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Since recently, I am having some trouble with the short/ibidem and full citations in BibLaTeX. When I use a \cite command inside a footnote, it behaves differently than \footcite: it seems each keeps its own track of whether a citation has been used before. This simple example shows the ibid tracker works differently inside and outside a footnote:


\documentclass[a4paper]{memoir}

\usepackage[russian, english, UKenglish]{babel}
\usepackage[style=british,english=british]{csquotes}
\selectlanguage{UKenglish}

\usepackage[backend=biber,style=verbose-ibid]{biblatex}
\bibliography{test}

\begin{document}

Check.\footcite{Book1}
Check.\footcite{Book1}

Check.\footnote{\cite{Book1}.}
Check.\footcite{Book1}

Check.\footcite{Book2}
Check.\footnote{\cite{Book2}.}

\end{document}

This produces the following output:

  • footnote 1: full citation 1
  • footnote 2: ibid.
  • footnote 3: full citation 1
  • footnote 4: ibid.
  • footnote 5: full citation 2
  • footnote 6: full citation 2

I should think footnotes 3 and 6 should also be ibid., right? Or at least I would want them to be.

Another example more likely to occur in my writing practice is the following, in which I use cite and parencite in short footnote comments:

\documentclass[a4paper]{memoir}

\usepackage[english, UKenglish]{babel}
\usepackage[style=british,english=british]{csquotes}
\selectlanguage{UKenglish}

\usepackage[backend=biber,style=verbose-ibid]{biblatex}
\bibliography{test}

\begin{document}

Check 1.\footcite{Book1}
Check 2.\footcite{Book2}
Check 3.\footcite{Book1}

Check 4.%
\footnote{As the above author put it, `life is just a box of chocolates'
   \parencite{Book1}. This is pure nonsense, of course.}

Check 5.%
\footnote{There are various opinions on this matter. A very silly one is given
          by author number one \parencite{Book1}. A much more clever approach has
          recently been suggested in \cite{Book3}. I propose to follow this second
          course.}

Check 6.\footcite{Book1}.
Check 7.\footcite{Book3}.

\end{document}

The first results are:

  • footnote 1: full citation Book1
  • footnote 2: full citation Book2
  • footnote 3: short citation Book1

This is exactly how it should be. But then, when I use citation Book1 as a parencite within footnote 4, it is again a full citation, which is not what I want, since the full citation has appeared above. Likewise, in footnote 7, I get a full citation of Book3, which has already appeared in full in footnote 5. Finally, footnote 6 says Ibid., which is confusing, since it refers to the footcite command of footnote 3, not to what happened in footnote 5.

The last problem, with the ididtracker can be solved manually; I other ones I find more difficult. The situation as a whole, I'm afraid, is a mess. How to improve it? Am I doing something wrong here? I am now using Biber 0.9.2, MikTeX 2.9, and BibLaTeX 1.4.

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2  
Huh. That's interesting. Why are you using both? Why not stick to one or the other. With \footcite[Text before cite][text after]{cite} you can put text either side of a citation in a footnote. –  Seamus Jun 16 '11 at 10:25
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2 Answers

This is quite interesting -- you seem to have stumbled upon a conflict between the memoir class and biblatex. Using the book class correctly yields "ibid." for citations no. 3 and 6 in your first example, but using the memoir class doesn't.

% Using the "book" class correctly yields "ibid." for citations no. 3 and 6
\documentclass{book}

% But using the "memoir" class doesn't
% \documentclass{memoir}

\usepackage[style=verbose-ibid]{biblatex}

\begin{filecontents}{\jobname.bib}
@misc{Book1,
  author = {Author, A.},
  year = {2001},
  title = {Alpha},
}
@misc{Book2,
  author = {Buthor, B.},
  year = {2002},
  title = {Bravo},
}
\end{filecontents}

\addbibresource{\jobname.bib}

\begin{document}

Check.\footcite{Book1}
Check.\footcite{Book1}

Check.\footnote{\cite{Book1}.}
Check.\footcite{Book1}

Check.\footcite{Book2}
Check.\footnote{\cite{Book2}.}

\end{document}
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Interesting, where does those \abx@aux@X come from in the aux file? In memoir they are not the same as in book –  daleif Jun 17 '11 at 8:44
2  
many thanks for your perceptive analysis. memoir seems to have caused the problem. This conflict was way too complicated for me to handle, but it seems everything works fine again in BibLaTeX 1.5 and Biber 0.9.3 (which were not yet packaged by MikTeX). Let's hope that this will remain so in subsequent versions. My apologies for not using the very latest versions. –  Rutger Jun 20 '11 at 6:36
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In my opinion you are doing things wrong somehow.

Don't use \cite inside a \footnote when you can use a \footcite, since \footcite IS \cite inside a \footnote! \footcite allows you to put the citation, pre and post notes (EDIT: like Seamus demonstrated), and even to do multiple citations (with the \footcites command)... I don't see any reason why you could be interested in doing a \cite inside a \footnote and not a \footcite.

If you need to add footnotes not related to any citation, I strongly advise you to add a \mancite command inside your \footnote, like this:

\footnote{\mancite Bla bla}

It will reset ibid tracker, for they are usually tracking only footcites citations.

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3  
and @Seamus: Sorry, I must have made my example a bit too simplified. In my opinion, footcites is not a full equivalent of placing various cites into a footnote. And it seems the developers of BibLaTeX think so, too, for they have created \smartcite, which is designed to behave differently outside and inside a footnote. What I want to do, every now and then, is give a brief discussion of various sources within a footnote; and if possible I would like to avoid squeezing this discussion in a messy collection of pre- and postnotes. I'll try to make a better example. –  Rutger Jun 16 '11 at 15:09
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