User Tools

Site Tools


Tipps & Tricks for your bibliography

The various fields in the BibLaTeX-database are explained on the Wikipedia website. Before entering your references in the database, consult the guidelines set down in Editorial Conventions • Bibliographical data.

The cite key, which is used in the TeX documents in connection with the commands \EOAciteauthoryear and \EOAciteyear, must be clearly defined (i.e. it cannot be duplicated). The cite key should not contain any blanks. BibDesk for instance will mark an incorrect or ambiguous cite key in red. Such entries should be corrected immediately.

It is possible to use the EOATeX commands within the bibliographic entries. If the command \EOAgreek{Ἀριστοτέλης} is given for the author, then this will be generated as Ἀριστοτέλης in the bibliography. Chinese characters can be dealt with in the same way. It is also possible to use \EOAup, \EOAdown, \EOAineq and, in limited form, \EOAinline to feature sub- and superscript, as well as equations and small image files.

Multiple authors or editors are separated by and. A multiple authored entry would thus be Harald E. Paslewski and Theo Herkel and Martina Müller.

☞ The solutions below partly require non-standard fields in the bibliographical entries. Check back at Configuration of JabRef and Setup and use of BibDesk how to create and edit extra fields.

Additional fields

addendum: For some bibliographic entries, the default fields will not cover all requirments. By adding the field addendum, supplementary information such as translated by Emil Müller may be given.

shorthand: Some publications are basic works that are cited with shorthands or they have no author or institutional affiliation. They are often cited in forms such as BT XXVI or Bundesforschungsbericht IV/1992. Bundesdrucksache 123/IX-1922. The default settings will generate the complete title for the text reference. Should you prefer to use an abbreviation instead of the full title, add the shorthand field to the entry so that the abbreviation will appear in the text. In order to print a list of used shorthands and their full reference, you can use the command \EOAprintshorthands in the bibliography section.

Configuring the sorting order

The Sortkey is important for sorting entries, particularly those using special fonts such as \EOAgreek, \EOAchinese or others. If the author entry is, for example, \EOAgreek{Ἀριστοτέλης}, then Aristotle would be entered into the Sortkey field. In the finished document, the entry would be correctly sorted under A in the bibliography. The Sortkey is useful for a rough sorting of the bibliography, but can lead to unwanted results.

To sort the entries more accurately, there are two more fields available. The field Sortauthor enables the sorting of other author names, but the year is retained. On the other hand, a different year can be entered in the Sortyear field and the author name will remain the same.

Grouping words together

The default settings cause BibLaTeX to invert the author names. The entry Harald Paslewski is thus generated in the bibliography as Paslewski, Harald. For some entries, this automatic inversion needs to be suppressed. For example, the entry Georg-August Universität would be given in the bibliography as Universität, Georg-August. By entering the words in curly brackets, it is possible to group them together so that this entry would be given correctly in the bibliography. This function is also useful for names such as Ludwig von Fredberg. This would be entered as Ludwig {von Fredberg} to force the entry von Fredberg, Ludwig. If necessary, the Sortauthor field must be used for the correct placement. In this case, Fredberg would be entered into the the Sortauthor so that the author appears under F.

Internet locations

You can also refer to internet locations in the bibliography as part of a regular entry. The Url field must only contain the internet address. It is also advisable to record the date when that page was last visited, using the Urldate field. The format for the date has to be YYYY-MM-DD (e.g. 2015-10-02), it will be expanded by a string like 'last visited' in the bibliography.

Years and dates

In order to work properly, the Year field in the bibliography must only be filled with a year number, e.g. 1980. You will get warnings like

year field '1898–1903' in entry 'Ptolemaeus_1898–1903' is not an integer
- this will probably not sort properly.

If you want to record approximate dates or time spans, the field Date has to be used. Below, the most frequent cases are described.

NB: the output is dependant on the language of the main document. For example, a date BCE will be rendered as BCE in an English text and as v. Chr. in a German text.

For detailed information, consult the biblatex documentation.

Year spans

If beginning and end date are known, enter 1988/1992 in the Date field. This will be rendered as 1988–1992 in the bibliography. Observe that both years have to be written in full, and not abbreviated as in 1988/92.

If one part of a year span is unknown, or the publication series not yet terminated, simply leave out the first or second year, but retain the delimiter, as in 1997/ for 1997–

Date field Formatted
1988/1992 1988–1992
1997/ 1997–
/1997 –1997


For reprints, use the Year field for the date of the reprint and enter the original date in the field Origdate. Make sure to just enter the year into the Origdate field: 1834. Both fields will be rendered as e.g. [1834] 1999. If you want to record more information about the reprint, use the Note field for that, e.g.

 1893, Nachdr. 1960

Approximate and uncertain dates

To mark approximate or uncertain dates, use the Date field and add one of the postfixes ~ (circa), ?(?) or %(circa and ?):

Date field Formatted
1723~ circa 1723
1723? 1723?
1723% circa 1723?

Dates BCE

For dates BCE, also use the Date field and prepend the date with -. The date must consist of four digits:

Date field Formatted
-0080 80 BCE

Months and Days

If you want to document the date of a publication more exactly and use the Month and Day field, make sure to enter only numerals into these fields. For example, for a publication in March, simply write 3 in the Month Field. This will be rendered according to the main language of the document.

Correcting entries in a BibDesk file

To correct entries, open a BibLaTeX file in in BibDesk, then click on an entry you want to change. The whole bibliographic reference can now be found in the Comments field. Enter the information into the correct fields: Name into the *Author* field, the title into the Title field, page numbers into the Pages field, etc. Sometimes the entry type will also be incorrect. To change it click on the dropdown menu in the upper right corner (where it says article in the Screenshot) and select the correct type for the entry. After you’re done the Comments field should be empty. Don’t forget to save the corrected entry!

bibliographytips.txt · Last modified: 2020/06/17 13:20 by kthoden