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How to use LaTeX with BibTeX for bibliography management


What is BibTeX?

BibTeX is a LaTeX auxiliary tool for:

  • Managing references and bibliographic databases:
    • Inserting references from one or more bibliographic databases;
    • Citing references in documents;
    • Creating bibliographies or reference lists;
  • Entering manually or automatically importing references from databases such as Compendex, Web of Science, Google Scholar, etc.;
  • Importing from other bibliographic management software, such as EndNote, Zotero, and JabRef;
  • Separating content (the bibliographic references) from presentation (the bibliographic style);
  • Producing bibliographies according to different citation styles.

Why BibTeX? Click here.

Entry types and required fields

BibTeX provides a set of predefined entries. Other types can be added depending on the bibliographic style. The following table shows the supported entry types of IEEEtran.bst (* = additional entry for this style). For more information, consult How to Use the IEEEtran BibTeX Style.

The general form of an entry in a .bib file is:

               @type_of_entry{BibTeX_key, required_fields[, optional_fields]}

The entry types are: @article, @book, @booklet, @electronic, @inbook, @incollection, @inproceedings, @proceedings, @manual, @mastersthesis, @patent, @periodical, @phdthesis, @standard, @techreport, @unpublished, and @misc.

Other entry types:

- Private communications: use @misc with the note private communication, personal communication or private correspondence;

- Software: use @electronic or cite the software manual;

- Laws and regulations: use @misc.

Click here for IEEEtran entry types

Guides and tutorials

IEEEtran Style

The IEEEtran style files are maintained by par Michael Shell. This guide is based, inter alia, on his articles:

IEEEtran style in French @ Polytechnique: IEEEtran_francais.bst.

Recommendations for .bib files

The references in the .bib files should include as much information as possible. 

At present, the DOI is not supported by the IEEEtran style, but it will probably be in the future. If your document has a DOI, include it in the reference. In the examples below, the DOI field was added in all the references that have a DOI.

Click here to see examples of entries for several types of documents (in English)

See other types of documents in the file MyReferences.bib (more under LaTeX → How to create a bibliography).

For other examples, consult the file IEEEexample.bib of IEEEtran style.

IEEE Abbreviations for Journals

The files IEEEabrv.bib and IEEEfull.bib are included in the IEEEtran package.

They make possible to enter in the field journal of a reference a certain string and obtain the abbreviated or the full title of the respective IEEE journal in the reference. For example, for journal = IEEE_J_SPL, the title will be displayed:

  • With IEEEabrv: IEEE Signal Process. Lett.
  • With IEEEfull: IEEE Signal Processing Letters

Both files should be in the same folder as the document .tex in which they are used.

IEEE Abbreviations for Conferences

Note: It is not mandatory to create the files presented here. You can directly include the abbreviated names of conferences in the .bib file (see Recommendations for .bib files).

There are no files similar to IEEEabrv.bib and IEEEfull.bib for conferences in the IEEEtran package.

However, it is possible to create two files, for example MyIEEEabrvconf.bib and MyIEEEfullconf.bib, comprising string definitions for the abbreviated and the full names of conferences, respectively. According to Michael Shell's recommendations, do not name the strings assigned IEEE_STRING (e.g., IEEE_CSMR) - use USERNAME_STRING (e.g.,TREMBLAY_CSMR).

  • Example of a string definition:

@STRING{TREMBLAY_CSMR = "14th European Conf. Softw. Maintenance Reeng. ({CSMR})"}

  • In MyReferences.bib:

booktitle = TREMBLAY_CSMR,

  • The reference will be displayed in the bibliography as follows:

[11]    N. Madani et al.,"Recognizing words from source code identifiers using speech recognition techniques," presented at the 14th European Conf. Softw. Maintenance Reeng. (CSMR), Madrid, Spain, March 2010, pp. 68-77.