Bibliography tool features

Bibliography support is currently implemented for DocBook SGML and XML documents, TEI and TEILite XML documents, and for LaTeX documents.


  • RefDB scans your input document for citations and generates a bibliography which contains the cited references. You can include this bibliography into your document and process it with RefDB's tools to obtain formatted citations and bibliographies.

  • RefDB creates bibliographies for DocBook (SGML, DTD-based XML, and schema-based XML), TEI (DTD-based XML and schema-based XML), and bibtex.

  • The implementation of the SGML/XML citations and bibliographies is "non-destructive", i.e. switching from one bibliographic output format to a different one is limited to re-creating the bibliography and transforming your document again.

    Alternatively you may use a short notation for your citations that makes do with a minimum of markup. The short notation needs an additional (but fully reversible) preprocessing step before bibliographies and formatted output can be created.

  • RefDB uses “cooked” bibliography output to provide full control over the formatting. This somewhat blurs the distinction between structure and formatting but it is the most efficient way to handle the task of formatting bibliographies and citations. The TEI bibliography output is even worse as it heavily abuses the all-purpose seg element as a wrapper where the elements intended for a particular purpose do not allow a “cooked” use.

  • Alternatively you can request “raw” bibliography output. In this case you can either rely on the default bibliography formatting provided by the stock DocBook or TEI stylesheet, or you resort to other bibliography formatting tools.


  • The BibTeX output integrates seamlessly with the LaTeX/BibTeX tools, so there is only one additional command to run on your way from the LaTeX source to the finished document.

  • RefDB creates a BibTeX bibliography file based on the information in a .aux file. The latter is created by latex from the LaTeX source document. This intermediate bibliography file serves as the input file for bibtex. So instead of keeping all your references in a flat text file, RefDB will create a short bibliography file with the references that your particular document requires.

  • RefDB performs only a very limited amount of formatting for those items which are not well supported in BibTeX (e.g. with BibTeX you need two separate bibliography files if you switch from a format that uses abbreviated journal names to a format that requires the full names). All other formatting is left to the LaTeX/BibTeX system.