How to find the perfect Style


I’m trying to find a style that would suits my need, but it’s hard. I was wondering if there was another way outside trial and error in a library with thousands of options.

I use a lot of grey litterature and most of my cited documents are available online. In EndNote, I always reference the URL where I found the document. I want the URL to be visible in the references at the end of my paper so people can have easy access to it. I’m also avoiding styles that show as “Author Date” in the text, because it often causes governmental documents to be shown as “H. Canada 2020” instead of “Health Canada 2020” which is silly. A style that would show the full name of the author would be fine. If not possible, I go for numbered styles. I tried footnotes, but they don’t show in my document, so that’s not right.

The preview in EndNote doesn’t show me how the style looks in the text and doesn’t show me if the URL is visible or not. I don’t know how I could easily find a style that suits my needs. Is there an easier way? Trying them out one by one is just plain not functional.


Wouldn’t it be great if every publisher didn’t make up their own rules. It sounds like you are making up some additional ones yourself!

First of all, an entity as author, should be entered with a comma at the end, which eliminates the incorrect authorship issue. It gets a bit more complicated if the entity has commas in it as well, as you should double those up.

So you want a numbered style that includes the URLs when available? and you want the URL in the citation (highly unusual and I don’t think any of those will do that), or in the reference list?

Finally, you will need to adhere to the publishers requirements when you do go to submit.

Usually I start with a journal style that has the features I want and then adjust it from there, myself. You can add in the URL, but many do include it in the references. If you have a specific order and punctuation in mind, others can help adapt one for you.

One more resource – a former member of this forum, uploaded a bunch of styles with coded names to help people identify styles, rather than just by the name of the journal or publisher. Style templates collection – I then tried to give the endnote example. – again, these are only really helpful for the reference list, not how they will appear as in text citations. (and it was really prior to URLs being included in the reference output).

Maybe I wasn’t very clear (sorry, English is not my first language). In the text, I don’t care much about the style. It can be “Author, Year”, “Author Year”, “[1]”, … but some numered styles are not working properly when I use them in Word. Only some space appears in the text. So I can’t use them.
Also, if the style include the author, I need the full name of the author. Most “Author Year” styles only show the “last name”, which doesn’t work for most grey litterature references, as you can’t cut “Environment” in “Environment Canada” and just see “Canada 2020” in the reference or “E. Canada” or “Canada, E.”.

Since I didn’t find any reference styles that includes the full name of the author, I thought using numbered references could avoid the issue. But then, when number is higher than the text, it doesn’t show correctly (I don’t see the number at all). It’s getting very limited.

Then, at the end of the document, where I have the complete list of the references, I want that the URL is shown when I provided it, so that the people reading my document can have a quick access to the documents and not have to ask me for them.

Hoping my needs are clearer.

Really, if there was a style of reference including the full name of the author, that would be perfectly fine by me (and even better than numbers). But I didn’t find any and the link you provided doesn’t seem to have that option either.
I found out last week that you can use non-breaking space in the author name. It partially solves my problem, but I’m worrying that with longer names (e.g. Environment and Climate Change Canada), if the non-breaking space is included in Word, will make for weird spacing of the text and won’t be functional.

Also, I’m not a researcher. I’m not submitting any article to publishers. So the specific required formating should not be an issue.

If there is a way to edit a style to ask it to show the full author name in the order “first name - last name”, that could solve my problem.


To reiterate. If the author field contains an organization rather than a person, you should enter them in Endnote with a comma following the name like this

Environment and Climate Change Canada**,**

This avoids your concern about “full name”.

True people authors should always be entered as Surname, Firstname Middlename (or Surname, F. M. with spaces between the initials) - one author per line.

However, you can alter to use full names in the Citation “Author name” option (see image) of your chosen style – and you can edit any of the ref type templates in the Bibliography (Templates options) to include the URL. You will need to take some time to ensure that the appropriate spaces and punctuation are linked to the fields, so extraneous spaces and punctuation don’t appear when those fields are empty. The easiest way might be to add URL to the end of every template including “Generic” which is the template used if your style doesn’t have a corresponding template in the chosen style. The power of endnote is that you can define the style exactly as you want it to appear. Learn to use the “link adjacent” and “forced separation” characters available in the “insert field” button in the Edit> Output Styles>edit “yourstyle”. Save as to a new name and ensure that newly named style is used in your word document on the style bar.

Which reference type do you choose to use for your “grey literature” records. That is a ref type you would want to ensure has an associated template in your chosen style.

You probably should start with a style like APA 7th which has many of the templates already associated with it. If you need a new template – add it and start with a copy paste of what it is the generic one, and adapt it to your needs, deleting fields not used and ensuring URL is there at the end.

If you do want a numbered style, go with something like “Numbered” which is not superscripted and has square brackets, but it does lack many of the templates, only have book, book section, edited book, electronic article (which has a DOI but if you alter the bibliography field substitutions options, it can insert a URL if no DOI is available), journal article, Web page and Conference Proceedings (and Generic).

It is really worth your while to learn to use the style editing options so you can get exactly what you want. (Hence the huge number of output styles already out there) and faster than searching for an existing style that matches what you want exactly. I am not sure if Clarivate still has live “training” classes available online? so you can ask questions and get advice.

Sorry, I missed the information about the comma.

Thanks for this extensive answer. That should solve my problem. I’ll let you know if I need more clarification.
Your help is greatly appreciated. Thanks again.

1 Like