- a reference to a label in your BibTeX file whenever you want to cite an item in the file
- a reference to the bibliography style file you want to use, which determines how the references you cite are formatted in the bibliography of your document (and possibly a LaTeX style file associated with the bibliography style)
- a LaTeX command to generate the bibliography at the point in your document where you want it to appear.
Here is an example using the bibliography style , which produces citations in "author (year)" format. This file is available on this page (which has instructions on where to put the file once you get it). The lines related to BibTeX are highlighed. It requires the LaTeX style file to produce citations in the right style in the text (matching the format of the references produced by ). You probably have this file already (assuming you have some implementation of TeX on your computer). If you don't, you can get it on this CTAN page. Hover over orangetext to see explanations.
When you run the LaTeX file through LaTeX and BibTeX (instructions below), you'll get output for the body of the document that looks roughly like this:
This document illustrates the use of BibTeX. You may want to refer to Arrow et al. (1961) or Aliprantis and Border (1994) or Maskin (1985). Or you may want to cite a specific page in a reference, like this: see Maskin (1985, p. 199). Or perhaps you want to cite more than one paper by Maskin: Maskin (1985, 1999). Or you want to make a parenthetical reference to one or more articles, in which case the \citealt command omits the parentheses around the year (Arrow et al. 1961).A few more options for the command are available. Here they are:
|Jones et al. (1990)|
|Jones, Baker, and Smith (1990)|
|(Jones et al. 1990)|
|(Jones, Baker, and Smith 1990)|
|(Jones et al., 1990, p. 99)|
|(e.g. Jones et al., 1990)|
|(e.g. Jones et al., 1990, p. 99)|
|Jones et al.|
|Jones, Baker, and Smith|
|*||Jones et al.'s (1990)|
*Assumes \citeapos is defined in your style or document like this:(Thanks to Christopher M. Duncombe Rae for pointing out this simple way of generating a possessive citation.)
The list of references will look like this:
Aliprantis, Charalambos D. and Kim C. Border (1994), Infinite Dimensional Analysis. Springer, Berlin.
Arrow, Kenneth J., Leonid Hurwicz, and Hirofumi Uzawa (1961), "Constraint qualifications in maximization problems." Naval Research Logistics Quarterly, 8, 175–191.
Maskin, Eric S. (1985), "The theory of implementation in Nash equilibrium: a survey." In Social Goals and Social Organization (Leonid Hurwicz, David Schmeidler, and Hugo Sonnenschein, eds.), 173–204, Cambridge University Press.
Maskin, Eric S. (1999), "Nash equilibrium and welfare optimality." Review of Economic Studies, 66, 23–38.
Example usingHere is an example using the bibliography style , which in included in many LaTeX systems.
When you run the LaTeX file through LaTeX and BibTeX (instructions below), you'll get output for the body of the document that differs from the output when you use only in that the names of all three authors of Arrow, Hurwicz, and Uzawa (1961) are listed in the first citation to that work, although not in the second, parenthetical, citation.
The list of references differs more significantly from the list produced by : only authors' initials, not their full first names, are included, and "&" rather than "and" is used as a separator; numbers in page ranges are separated by hyphens, rather than the conventional en-dashes. Precisely, the list of references produced by looks like this:
Aliprantis, C. D. & K. C. Border (1994), Infinite Dimensional Analysis. Berlin: Springer.
Arrow, K. J., Hurwicz, L., & Uzawa, H. (1961), Constraint qualifications in maximization problems. Naval Research Logistics Quarterly, 8, 175-191.
Maskin, E. S. (1985), The theory of implementation in Nash equilibrium: a survey. In L. Hurwicz, D. Schmeidler, & H. Sonnenschein (Eds.), Social Goals and Social Organization (p. 173-204). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Maskin, Eric S. (1999), Nash equilibrium and welfare optimality. Review of Economic Studies, 66, 23-38.
Other bibliography styles for author-year citationsA family of styles that produce author-year citations is available on this page.
Creating your own bibliography styleA BibTeX style file is plain text, which in principle you can edit. However, the language used is arcane, and changes that are more than trivial are tricky. A better way to proceed is to create a new style file from scratch, using the custom-bib package (that's how I created ). You run TeX on a file, which asks you a long list of questions about the features of the style you would like. You'll probably not be completely clear about your preferred answers to all the questions on your first attempt, but two or three runs should produce a format to your liking.
To see the corresponding video for this blog post click here.
In the last post we looked at using images and tables in our thesis. In this post we are going to look at adding a bibliography to our thesis. To do this we are going to use the biblatex package. This involves creating a list of sources in a separate file called a bib file.
The Bib File
When we create this file we need to choose a name for it and save it as a ‘.bib’ file rather than a ‘.tex’ file.
Now every time we need to reference a source we can cite it in the text and then fill in the source details in the bib file. First we’ll look at filling in our ‘.bib’ file and then we’ll move on to discussing citations.
To add a new entry to our bib file we need to first tell biblatex what type of source we are referencing. We do this using an @ symbol followed immediately by the source type.
Then comes an opening curly bracket and a citation key of our choice followed by a comma. We then need to tell it all the details it wants for that particular type of source. We do this using a list of keywords each followed by an equals sign and the corresponding information in curly brackets. Items in the list are separated by commas. Each recognised source type has a list of required details which we must provide. But we’ll often want to give more details. For example, for an article entry we need to use the author, title, journaltitle and year or date keywords. For an online source we need to use the author or editor, title, year or date and url keywords, and finally for a book it’s the author, title and year or date keywords. Here’s an example of what they might look like filled in.
All of the information about the recognised source types and all the keywords you can use can be found in the biblatex documentation.
Now let’s return to the main tex file. To set it up for a bibliography we need to load up the biblatex package using the command. Also in the preamble we need to specify which bib files we want to use by calling the command and entering the file name in the curly brackets including the ‘.bib’ extension.
Now let’s look at citations. To cite a source in the text we use one of the biblatex citation commands. The simplest is the command which prints the citation without any brackets unless you are using the numeric or alphabetic styles. We’ll discuss styles a little later on. For example we may cite a source in the text like this:
Another one is the command which prints citations in parentheses except when using the numeric or alphabetic styles when it uses square brackets. There are more citation commands available to you which again can be found in the documentation.
The citation commands in biblatex also give us the option of adding a ‘prenote’ and ‘postnote’ in as arguments. A ‘prenote’ is a word or phrase like ‘see’ that is inserted at the start of the citation. A ‘postnote’ is text you want inserted at the end of the citation. To add these notes in you uses two sets of square brackets in the citation command. If you only open one set of square brackets it will assume the contents of the brackets is a postnote, so if you only want a prenote make sure you still open the second set of square brackets and then just leave them empty. Here are some examples:
Now to actually get the bibliography printed in our thesis we use the command at the end of the document. By default the bibliography and citations use the numeric style which looks like this:
To change the style we pass more arguments into the command in square brackets. For example this specifies the ‘alphabetic’ style.
Which looks like this:
And this is the ‘authoryear’ style.
Another thing we can change here is the way the bibliography is ordered. For example this sorts entries by year, name, title.
While this doesn’t sort them at all but displays them in the order they are cited.
More information about the numerous styles and sorting options available can be found in the documentation. This concludes our discussion on adding a bibliography. In the next post we’ll look at customising some of the opening pages.
Other posts in this series:
pt 1 - Basic Structure
pt 2 - Page Layout
pt 3 - Figures, Subfigures and Tables
pt 5 - Customising Your Title Page and Abstract
Posted by Josh Cassidy on 08 Aug 2013