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The Bibliography Latex Optionshouse

When it comes to bibliography management packages, there are three main options in LaTeX: bibtex, natbib and biblatex. Biblatex is a modern program to process bibliography information, provides an easier and more flexible interface and a better language localization that the other two options. This article explains how to use biblatex to manage and format the bibliography in a LaTeX document.

[edit]Introduction

A minimal working example of the biblatex package is shown below:

\documentclass{article}\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}\usepackage[english]{babel}   \usepackage{biblatex}\addbibresource{sample.bib}   \begin{document} Let's cite! The Einstein's journal paper \cite{einstein} and the Dirac's book \cite{dirac} are physics related items.   \printbibliography   \end{document}

There are four bibliography-related commands in this example:

Imports the package biblatex.
Imports the bibtex data file sample.bib, this file is the one that includes information about each referenced book, article, etc. See the bibliography file section for more information.
This command inserts a reference within the document, [1] in this case, that corresponds to an element in the bibliography, "einstein" is a keyword corresponding to an entry in sample.bib.
Prints the list of cited references, the default title is "References" for the article document class and "Bibliography" for books and reports.

ShareLaTeX provides several templates with pre-defined styles to manage bibliography. See this link

  Open an example of the biblatex package in ShareLaTeX

[edit]Basic usage

Several parameters can be passed to the package importing statement, let's see

\documentclass{article}\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}\usepackage[english]{babel}   \usepackage{comment}   \usepackage[ backend=biber, style=alphabetic, sorting=ynt ]{biblatex}\addbibresource{sample.bib}   \title{Bibliography management: \texttt{biblatex} package}\author{Share\LaTeX}\date{}   \begin{document}   \maketitle   Using \texttt{biblatex} you can display bibliography divided into sections, depending of citation type. Let's cite! The Einstein's journal paper \cite{einstein} and the Dirac's book \cite{dirac} are physics related items. Next, \textit{The \LaTeX\ Companion} book \cite{latexcompanion}, the Donald Knuth's website \cite{knuthwebsite}, \textit{The Comprehensive Tex Archive Network} (CTAN) \cite{ctan} are \LaTeX\ related items; but the others Donald Knuth's items \cite{knuth-fa,knuth-acp} are dedicated to programming.   \medskip   \printbibliography

Some extra options, inside brackets and comma-separated, are added when importing biblatex:

Sets the backend to sort the bibliography, is the default one and recommended since it provides full localization for several commands and the styles for biber are easier to modify because they use standard LaTeX macros. The other supported backend is , which is a more traditional program; if set as backend will only used to sort the bibliography, so no bibtex styles can be used here.
Defines the bibliography style and the citation style, in this case . Depending on the style more citation commands might be available. See bibliography styles and citation styles for more information.
Determines the criteria to sort the bibliographic sources. In this case they are sorted by year, name and title. See the reference guide for a list of sorting options.

The rest of the commands were already explained at the introduction.

  Open an example of the biblatex package in ShareLaTeX

[edit]The bibliography file

The bibliography files must have the standard bibtex syntax

This file contains records in a special format, for instance, the first bibliographic reference is defined by:

This is the first line of a record entry, tells BibTeX that the information stored here is about an article. The information about this entry is enclosed within braces. Besides the entry types shown in the example (, , and ) there are a lot more, see the reference guide.
The label is assigned to this entry, is an identifier that can be used to refer this article within the document.
This is the first field in the bibliography entry, indicates that the author of this article is Albert Einstein. Several comma-separated fields can be added using the same syntax , for instance: title, pages, year, URL, etc. See the reference guide for a list of possible fields.

The information in this file can later be printed and referenced within a LaTeX document, as shown in the previous sections, with the command . Not all the information in the .bib file will be displayed, it depends on the bibliography style set in the document.

  Open an example of the biblatex package in ShareLaTeX

[edit]Customizing the bibliography

Biblatex allows high customization of the bibliography section with little effort. It was mentioned that several citation styles and bibliography styles are available, and you can also create new ones. Another customization option is to change the default title of the bibliography section.

