Coventry University Harvard: Zotero and Mendeley




This page provides usage notes for a citation stylesheet which implements the Coventry University Harvard Reference Style (CU Harvard). The style sheet can be used with Zotero, Mendeley and other applications that make use of Citation Style Language (CSL).

Zotero is a free and open source reference management tool, available either as an extension for the Firefox browser or a standalone program for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux. Plugins to integrate it with both Microsoft™ Word and LibreOffice are also available free. Mendeley is a proprietary reference management system also available free of charge for Windows, Mac OSX, Linux and iOS. It was recently acquired by Elsevier.

The Harvard - Coventry University stylesheet enables you to use Zotero and Mendeley to produce citations and reference lists that conform as far as possible to the Coventry University Harvard Reference Style. You can get the stylesheet from the Zotero style repository.

This page deals only with the quirks of this particular stylesheet. For general information on using Zotero and instructions on installing stylesheets visit the Zotero documentation site. For Mendeley see the Mendeley resource site. The style sheet is still under development and will be updated as I find issues with it, so do check regularly that you have the latest version.

If you use the style sheet with Mendeley, please also see the additional notes for Mendeley users.


For the most part using the stylesheet should be straightforward. The most common sources (ie books, journal articles, individual essays in edited collections) should just work. Be aware that sometimes when importing from web sources or via ISBN a book edition is entered as '2nd ed'. This should be changed to simply '2'. The style sheet will then implement CU's abbreviation standard, rendering '2nd edn.'

URLs and online journals

The CU Harvard style guide suggests that URLs are not necessary if you read a journal article online in PDF format that matches the print version. For Zotero, this is actually a setting in Zotero's preferences rather than something dealt with by the style sheet. In Zotero's preferences select the 'Cite' group, then the 'Styles' tab within that group. Uncheck the Include URLs of paper articles in references option. The effect is to suppress URLs (and the [online] tag) for journal articles for which a page range is specified. If no page range is specified it is assumed to be an online-only journal and a URL will be included. Mendeley users should see these notes on URLs.


It is always recommended that when entering data in Zotero or Mendeley you use sentence case, as individual style sheets are then able to convert easily to the required case. When importing data into Zotero you can change the case of the Title field by right clicking on it and selecting 'Transform text'.

Although the style guide is not explicit about case, Coventry University's Centre for Academic Writing have confirmed that title case is preferred for most entries. The style sheet will therefore attempt to transform titles to title case where possible.

Using with Mendeley

Please see the additional notes for Mendeley users.

This style sheet is offered on a best effort basis and comes with no guarantee. It is neither produced nor endorsed by Coventry University. If you use it for assessed work you should carefully check that the citations and reference lists produced conform to your tutor's requirements and be prepared to make some manual edits if necessary.

Earlier versions of this stylesheet made use of Zotero's Extra field for some of the more uncommon item types. Unfortunately this caused problems when the stylesheet was used with Mendeley, so all use of the Extra field has now been removed. If you have entries in your database that relied on this feature please check below to see how best to adjust them.

British standards


Use the 'Book' type and put the standard number and date (eg BS5606:1990) in the Series Number field.


Use the 'Book' type and put the standard number and date (eg BS5606:1990) in the Genre field.


The CU Harvard style guide treats Acts of Parliament and Statutory Instruments (SIs) differently, and Zotero and Mendeley do not currently provide a straightforward way to distinguish between them. The style sheet makes the distinction by looking at which fields are present.


Use the 'Statute' type for both SIs and Acts. For Acts, enter the chapter number in the Code field, eg 'c.42'. For SIs, enter the SI number in the Public Law Number field. In each case, leave the other field empty. Enter the place and publisher, eg 'London: HMSO' in the History field (this is a bit of a kludge I'm afraid).


Use the 'Statute' type for both SIs and Acts. For Acts, enter the chapter number in the Chapter field, eg 'c.42'. For SIs, enter the SI number in the Statute Number field. In each case, leave the other field empty. Enter the publisher's location in the City field and the publisher in the Source field.

Unfortunately, the 'Statute' type is unlikely to be of use for legislation from outside the UK. There are plans to improve the handling of legislation in Zotero.



Use the 'Thesis' type. Use the Type field to indicate the degree, eg 'PhD thesis'.


Use the 'Thesis' type. Use the Genre field to indicate the degree, eg 'PhD thesis'.

Conference papers


Conference papers should be fairly straightforward. Zotero only supports a single Place field. Enter the location where the conference took place here. The location of the publisher can be entered directly into the Publisher field, separated from the publisher's name by a colon, eg: 'London: Prentice-Hall'. If available, you should enter both an Author for the paper and an Editor of the collected proceedings.

For complete conference proceedings, rather than a single paper within the proceedings, leave the Title field blank, and ensure you enter an Editor.


Mendeley's support for conference proceedings is limited as it does not provide for both the title of the proceedings and the title of the conference to be entered, as required by CU Harvard. As with Zotero, only one place is supported. Enter the location of the conference under City and include the location of the publisher in the Publisher field.

Unfortunately, leaving the Title blank for complete proceedings also does not work, as Mendeley passes the title 'No Title' to the style sheet. Conference proceedings in Mendeley will therefore require significant hand editing.

Personal Communications


Use the 'Letter' type. Enter the format of the communication in the Type field, eg 'letter' or 'email'. Ensure you enter at least one Recipient. Do not use the 'Email' type for emails.


