Chapter 10. Bibliographies

Table of Contents

Quickstart guide
Manage bibliography styles
Write or modify a bibliography style file
Create bibliographies
SGML and XML documents
Other SGML or XML document types

The bibliography is the really hard part of writing a scientific manuscript or a thesis, much harder than generating the data in the first place. This is why RefDB tries to help you with this task as much as possible.

RefDB can provide two different kinds of information:

If the default rendering of citations and bibliographies in the DocBook or TEI stylesheets is appropriate for your purposes, you can get away with using RefDB as a source for raw bibliographies. However, if your output is supposed to match the requirements of a particular journal or publisher, you'll need the styling information as well. There are literally thousands of possible combinations for the formatting of authors, titles, journal names, page and date informations, and almost each of these possiblilities has been adopted by at least one journal or publisher as the one and only citation and bibliography style. The format of the RefDB bibliography styles is described in the first section. The next section will then explain how you generate bibliographies and format your documents.

Quickstart guide

These are the essential steps to publish SGML or XML documents with formatted citations and a formatted bibliography:

  1. Load one or more bibliography styles into your RefDB database, using the addstyle command.

  2. Prepare your source document by declaring an external entity containing the bibliography in the header and by including a reference to this entity in the proper place of your document.

  3. Insert citations into your document, preferrably using the short notation.

  4. Preprocess your document using refdbxp (not required if you use the full notation for citations).

  5. Use runbib to create the bibliography as an external entity.

  6. Use either refdbjade or refdbxml to transform your document to the desired output format.


The last three steps can be run conveniently from a Makefile generated by the refdbnd tool. See the description of the refdbnd-generated Makefile below. The RefDB support in Emacs and vim also contains commands that make the bibliography creation a breeze.