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I need to use the amsplain bibliography style (or an identical appearing style), but the sources need to be sorted by order of first appearance in the document, not how they are arranged in the bibtext file. How can I do this?

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i'm not sure what the ordering of elements is in the bibtex unsrt style, but it certainly doesn't reorder the items. you might try it, and compare the results of the entries as output. if this isn't what you want, i have a (private, custom) version of an amsunsrt.bst file that i could send you, but for that, i'd need your e-mail address. you could send a request to tech-support@ams.org citing this question to receive it. on second thought, unsrt retains the order in the .bib file, so that may not be what you want at all. –  barbara beeton Mar 6 '13 at 20:19
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All the unsrt based styles produce the bibliography in order of appearance in text, but they will resort to the ordering in the .bib file if one has \nocite{*} in the document (for the remaining entries). –  egreg Mar 6 '13 at 22:01
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1 Answer 1

amsplain.bst can easily be modified to suppress the sort.

look for the line

FUNCTION {presort}

and further down,

SORT

comment out every line, inclusive, in that stretch of code.

then modify the header to acknowledge the file's origin, but remove any indication that ams might be responsible for maintenance or support, and rename the resulting file. (the lppl didn't exist when the ams*.bst files were created, or it would have been applied to this file; if any changes are made in the future, the lppl will be used.)

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