Mendeley does not support letters and emails fully. The best option is to use the 'Generic' type and enter the additional text needed by the Coventry University Harvard style in the Genre field, eg "[letter] to Patterson, P.H. [30 May 2006]".

Leaflets and unpublished booklets



Use the 'Book' type and enter 'Leaflet' or 'Unpublished booklet' in the Series field


Use the 'Manuscript' type and enter 'Leaflet' or 'Unpublished booklet' in the Type field. Both the publisher and place should be entered in Place, eg "Coventry: Walsgrave Hospital"


Use the 'Book' type and enter 'Leaflet' or 'Unpublished booklet' in the Genre field



Use the 'Map' type. For Ordnance Survey maps, the sheet number can be entered in the Call number field, eg 'Sheet 55'.


Mendeley does not specifically support maps. The best option is to use the 'Generic' type and enter the additional text needed by the Coventry University Harvard style in the Genre field, eg "Sheet 55. 1:50 000, Warwickshire Series".

Individual interviews


The 'Interview' type should work well for individual interviews, whether by the author or someone else. Note however that version 3.0.2 of the CU Harvard style guide has removed the example for such interviews.


Mendeley does not specifically support interviews. The best option for individual interviews is to use the 'Generic' type and enter the additional text needed by the Coventry University Harvard style in the Genre field, eg "[interview by S. Murphy], 6 June 2006".

Collections of interviews

Collections of interviews (as described in section VII (3) of the CU Harvard style guide) are not well supported. You will need to use the 'Book section' type and manually edit your reference list later.

Secondary sources

Unfortunately, there is no way to implement the CU Harvard style recommendation for secondary sources in Zotero and Mendely. In Zotero, the best option is to enter seperate references in the reference list for both the secondary and primary source. When inserting a citation using one of the wordprocessor plugins you should insert the citation for the source you actually consulted, then in the Prefix field enter something like 'Smith 1857, cited in '. The source you read will automatically be added to the reference list, but you will need to manually insert the original source.

Known issues

See also the list of known issues when using Mendeley.

Example reference list

Amy, D.J. (n.d.) The Case for Bureaucracy [online] available from <> [17 October 2012]
Anon. (2010) ‘The Coventry Blitz “Conspiracy”’. BBC [online] 12 November. available from <> [14 November 2010]
Bovaird, T. (2012) ‘Attributing Outcomes to Social Policy Interventions – “gold Standard” or “fool’s Gold” in Public Policy and Management?’ Social Policy & Administration [online] available from <> [2 January 2013]
British Standards Institution (1990) Recommendations for Citing and Referencing Published Material. BS 5605:1990. London: BSI
Dickinson, H., Jeffares, S., Nicholds, A., and Glasby, J. (2013) ‘Beyond the Berlin Wall?’ Public Management Review [online] available from <> [23 January 2013]
Errington, T. (2004) ‘Tree Officers - What Are They Worth?’ [23 December 2004] UK Tree Care Mailing List [online] available from <> [15 October 2012]
Hastie, C. (2012) Blood over Breakfast. [24 November 2012] available from <> [8 March 2013]
Human Rights Act (1998, c.42) London: The Stationery Office
Marquardt, M.J., Leonard, H.S., Freedman, A.M., and Hill, C.C. (2009) ‘Leadership and Organizational Change in the 21st Century’. in Action Learning for Developing Leaders and Organizations: Principles, Strategies, and Cases. Washington D.C.: American Psychological Association, 3–20
Marshall, W.A. (1975) ‘The Child as a Mirror of His Brain’s Development’. in Developmental Psychology. ed. by Sants, J. and Butcher, H.J. Aylesbury, Bucks: Hazell Watson & Viney Ltd., 47–55
Mattheck, C. and Breloer, H. (1994) The Body Language of Trees : a Handbook for Failure Analysis. Research for Amenity Trees 4. London: H.M.S.O.
McHugh, M. (ed.) (2002) Public Sector Leadership [online] Bradford, GBR: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd. available from <> [1 October 2010]
Mitchell, R. and Popham, F. (2008) ‘Effect of Exposure to Natural Environment on Health Inequalities: An Observational Population Study’. The Lancet 372 (9650), 1655–1660
Ordnance Survey (1990) Coventry City Centre. Sheet 55. 1:50 000, Warwickshire Series. London: HMSO
Pavliotis, G. (2000) ‘Dairy Farming’. in The New Encyclopedia Britannica. 3rd edn. vol. 20. London: Woodford, 782–801
Shah, A. (1990) ‘Neuro-rehabilitation Services in the Midlands’. in Wood, P. (ed.) Proceedings of the Coventry Conference on Local Psychology Provision, ‘Practical Psychology: How to Improve’. held 7 March 1990 at Coventry University. London: Prentice-Hall, 8–20
Spielberg, S. (1982) E.T. the Extra-terrestrial. [DVD] UK: MGM
The Rural Development (Enforcement) (England) Regulations (2007) SI 2007/75. London: HMSO
Tokay, D. (ed.) (2003) Translation as a Metaphor in Academic Writing, ‘Conference on International Writing Centres’. held 3 April 2003 at Ankara University. Istanbul: Sabanchi University Press
Watt, N. (2010) ‘Revealed: Lib Dems Planned before Election to Abandon Tuition Fees Pledge’. The Guardian [online] 12 November. available from <> [13 November 2010]


The Harvard - Coventry University CSL style sheet is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.