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4.2. An example BibTeX file

Just to give you some idea what BibTeX entries look like, here are some entries from the day6.bib bibliographic database file from the TCC LaTeX Boot Camp.

First is a citation from a book.

  title={Ecological stoichiometry: the biology of elements from
         molecules to the biosphere},
  author={Sterner, R.W. and Elser, J.J.},
  publisher={Princeton Univ Pr}

Each entry starts with an @-sign and is enclosed in {braces}.

The group of letters just after the opening brace, sterner2002ecological in the example, is called the key. You will need this key to cite the work in your paper. You don't have to use the key provided; you can shorten or simplify it, but it must be a unique string of characters with no spaces inside it.

Within the entry are a number of lines of the form name={data}. For example, the line year={1987} gives the publication year.

Here is a more complex entry, for an article in a journal proceedings.

  title={Deterministic skip lists},
  author={Munro, J.I. and Papadakis, T. and Sedgewick, R.},
  booktitle={Proceedings of the third annual ACM-SIAM symposium on
             Discrete algorithms},
  organization={Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics}

There are many other types of entries, such as @article for articles in periodicals, @manual for technical manuals, @mastersthesis, and @phdthesis. Consult Kopka's book for full details of how BibTex entries are structured.

You may even have to build your own entries from scratch. For example, to cite an unpublished work, there is an @unpublished entry type.