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As far as I know the recommended way to fill the edition field for BiBTeX entries is to use write out ordinal numbers capitalized such as

edition = {Second}

BibTeX then usually outputs "second edition". Now I would like to put a different information there, e.g.

edition = {reprint}

and I don't want BibTeX to write "reprint edition", but only "reprint". I have read that there are bibstyles which check whether the edition field is an ordinal word and if not write out the field content unchanged. Can somebody point me to such a style file?

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Could you tell us which style you use at present so we know what you are after in general? – Joseph Wright Dec 13 '11 at 8:38
I am using a modified version of unsrt.bst. – fuenfundachtzig Dec 13 '11 at 8:43

I'm not aware of such a style, but that needn't mean much. If it so happens that you don't have any other bibliography entries with edition information, you could try the following. In the file unsrt.bst, there should be the following function:

FUNCTION {format.edition}
{ edition empty$
    { "" }
    { output.state mid.sentence =
        { edition "l" change.case$ " edition" * }
        { edition "t" change.case$ " edition" * }

You could replace the strings " edition" with "" (or eliminate them altogether).

Of course, if you do have other bib entries with edition information, you'll have to change the contents of their edition fields from "First", "Second", etc to "First edition", "Second edition", etc. I therefore can't recommend this bibtex hack whole-heartedly. Anyway, what's so bad about a field labelled "Reprint edition" that you feel a need to change it to "Reprint"?

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"edition" to a publisher means that major changes were made in the content. "reprint" (or sometimes "nth printing") means that this is a replicate of the previous printing. the terns really shouldn't be conjoined, as it could be confusing. (there is also the situation, as in one of my desk copies of The TeXbook, of "Twenty-first printing, revised, June 1992", which indicates that some changes were made, but not enough to be considered a new edition.) – barbara beeton Dec 13 '11 at 14:21
@barbarabeeton: Very good points indeed! – Mico Dec 13 '11 at 14:26
I agree with barbara. In any case I'd be interested to see if there indeed is a BibTeX style that can recognize the field content as an ordinal string; that would give me more flexibility. (Admittedly, in the end, your solution surely is the most flexible one :) – fuenfundachtzig Dec 13 '11 at 15:35

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