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do you have experience with bibtex and non-literary work? I'd like to cite things like movies, fine-art pieces and so on. How would you proceed?


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Welcome to TeX.SE! – Mico Jul 17 '12 at 18:09
up vote 3 down vote accepted

As you're already surmising in your question, BibTeX's structure and design isn't great for citing items that aren't some form of literary publication (such as books, articles in journals, working papers, etc). BibTeX does have a catch-all entry type called @misc, but you'll find yourself dealing with a lot of compromises if you take this approach; in cases such as the one you're describing, one size (or bibliographic entry type) does not fit all.

All is not lost, however: You could use the much newer biblatex package, which styles itself as "a complete reimplementation of the bibliographic facilities provided by LaTeX". As such, it recognizes many more entry types (in addition to supporting all entry types recognized by BibTeX). Some of these entries that may be of relevance to you: online (any online resource), patent, artwork, audio, image, jurisdiction (court decisions), movie, performance, review, and video, to name just a few.

All this extra functionality comes at a price (of course!): because biblatex --especially when run with the dedicated background program called biber -- is far more powerful and flexible than the LaTeX/BibTeX combo that's been around for more than 20 years, the learning curve is also steeper.

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