Bibliography management in LaTeX – ShareLaTeX, Online LaTeX Editor

Posted on March 26, 2017 By

Bibliography management in LaTeX

When it comes to bibliography management packages, there are three main options in L a T e X : 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 L a T e X document.

[edit] Introduction

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

There are four bibliography-related commands in this example:

\usepackage Imports the package biblatex. \addbibresource 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. \cite 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. \printbibliography Prints the list of cited references, the default title is "References" for the article document class and "Bibliography" for books and reports.

Share L a T e X provides several templates with pre-defined styles to manage bibliography. See this link

[edit] Basic usage

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

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

backend=biber Sets the backend to sort the bibliography, biber 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 L a T e X macros. The other supported backend is bibtex , 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. style=alphabetic Defines the bibliography style and the citation style, in this case alphabetic . Depending on the style more citation commands might be available. See biblatex bibliography styles and citation styles for more information. sorting=ynt 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.

[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:

@article <. > This is the first line of a record entry, @article 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 ( article , book , online and inbook ) there are a lot more, see the reference guide. einstein The label einstein is assigned to this entry, is a unique identifier that can be used to refer this article within the document. author = "Albert Einstein", 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 key = value , 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 L a T e X document, as shown in the previous sections, with the command \addbibresource . Not all the information in the .bib file will be displayed, it depends on the bibliography style set in the document.

[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.

The additional parameter title= passed inside brackets to the command \printbibliography 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.

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

\printbibliography[type=article,title=] 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. \printbibliography[keyword=,title=] Filters bibliography entries that include the word "physics" in any of the fields. Sets the title "Physics-related only" for said section.

[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

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

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

[edit] Reference guide

Supported entry types

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

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