I'm trying to use biblatex to generate citations that follow the Oxford Standard for Citation Of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA), http://www.law.ox.ac.uk/publications/oscola.php. I'm not sure what citation style this is based on - it doesn't seem to use Oxford referencing style. Is anyone aware of a biblatex style file that generates output in this style?

If not, is there any quick-start guide to writing your own style file? I have had a go, using the biblatex manual, but it assumes a lot of existing knowledge, and it's not easy to figure out how to get the elements of the citation to line up in the correct order.


There is a biblatex style for Oscola: oscola. It requires biblatex 2.0 (or later) and bibtex 1.0 (or later).

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    I was just looking at your oscola style which is impressive. I notice that you are using sourcemap so you can use nicer field names and mapping these to usera, userb etc. It might be nicer for you to use the datamodel functionality and include an oscola.dbx file so you can use the new field names directly and not have to map them to the generic fields. See section 4.5.3 of the current biblatex manual (version 2.2). – PLK Aug 22 '12 at 8:42
  • @PLK Yes. There were two reasons for this. First, speed: I was pretty far advanced in the project by the time this new functionality emerged: conversion of a biber.conf file to sourcemaps was simple. Secondly, I though (perhaps wrongly) that there may be some positive advantages to mapping to standard fields in terms of compatibility with other styles. Obviously this is a "first cut" (though it's intended to be complete), and no doubt there is room for multiple and vast improvements in the future. The truly impressive thing is what you Philip Lehman, Audrey and Joseph have achieved. – Paul Stanley Aug 22 '12 at 9:28
  • I'm very pleased that a style is using the new features so heavily. I don't think there is much advantage in using the generic fields as any other style would use them for some other purpose anyway. My feeling is that sourcemapping nice field names into generic ones is a halfway solution to using the datamodel features. It would be nicer for your style code to directly use your custom field names. I think it would be an easy change actually. – PLK Aug 22 '12 at 9:41
  • @PLK I will put it on the "to do" list, then, for urgent attention. – Paul Stanley Aug 22 '12 at 9:46
  • feel free to mail me if you have any questions. – PLK Aug 22 '12 at 9:57

After a brief look, this seems to be an author-title scheme, so you should take one of biblatex’s authortitle styles as a starting point. The general strategy on how to create you own style has been described by Philipp Lehman in a discussion on comp.text.tex (Message-ID: ermsi1$ab6$1@online.de) some time ago. Although biblatex has changed a lot since then, the general approach is the same.

I have written a short introduction on how to write a biblatex style for the journal of the German usergroup, »Die TeXnische Komödie« (2008, no. 4), but obviously this is in German. If it is of any help to you, you will find it here:

Bibliographien erstellen mit biblatex

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  • Dominik - Thanks, I'll look at Philip Lehman's comments. Unfortunately, I don't speak German, but I'll see if I can figure anything out from the source of your examples. Rónán – user1450 Oct 13 '10 at 15:02

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