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I have searched the tutorials but have not been successful in understand them. The tutorials always mensionam concepts that I do not know. I would like to understand the basics of BibTeX.

By basics I mean:

  • How do I install BiBTeX?

  • How to build a file in bib? For this question assume that I already have the bibtex format each reference provided by databases like MathSciNet. See observation 1 below.

  • What I write commands in the file format. Tex to call call the format file bib?

  • How to exploit the format of the bibliography that comes out in PDF? The commands are made in the preamble of the file. Arquifo bib or format. Tex?

  • What must be the BiBTeX with biblatex?

  • Is there any tutorial (in pdf or video) that teaches step by step how to operate BiBTeX?

Observation 1 I already have the bibtex format each reference provided by databases like MathSciNet:

@article {MR2373353, 
AUTHOR = {Avila, Artur and Lyubich, Mikhail}, 
TITLE = {Hausdorff dimension and conformal measures of {F}eigenbaum {J}ulia sets}, 
JOURNAL = {J. Amer. Math. Soc.}, 
FJOURNAL = {Journal of the American Mathematical Society}, 
VOLUME = {21}, 
YEAR = {2008},
NUMBER = {2}, 
PAGES = {305--363}, 
ISSN = {0894-0347}, 
MRCLASS = {37F35 (37F10 37F25)}, 
MRNUMBER = {2373353 (2009i:37112)}, 
MRREVIEWER = {Feliks Przytycki}, 
DOI = {10.1090/S0894-0347-07-00583-8}, 
URL = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1090/S0894-0347-07-00583-8}, }
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1  
Is this question specific to BibTeX or TeX-based bibliography solutions in general (ie biblatex)? (biblatex is going to be significantly easier to customize in many cases, and is more modern.) –  Sean Allred Jul 23 '13 at 16:55
    
This site is not really suited to answer a list of questions but one question at a time. Additionally have you tried to google "bibtex basics"? The first links answer most of your questions already. –  Alexander Jul 23 '13 at 18:03
2  
I have a section on bibliographies in one of my tutorials if that's of any help. It covers the basics of bibtex and biblatex and using jabref to write your .bib files. –  Nicola Talbot Jul 23 '13 at 19:44
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1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted
+50

It is likely that you already have BibTeX installed as part of your default TeX installation (e.g., if you used MikTeX or TeX Live). Constructing a .bib file is as easy as taking, e.g., the entry you have provided and putting it in a file that ends with the extension .bib; put all these specific entries in the same file. A project-specific .bib file could be put in the same folder as your .tex file.

So, assuming a .bib file called (say) myexample.bib with this one entry:

@article{MR2373353, 
AUTHOR = {Avila, Artur and Lyubich, Mikhail}, 
TITLE = {Hausdorff dimension and conformal measures of {F}eigenbaum {J}ulia sets}, 
JOURNAL = {J. Amer. Math. Soc.}, 
FJOURNAL = {Journal of the American Mathematical Society}, 
VOLUME = {21}, 
YEAR = {2008},
NUMBER = {2}, 
PAGES = {305--363}, 
ISSN = {0894-0347}, 
MRCLASS = {37F35 (37F10 37F25)}, 
MRNUMBER = {2373353 (2009i:37112)}, 
MRREVIEWER = {Feliks Przytycki}, 
DOI = {10.1090/S0894-0347-07-00583-8}, 
URL = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1090/S0894-0347-07-00583-8}, 
}

You could 'cite' this reference in a traditional natbib-based setup as follows:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage{natbib}

\begin{document}

I read \cite{MR2373353}.

\bibliographystyle{plainnat}
\bibliography{myexample}

\end{document}

If the above file were called mynatbibexample.tex, you would need to run the following sequence of commands: latex mynatbibexample, bibtex mynatbibexample, latex mynatbibexample, latex mynatbibexample.

If you wanted to do the equivalent, but use biblatex instead, you'd use the same .bib file, but the .tex file would some different commands. A very simple example could look like this:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage[
backend=bibtex
% backend=biber % <-- biber is a modern replacement for BibTeX designed for use (only) with biblatex
]
{biblatex}
\addbibresource{myexample.bib}

\begin{document}

I read \cite{MR2373353}.

\printbibliography

\end{document}

The sequence of commands is the same if you use BibTeX: latex mynatbibexample, bibtex mynatbibexample, latex mynatbibexample, latex mynatbibexample. If you wish to try biber (and you have it installed), then the sequence would be: latex mynatbibexample,biber mynatbibexample,latex mynatbibexample`.

Regarding this question:

How to exploit the format of the bibliography that comes out in PDF? The commands are made in the preamble of the file. Arquifo bib or format. Tex?

The last part is unclear in meaning. Regarding modifications to the printed format of your bibliography, it really depends on your requirements. It would be impossible to guess what you are hoping to see, so I advise you to ask separate and more specific follow up questions once you are comfortable with the basics of bibliography generation.

Note also that biblatex and biber allow for far easier customization, but some publishers may insist on a BibTeX-generated bibliography. In the second case, however, that usually means they can give you a proper b ibliography st yle file [usually with the extension .bst] for you to use.

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I removed temporarily accepted to start the bonus. The bonus will be given to you. –  Elias Jul 23 '13 at 22:08
    
@Elias -- no worries; and thank you! –  jon Jul 23 '13 at 22:21
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