given, you can fill the author-field with:

  • Unknown or Anonymous
  • a user name in case of publications under pseudonyms
  • a company name e.g. for white papers from tech companies. (W3C, Oracle...)

WWW documents are difficult to deal in citation at all. You may also miss a creation or publishing date and can sometimes only rely on the date you requested it from a web server.

Anyway you should ask your supervisor if he/she accepts WWW documents as cited sources at all. Some supervisors may reject sources without an author as not proof-able or not cite-able.

Tip: If you want to be sure, that a website did not change in the time between submitting it to the examination office and the reading by your supervisor, I suggest you to use a web preservation service like WebCite. With this you can provide an additional link to a preserved version, even if the original source is yet gone.

Early warning: I've made bad experiences with de-activating the "protect from manual changes"-option in LibreOffice/OpenOffice Writer. It kills the advantage of auto generating the bibliography cause everytime you update the bibliography after adding new sources your manual changes are gone with the wind.

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