# Č doesn't sort in bibliography correctly but {\v C} does

I have an example here of an article document using pdflatex, bibtex, and natbib, where the Č character for Čermak isn't sorted in the bibliography correctly. I don't understand why not. Both files are encoded as utf-8 by my editor, and the pdf shows the character correctly. If instead I use {\v C} in the bib file, the sorting is correct (so obviously this is my current workaround, but I don't want to have to do it for all my refs if I don't have to).

\documentclass[10pt,a4paper,final]{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage[english]{babel}
\usepackage{natbib}
\begin{document}
See \cite{cermak_heat_1985,ingebritsen_sanford_1999}
\bibliographystyle{apalike}
\bibliography{mwe}
\end{document}


and the bib file:

@BOOK{ingebritsen_sanford_1999,
title = {Groundwater in geologic processes},
publisher = {Cambridge University Press},
year = {1999},
author = {Ingebritsen, S. E. and Sanford, Ward E.},
pages = {341}
}
@ARTICLE{cermak_heat_1985,
author = {Čermak, Vladimír and Jetel, Ján},
title = {Heat flow and ground water movement in the {B}ohemian {C}retaceous {B}asin
({C}zechoslovakia)},
journal = {Journal of Geodynamics},
year = {1985},
volume = {4},
pages = {285--303},
number = {1–4},
}

-
Ahh, my .bib files are full of {\noopsort{ZZZ}}{\v Z}ivanovi{\'c} ... a little trick which sorts Ž "correctly", i.e. not as Z. (\noopsort is of course defined as \providecommand{\noopsort}[1]{}.) I'm also switching bo biblatex/biber as soon as I have the time to go through my .bib files. –  Sašo Živanović Feb 21 at 0:56

BibTeX can not handle UTF8 characters, when it comes to sorting everything must be ASCII. So the Č is ignored in sorting. To deal with other characters, BibTeX has the rule that {\command{C}} is supposed to be a fancy accent, and should be sorted as C. