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I have to use a style file for a journal paper, that uses plainnat as its bibliography style. I want to use abbrvnat style, but other than directly changing the journal style file I don't know any way to select a different bibliography style. Is there a neater way to do that? I've already things like

\usepackage{jmlr2e} %This is the journal style that uses plainnat
\bibliographystyle{abbrvnat}

without success.

Also what is the most convenient way to suppress some unwanted BibTeX fields like URL, ISBN, etc, without resorting to biblatex?

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2  
If the journal uses plainnat, then you should use that style: the editors will revert your changes anyway. –  egreg Mar 22 '12 at 18:52
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1 Answer

egreg is right: If the journal class loads plainnat, you are supposed to use that style.

That said, here's a rather hackish way to replace plainnat with abbrvnat without changing the journal class file: Your class very like uses LaTeX's \bibliographystyle command to load plainnat. Before loading your class, load the etoolbox package (using \RequirePackage) and patch the \bibliographystyle command so that it will ignore its argument and load abbrvnat instead.

\RequirePackage{etoolbox}
\patchcmd{\bibliographystyle}{#1}{abbrvnat}{}{}

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{natbib}

\usepackage{filecontents}

\begin{filecontents}{\jobname.bib}
@article{Bli74,
  author = {Blinder, Alan S.},
  year = {1974},
  title = {The economics of brushing teeth},
  journal = {Journal of Political Economy},
  volume = {82},
  number = {4},
  pages = {887--891},
}
\end{filecontents}

\begin{document}

Some text \citep{Bli74}

\bibliographystyle{plainnat}
\bibliography{\jobname}

\end{document}

enter image description here

EDIT: The jmlr2e package, which is not available at CTAN, does indeed use \bibliographystyle.

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Thanks, that works perfect. I check the published papers in the journal and there is no consistent standard for using abbreviated or full author names. I wanted to use the abbreviated version because my bibtex file doesn't have the full name for all authors. –  Alborz Mar 22 '12 at 20:48
    
@Alborz You may thank me by upvoting my answer (with the upward pointing arrow to the left of it; you need 15 reputation points before you can upvote) and possibly accepting it (by clicking on the checkmark). –  lockstep Mar 22 '12 at 20:51
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