\documentclass{article}\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}\usepackage[english]{babel}   \usepackage{comment}   \usepackage[ backend=biber, style=alphabetic, sorting=ynt ]{biblatex}\addbibresource{sample.bib}   \title{Bibliography management: \texttt{biblatex} package}\author{Share\LaTeX}\date{}   \begin{document}   \maketitle   Using \texttt{biblatex} you can display bibliography divided into sections, depending of citation type. Let's cite! The Einstein's journal paper \cite{einstein} and the Dirac's book \cite{dirac} are physics related items. Next, \textit{The \LaTeX\ Companion} book \cite{latexcompanion}, the Donald Knuth's website \cite{knuthwebsite}, \textit{The Comprehensive Tex Archive Network} (CTAN) \cite{ctan} are \LaTeX\ related items; but the others Donald Knuth's items \cite{knuth-fa,knuth-acp} are dedicated to programming.   \medskip   \printbibliography[title={Whole bibliography}]

The additional parameter passed inside brackets to the command is the one that changes the title.

The bibliography can also be subdivided into sections based on different filters, for instance: print only references from the same author, the same journal or similar title. Below an example.

\printbibliography[type=article,title={Articles only}]\printbibliography[type=book,title={Books only}]   \printbibliography[keyword={physics},title={Physics-related only}]\printbibliography[keyword={latex},title={\LaTeX-related only}]

Here, the bibliography is divided in 4 sections. The syntax of the commands used here is explained below:

Only prints entries whose type is "article", and sets the title "Articles only" for this section. The same syntax works for any other entry type.
Filters bibliography entries that include the word "physics" in any of the fields. Sets the title "Physics-related only" for said section.

  Open an example of the biblatex package in ShareLaTeX

[edit]Adding the bibliography in the table of contents

For the bibliography the be printed in the table of contents an extra option must be passed to

\printbibliography[ heading=bibintoc, title={Whole bibliography} ]   \printbibliography[heading=subbibintoc,type=article,title={Articles only}]

A section and a subsection are added to the table of contents:

  • In the first case, adding adds the title to the table of contents as an unnumbered chapter if possible or as an unnumbered section otherwise.
  • The second case is that adds the title as a second level entry in the table of contents, in this example as a subsection nested in "Whole bibliography".

  Open an example of the biblatex package in ShareLaTeX

[edit]Reference guide

Supported entry types

article book mvbook
inbook bookinbook suppbook
booklet collection mvcollection
incollection suppcollection manual
misc online patent
periodical suppperiodical proceedings
mvproceedings inproceedings reference
mvreference inreference report
set thesis unpublished
custom conference electronic
masterthesis phdthesis techreport

Supported entry fields (The printed information depends on the bibliography style)

abstract afterword annotation annotator
author authortype bookauthor bookpagination
booksubtitle booktitle chapter commentator
date doi edition editor
editortype eid entrysubtype eprint
eprinttype eprintclass eventdate eventtitle
file foreword holder howpublished
indextitle institution introduction isan
isbn ismn isrn issue
issuesubtitle issuetitle iswc journalsubtitle
journaltitle label language library
location mainsubtitle maintitle month
note number organization origdate
origlanguage origlocation origpublisher origtitle
pages pagetotal pagination part
publisher pubstate reprinttitle series
shortauthor shortedition shorthand shorthandintro
shortjournal shortseries shorttitle subtitle
title translator type url
venue version volume year

Bibliography sorting options

option description
sort by name, title, year
sort by name, year, title
sort by name, year, volume, title
sort by alphabetic label, name, year, title
sort by alphabetic label, name, year, volume, title
sort by year (descending), name, title
entries are processed in citation order

[edit]Further reading

For more information see

@article{einstein, author = "Albert Einstein", title = "{Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter K{\"o}rper}. ({German}) [{On} the electrodynamics of moving bodies]", journal = "Annalen der Physik", volume = "322", number = "10", pages = "891--921", year = "1905", DOI = "http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/andp.19053221004", keywords = "physics" }   @book{dirac, title={The Principles of Quantum Mechanics}, author={Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac}, isbn={9780198520115}, series={International series of monographs on physics}, year={1981}, publisher={Clarendon Press}, keywords = {physics} }   @online{knuthwebsite, author = "Donald Knuth", title = "Knuth: Computers and Typesetting", url = "http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~uno/abcde.html", keywords = "latex,knuth" }   @inbook{knuth-fa, author = "Donald E. Knuth", title = "Fundamental Algorithms", publisher = "Addison-Wesley", year = "1973", chapter = "1.2", keywords = "knuth,programming" } ...

What is LaTeX?

LaTeX is a typesetting program that takes a plain text file with various commands in it and converts it to a formatted document based on the commands that it has been given. The source file for the document has a file extension of .tex. It is widely used for theses and other technical papers due to its prowess with mathematical and foreign characters. 

