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I would like to generate a bibliography for a grant application with a minimal structure. Ideally, something like science.bst i.e. omitting the article title.

A. N. Clarkson, B. S. Huang, S. E. Macisaac, I. Mody, S. T. Carmichael, Nature 468, 305 (2010).

However, I would prefer to have the authors and year structured like apalike.bst.

Clarkson, A. N., Huang, B. S., Macisaac, S. E., Mody, I., and Carmichael, S. T. (2010).Reducing excessive GABA-mediated tonic inhibition promotes functional recovery after stroke. Nature, 468:305–9.

Is there a way to easily force apalike.bst to drop article titles or have science.bst reverse the author/initials and move the year?

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Do you want to find a method that suppresses the titles of all types of entries, or only for entries of type "article"? (See also the question below, from Audrey, in response to my proposed answer.) –  Mico Sep 1 '11 at 3:51
Thanks, yes, I only have "articles" in this particular application, so suppressing all titles is perfectly fine. –  scitexter Sep 1 '11 at 12:19

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You could try makebst for example. That is, type latex makebst in the command line and follow the (somewhat lengthyI dialog to create your own bst-file.

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As indicated in my comment to @Mico, producing a new .bst file was relatively straightforward. Thanks. –  scitexter Sep 1 '11 at 12:26


Is there a way to easily force apalike.bst to drop article titles...?

Yes! It requires only some minimal surgery. First, find the file apalike.bst on your system and open it in your favorite text editor; on my system, its first two lines are:

% BibTeX `apalike' bibliography style (version 0.99a, 8-Dec-10), adapted from
% the `alpha' style, version 0.99a; for BibTeX version 0.99a.

Then locate the construct ENTRY{...} (begins on line 43 on my copy of apacite.bst) and, in that construct, the line containing the single word


(line 62 in my copy). Comment out this line by placing a single % comment character at the start of the line. Save this file as, say, myapacite.bst somewhere where TeX/LaTeX can find it. If you use TeXLive, for instance, you'll additionally have to run (with sudo privileges) the command mktexlsr; if you use MikTeX, you'll have to call up the Settings program and click on "Refresh FNDB".

Incidentally, this technique -- of commenting out a line in the ENTRY construct of a bst file in order to avoid it showing up in the bibliography printout -- is perfectly general. For instance, if you want to have a style file that never prints out the name of the journal in which some article is published, you could comment out the line journal and obtain the desired result.

Finally, do note that if you run LaTeX on the file makebst.tex to create your own bst file from scratch, you will still have to hand-edit the resulting bst file, as the program does not give you a choice to omit the title of a journal article entirely. Instead, it asks if you want to place the title in quotation marks and how the quotation marks are supposed to look like, e.g., single or double quotes, or single or double guillemets.

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Would this suppress all titles, not just titles of article entries? –  Audrey Sep 1 '11 at 3:01
It guess so! I guess I interpreted the original question as asking to suppress the titles of all types of entries, not just the titles of entries of type "article." I'm posting a query (comment) at the end of the original question to find out what exactly the author of the question had in mind. –  Mico Sep 1 '11 at 3:50
@Mico Thanks for the helpful response. I will give this a try. The comment form @Dirk also led me to look at makebst, which proved to be less daunting than I had imagined, allowing me to generate a new .bst that produced the desired output. –  scitexter Sep 1 '11 at 12:24
@Mico & @sciexter Thanks for clarifying. So I guess makebst does allow you to avoid printing titles after all? –  Audrey Sep 1 '11 at 15:59

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