TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Just as a preamble, I use MikTex 2.8, the latest TeXworks for Windows, the natbib package, JabRef to manage my citations, and the pdfLatex option in TeXworks for compilation.

When I cite an unpublished paper (or an "electronic" one), I get one more period than I'm looking for in the compiled output, and I don't understand why.

Here's a minimal example that demonstrates the problem:

\documentclass[12pt, letter]{article}
        urlcolor=rltblue,       % \href{...}{...} external (URL)
        filecolor=rltgreen,     % \href{...} local file
        linkcolor=rltred,       % \ref{...} and \pageref{...}


Testing. \cite{Shor:2010r}



Here's the .bib entry in testperiod.bib:

  author = {Boris Shor and Jon C. Rogowski},
  title = {Congressional Voting by Spatial Reasoning},
  month = {April},
  year = {2010},
  owner = {Boris},
  timestamp = {2010.07.01}

The generated bbl file is:

\harvarditem{Shor \harvardand\ Rogowski}{2010}{Shor:2010r}
Shor, Boris \harvardand\ Jon~C. Rogowski. 2010.
\newblock ``Congressional Voting by Spatial Reasoning.''.

And it comes out as:

Shor, Boris and Jon C. Rogowski. 2010. "Congressional Voting by Spatial Reasoning.".

The extra period afterward looks pretty ugly. Why is it there? And how to get rid of it?

share|improve this question
Please give a complete, minimal example. – TH. Jan 21 '11 at 21:53
I'm sorry, I don't follow. Can you tell me what would be more helpful in a little more detail? – bshor Jan 21 '11 at 21:58
Yes. Give a document that we can actually compile that produces the unwanted period. You didn't even tell us what bibliographystyle you're using. By the way, if you want someone to be notified that you responded to this, put their name after an @. So, @TH. to notify me. You got notified of that comment, and this one because they're comments on your question. – TH. Jan 21 '11 at 22:02
Thanks @TH. Live and learn. I'll put that document together. But how do I post it? It may be lengthy with the preamble and all. – bshor Jan 21 '11 at 22:07
It should be a minimal example. Approx. 10 lines of code should be enough to reproduce the problem. – Jukka Suomela Jan 21 '11 at 22:15
up vote 9 down vote accepted

The solution is hinted at in the BibTeX warning>

Warning--empty note in Shor:2010r

It's adding a period after the note field. Since the note field is empty, it just adds a period.

Admittedly, I too failed to heed the warning and had to look at aspr.bst to figure out what was going on.

share|improve this answer
Thanks @TH.! I do see that if I include a note, the period moves to the end of the note. But none of my citations have notes, for I don't need them. What should I do? – bshor Jan 22 '11 at 5:36
The unpublished entry type wants a note that says how the document is available... It's pointless citing something unless it's possible for people reading it to be able to go and look at that source... – Seamus Jan 22 '11 at 12:20
@bshor: in fact this is also "hinted" at when you enter the information in JabRef: in the "Required Fields" pane for the "Unpublished" types, you see the fields Author, Title, Notes, and Bibtexkey. These are required fields specified by the BibTeX documentation. – Willie Wong Jan 22 '11 at 18:14
Ahh. I do see the "requirement" of notes. But that requirement makes no sense! I have an unpublished paper with an author, title, and key. What do I need a note for? – bshor Jan 22 '11 at 20:11
@bshor The note should point out the status of the paper (and, as Seamus points out, where it's available if possible). "Submitted" or "Accepted to..." if it's in the pipeline to be published, "Available at..." if you've posted it to (e.g.) a personal web page. At the very least, you should put "Manuscript" or "Unpublished" in the notes field --- then the reader won't confuse it with a miscellaneous reference and go off on a wild goose chase looking for it. – Ross Churchley Jan 22 '11 at 20:35

It is a problem with your type of "unpublished". The style file inserts a period after a title and also after the complete bib entry. This is no problem when you also have a note entry, which will be typeset after the title. Use this style file and it should work. Put it into your document directory or into your local TeX tree. For the latter don't forget to update the file name data base.

alt text

share|improve this answer
@Herbert I tried "techreport" but it inserts the text "Technical Report" at the end. No institution was entered. Argh! – bshor Jan 22 '11 at 20:08
techreport avoids the need for "notes" but adds the text "Technical Report" at the end of the cite. electronic only needs the key! But ... still that ugly .". ! – bshor Jan 22 '11 at 20:12
then copy the apsr.bst to myapsr.bst and delete the line fin.entry in the style file, update the database and use \bibliographystyle{myapsr} – Herbert Jan 22 '11 at 20:22
Ok. Where's apsr.bst located? Can I place the replacement bst file in the directory where the paper is located? – bshor Jan 22 '11 at 20:41
@bshor: take this one, which works for me: archiv.dante.de/~herbert/myapsr.bst` See edited answer – Herbert Jan 22 '11 at 21:18

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.