 

What is BibTeX?

BibTex is a bibliographic tool that is used with LaTeX to help organize the user's references and create a bibliography. A BibTex user creates a bibliography file that is separate from the LaTeX source file, wth a file extension of .bib. Each reference in the bibliography file is formatted with a certain structure and is given a "key" by which the author can refer to it in the source file. For more information on BibTeX, see the section of the Athena On-Line Help System's LaTeX documentation called Using a Bibliography.

 

How do I export from RefWorks to BibTeX?

Log into RefWorks on your web browser. Move all of the references that you'd like to cite into a separate folder. Go to the References menu and select Export. In the drop-down menu, choose the folder that contains the references you'd like to cite in your document. From the list of export types, click the radio button next to BibTeX - RefWorks ID. Now click Export to Text File.

A text file containing information for each of your references should appear (if it doesn't, click Download It). From the File menu, select Save Page As. Navigate to the directory where you are storing your manuscript. Change the name of the file that you are saving to filename.bib. Then click Save. This will save your references in the correct format for BibTeX to read and create a bibliography from.

To link the bibliography file that you just downloaded to your document, you need to enter two commands:

\bibliographystyle{style} should go just inside your \begin{document} command. style.bst is the name of the style file dictating the format of your bibliography (see How do I change the format of the bibliography? below).

\bibliography{filename} should go wherever you want LaTeX to generate the bibliography. filename.bib is the name of the file that you just downloaded from RefWorks containing your exported references.

 

How do I cite references in my document?

Insert the command \cite{RefWorks:#} where "#" is the RefWorks ID number of the reference you are citing.
 

How can I correct errors I encounter when running BibTeX on my bibliography file?

BibTeX has a 5000 character limit for each field. Most fields will not surpass this limit, but for a reference where the "note" field contains a large amount of information such as the entire table of contents, this limit may be breached. When this problem occurs, you will see an error message saying "Sorry--you've exceeded BibTeX's buffer size 5000." When you encounter this problem, use a text editor to open your bibliography file and shorten the field that contains too many characters.

 

How can I correct errors I encounter when running LaTeX on my document after compiling the bibliography file?

If the references in your bibliography file contain certain special characters which are used as part of the syntax of LaTeX, you could see a whole host of errors when you run LaTeX on your document after running BibTeX. For example, LaTeX will view any ampersand in a journal title as an alignment character, and you will see an error message saying "Misplaced alignment tab character &." Use a text editor to find the line that is causing the error (LaTeX should tell you as part of its error message) and replace the trouble-making character with the following commands:

CharacterLaTeX Command
#\#
$\$
%\%
&\&
_\_
{\{
}\}
~\~{ }
^\^{ }
\$\backslash$

 

 

If you receive a warning from LaTeX that references may have changed, simply run LaTeX again. In fact, the correct order for running LaTeX and BibTeX, where document is your document name, is:

latex document
bibtex document
latex document
latex document

This process should correctly create your bibliography and in-text citations for your document.

 

How can I make an organization name display correctly?

BibTeX reads text in the author field as an author's name or names unless told otherwise. For example, say a reference exported from RefWorks contains the line:

author={Institute of Electrical Engineers},

BibTeX will read this field as a person's name, where the first name is "Institute" and the last name is "of Electrical Engineers," and would format accordingly. Use a text editor and to add quotes around the field so that the line reads:

author="{Institute of Electrical Engineers}",

Now BibTeX will read this all as one piece rather than as a person's name, and will format correctly.

 

How can I override BibTeX capitalization conventions?

BibTeX attempts to correct the capitalization in the title field such that only the first letter of the first word is capitalized. While this is generally grammatically correct, it can cause problems if the title contains a proper name or an acronym, so that a line in the bibliography file that looks like this:

title={IEE Proceedings},

will appear in the bibliography as "Iee proceedings." Use a text editor and to add quotes around the field so that the line reads:

title="{IEE Proceedings}",

The quotes will prevent BibTeX from applying its capitalization rules to the title of the document and thus will preserve the capitalization for proper nouns.

 

How do I change the format of the bibliography?

The bibliography format is determined by the style file that you have entered in the \bibliographystyle{} command. Several default styles exist, they are explained in the section of IST's Latex Answers page entitled How to make BIBLIOGRAPHIES in Latex. Style files may also be edited to produce a required bibliography style.

  

Where can I look for additional Support?

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