I am writing a NASA fellowship proposal and I am trying to bring down my page count. I am allowed to pick my citation format and I am trying to think of one that would take up a little less room than the ISME Journal style I am using currently. I'd like a style that still has in-text citations but abbreviates the references at the bottom, maybe by using fewer authors and shortening titles. Bonus points if it already exists in the Zotero style repository. If there aren't any good options, I'll edit my own style but I was wondering if there was anything that might just work out of the box.

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    Are you sure that references count toward the page limit? Oct 31, 2016 at 3:35
  • I have never seen titles being shortened in a citation style. I would see it as a really extreme thing to do. Oct 31, 2016 at 7:27
  • @FedericoPoloni Some citation styles simply omit (journal article) titles, simply including the journal name and page information. See e.g. the style of the American Chemical Society.
    – rturnbull
    Oct 31, 2016 at 15:19
  • @ Nate Eldrege: Yes, pretty sure. From the NPP application site: The maximum length for the proposal is 15 pages, including figures and citations; double-spaced; 12-point font; 1" margins.
    – ohnoplus
    Oct 31, 2016 at 17:04
  • @ohnoplus, to reinforce Nate-Eldredge's point, what does the application guidance say exactly on the proposal length and word count. Surely if you use an author-date system, the list of references at the back of the proposal is not included in the word/page count.
    – G-E
    Nov 1, 2016 at 13:36

2 Answers 2


There turn out to be good answers to a very related question here: Which citation style is the most concise and has the least impact on word count?

The best answer to my question, I think, was @flashton 's ultraconcise Zotero citation style https://anton.cromba.ch/2016/02/07/a-minimal-citation-stylefor-grant-proposals/


There is a citation style that allows you to cite using “[#]” # = number. And refer the paper in the reference list by #. This is very common in grants especially with page limit. I think it’s called “Numbered Output Style” in endnote. I am not sure what it is called in other platforms.

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