LaTeX Bibliography Entries

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LaTeX use bib files to store bibliography entries. These entries are formatted using a bst file, and inserted in the biography section of a LaTeX document.

Types and Fields

Each entry in a bibliography has a given type (article, book, presentation, etc.) and each entry has multiple properties (author, title, year of publication, etc.).

List of Reference Types

article An article from a journal or magazine.
book A book with an explicit publisher.
booklet A work that is printed and bound, but without a named publisher or sponsoring institution.
inbook A part of a book, which may be a chapter (or section or whatever) and/or a range of pages.
incollection A part of a book having its own title.
inproceedings An article in a conference proceedings.
manual Technical documentation.
mastersthesis A Master’s thesis.
misc Use this type when nothing else fits.
phdthesis A PhD thesis.
proceedings The proceedings of a conference.
techreport A report published by a school or other institution, usually numbered within a series.
unpublished A document having an author and title, but not formally published.
presentation Presentation or poster at a conference (non-standard type!)

Furthermore, the following aliases may be defined:

commented Alias of misc
conference Alias of inproceedings
electronic Alias of misc
glossdef Alias of misc
jurthesis Alias of misc
periodical Alias of misc
url Alias of misc
webpage Alias of misc


List of Field Names

Author Author(s) of a publication
Title Title of the publication
Editor Editor of the encompassing publication. If author is not defined, editor is used as the author.
Booktitle Title of the encompassing publication.
Journal Name of the journal. Semantically equivalent to booktitle.
Volume Volume of the series. Typically, the year of issue.
Number Number of the series, often within a year. If Volume is not defined, the value of number is taken in place.
Series The name of the series of a book.
Type Type of publication, as sofar that was not defined by the reference type. Semantically equivalent to Howpublished.
Howpublished Type of publication, as sofar that was not defined by the reference type. Semantically equivalent to Type.
Eid Electronic identifier of the publications. More or less equivalent to DOI.
Chapter The chapter number.
Pages The pages within the encompassing publication.
Organization The organization responsible for the publication, typically the employer or organizing institute. Please be aware of the American spelling. Organisation is wrong and is not recognized.
Institution The organization responsible for the publication. Semantically equivalent to organization, but used for tech reports only.
School The school responsible for the publication. Semantically equivalent to organization, but used for thesis only.
Publisher The publisher.
Address Address, either that of the publisher or that of the conference.
Edition The edition of a book.
Month Month of publication.
Year Year of publication.
Isbn ISBN number of the book.
Issn ISSN number of the magazine.
Doi Digital identifier for articles.
Url URI where the article can be donwloaded. If you publish a URL in a scientific paper, make sure that the URL will never change.
Note Notes about the publication which will be published in the bibliography.
Key The identifying key for each entry. Non-standard field.
Annote Annotation to the article. Non-standard field.

Other fields exists, such as Urldate, Abstract, Description, and Keywords. However, there are mostly used for managing large Bibliography collections and are not printed in the LaTeX document.

Be aware that some styles and packages are picky on the syntax in your Bibliography file, so make sure to use the correct capitalization of "Howpublished" (not "HowPublished"), and use proper LaTeX. In particular, make sure you write "&" as "\&".

Displayed Fields Per Reference Type

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Layout Using BST files

Everyone has their own preferences on the layout and sorting of the bibliography. At some point, you want to create your own style file (.bst file). Instead of writing it by hand, create one using the custom-bib package. Simply download the package, and run:

latex makebst

This will ask you a bunch of questions and outputs a .bst or .dbj file for you. If you only got a dbj file, generate the bst file using:

latex mystyle.dbj

If you want further customization, you can proceed from there. Just don't waste your time implementing variants which merlin (the script in the custom-bib package) can make for you.

Use Proper Capitalization of Titles

The LaTeX default styles automatically convert the casing of titles (e.g. "Article on Something Important" becomes "Article on something important"). If you dislike this, simply create you own custom style with custom-bib / merlin, and turn this feature off.

Create a Style for Conference Presentations or Posters

I like to refer to presentations at conferences, but there is no default reference entry for this. There is an extension, presentation, which is supported by Merlin, but that does not allow me to add the conference name for the poster or oral presentation.

In line with the inproceeding or conference (conference is just an alias of inproceeding) reference type, I put the name of the conference in the booktitle field, and the location of the conference in the address field. I put either 'Poster' or 'Presentation' in the Howpublished field. Since neither publishes Unfortunately, there is no reference type which both displays the booktitle and the howpublished field.

My solution was to modify the inproceeding reference type to include the Howpublished field, if it is present.

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Make DOIs clickable

DOIs are unique identifiers for article publications. Often, the only link I have for an article is to the publishers site, and is based on the DOI. All DOIs have a easily link. For example, the article with DOI 10.1016/j.future.2008.07.002 can be accessed at the link http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.future.2008.07.002.

It is rather easy to make DOIs clickable by redefining the \doi command. You can put this line anywhere before you call \thebibliograpy or \bibliography.

\providecommand{\doi}[1]{\discretionary{}{}{}\href{http://dx.doi.org/#1}{doi:#1}}