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BibTeX: Bibliographies

BibTeX automates much of the job of typesetting bibliographies, and makes bibliography entries reusable in many different contexts.

BibTeX invocation

BibTeX creates a printable bibliography (`.bbl') file from references in a `.aux' file, generally written by TeX or LaTeX. The `.bbl' file is then incorporated on a subsequent run. The basic bibliographic information comes from `.bib' files, and a BibTeX style (`.bst') file controls the precise contents of the `.bbl' file. Synopsis:

bibtex [option]... auxfile[.aux]

The output goes to the basename of auxfile extended with `.bbl'; for example, `bibtex /wherever/foo.aux' creates `./foo.bbl'. BibTeX also writes a log file to the basename of auxfile extended with `.blg'.

The names of the `.bib' and `.bst' files are specified in the `.aux' file as well, via the `\bibliography' and `\bibliographystyle' (La)TeX macros. BibTeX searches for `.bib' files using the BIBINPUTS and TEXBIB paths, and for `.bst' files using BSTINPUTS (see section `Supported file formats' in Kpathsea). It does no path searching for `.aux' files.

The program accepts the following options, as well as the standard `-help' and `-version' (see section Common options):

Suppress the program banner and progress reports normally output.
If at least n (2 by default) bibliography entries refer to another entry e via their crossref field, include e in the .bbl file, even if it was not explicitly referenced in the .aux file. For example, e might be a conference proceedings as a whole, with the cross-referencing entries being individual articles published in the proceedings. In some circumstances, you may want to avoid these automatic inclusions altogether; to do this, make n a sufficiently large number.

See also:

Basic LaTeXable documentation for general BibTeX users.
LaTeXable documentation for style designers.
BibTeX database file for the two above documents.
Example database file with all the standard entry types.
A very large `.bib' and `.bst' collection, including references for all the standard TeX books and a complete bibliography for TUGboat.

Basic BibTeX style files

Here are descriptions of the four standard and four semi-standard basic BibTeX styles. `CTAN:/biblio/bibtex' contains these and many more (for CTAN info, see section `unixtex.ftp' in Kpathsea).

Sorts entries alphabetically, with numeric labels. Generally formatted according to van Leunen's A Handbook for Scholars. The other style files listed here are based on plain.
First names, month names, and journal names are abbreviated.
Names are printed in small caps.
Alphanumeric labels, e.g., `Knu66'.
No labels at all; instead, the year appears in parentheses after the author. Should be used in conjunction with `apalike.tex' (plain TeX) or `apalike.sty' (LaTeX), which also changes the citations in the text to be `(author, year)'.
Numeric labels, entries in citation order, IEEE abbreviations, article titles in quotes.
Numeric labels, alphabetic order, Math. Reviews abbreviations, names in small caps.
Lists entries in citation order, i.e., unsorted.
The template file and documentation for the standard styles.

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