Edit citations and quotes

Hello Matias,

as a long term user, I am excited to see how Manuscripts is developing. I have been “playing around” with the beta and think that it just has one major flaw that (at least for researchers in the humanities) makes it difficult to use the app. As far as I could see one cannot edit citations. What I mean is the following. Whenever I add a citation ( let’s say the author is someone called Miller and the article was published in 2012) I get it like this (Miller, 2012). But I have no way to edit the citation. What I need is that I can edit the citation like:

  • Miller (2012) states that…
  • Miller says that: “…” (2012, p.25)

Because when using a quote I have to state the page number of my quotation. But this is not possible in Manuscripts.io as for now. But for the humanities this way of citing is crucial.

I’d love to use Manuscripts again, but unless this function is available it makes no sense for me at this point, unfortunately.

best wishes,



Hi there – suppressing year or author name with citation styles that support that is something we indeed expect to add in a future update, with similar options as what are available in the Mac app. Citations are in fact already editable, just in the “Library” screen as opposed to in a popover in the editor. Making this more obvious, and / or offering an inline citation popover is something we’ll have a think about as well. Thanks very much for your feedback!

1 Like

I had a similar “issue” where the cite key is useful, however, only for fairly simple parenthetical citations. I often need to disambiguate citations properly (e.g., B. Kim, 2012 - J. Kim, 2012), or do narrative citations for which there is no way to do (to be fair, I don’t think I have seen this feature in any type of cite key/reference builder). So I just wanted to add a vote for editing the citation when using the cite key for various reasons such as these the other ones listed in the previous comment. This similarly might be an issue with importing the reference list which doesn’t seem to be syncing across my work and home computers at the moment.

@stewartwilliamh narrative citation is indeed something you’ll be able to do with the author name suppression: the generated citation will then contain the year component only, and you’ll need to express the author name in the text (which is by design, since depending on context you may need flexibility in how you place it in the narrative).

Would you mind sending us an export of the project that contains citations that are failing to sync to another machine via Project > Export > Manuscripts Archive, please? If you want to share publicly, you can send to mpiipari@atypon.com + aeaton@atypon.com. We will do our best to also improve that failure message such that we get better diagnostics out of it explaining what exactly is failing to sync. The failures are really all caused by the server being overly paranoid about the reference data it accepts (some missing fields for example may have caused problems), and we expect to be able to sort these out quickly upon receiving the above-mentioned project exports that allow us to tune the reference data validation rules so the sync system will not prevent them from being synced.

Hi Matias,

is there a rough time frame for the implemention of editable citations? I guess that and the possibility to search one’s library for author names would really mean a huge improvement.


Hi @chrismoerken, searching for citations by author name we actually added already addressed in last week’s 1.0.1 update. This week we also made available some citation related improvements: PubMed search support was added + some citation related bug fixes made amongst other things.

I can’t give an exact date for when we’d add citation modifiers to support narrative citations, but it’s not a super complex feature (we already implemented it for the earlier Manuscripts for Mac editor), so I certainly hope we get to it within the next month.

Hi Matias,

I am working on the full draft for my thesis now and just wanted to get back to you regarding the citation modifiers to support narrative citations. I know you said that it could be within a month. I do not want to be a nuisance but for me it s now about to decide whether I continue to work in Manuscripts as the current citation style in Manuscripts would mean for me that I have to return to my document once I download it to word and adapt all citations one by one before I hand in the draft. In other word, the citation modifiers are crucial for me to decide whether I keep using Manuscripts now or whether I switch to word or another program. So therefore I ask again, whether it is likely that the modifiers will be installed until the end of the year?
Many thanks in advance,

@aeaton what do you think, doable in the next release or two? :slight_smile:

By the end of the year is very feasible indeed – we are right now working on a slightly bigger feature that may take us next week in full, hence asking from @aeaton who’s really the brains behind the editor.

The feature request is up here: https://gitlab.com/mpapp-public/manuscripts-frontend/issues/5 and the link noted in the feature request ticket is to the same feature in the citeproc-js library that this same feature was built with in the older Manuscripts for Mac version, so we’re on the way with the implementation really.

1 Like

Thanks, that sounds good.