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I've been editing a Bibtex style, the standard agsm.bst, to match my university's requirements. I've managed to get everything correct, except that the style separates the year, title, and journal with commas:

Schuster-Böckler, B., Schultz, J. and Rahmann, S. (2004), HMM Logos for visualization of protein families, BMC Bioinformatics 5(1),7.

I need the output to use a full stop (period) as the separator:

Schuster-Böckler, B., Schultz, J. and Rahmann, S. (2004). HMM Logos for visualization of protein families. BMC Bioinformatics 5(1),7.

I'm fairly sure this isn't defined in the style file. Where is this behaviour defined, and how can I change it?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

You concluded the posting with:

I'm fairly sure this isn't defined in the style file. Where is this behaviour defined, and how can I change it?

Actually, this behavior is set in the style file, but it's not easy to find. First, make a copy of the file agsm.bst and name it, say, my-agsm.bst. Then, search for the function that starts with

FUNCTION {output.nonnull}

(located on l. 59 of my copy of agsm.bst). A couple of lines further down, you should find:

  output.state mid.sentence =
    { ", " * write$ }

Replace the comma in the second line with a period, save the file, and don't forget to specify

\bibliographystyle{my-agsm}

in your tex file. (If you've chosen a filename other than my-agsm.bst, you'll of course have to make the appropriate adjustment.) You'll note that there are other commas (or is that "commata"?!) in the .bst file, but those pertain to separating names of authors and editors -- settings that, according to your posting, should remain unchanged.

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Great, thanks. I'm happy to be proven wrong about it being defined in the style file! P.S. "comma" is Latin and the Latin plural is "commata". Both "commas" and "commata" are acceptable in English (but "commata" sounds way better). –  Richard Smith Feb 17 '12 at 16:54
    
No need to apologize for not being able to spot the relevant comma setting in the file agsm.bst! It's only with practice that one can figure out how and where bibtex-related things are done... –  Mico Feb 17 '12 at 18:35
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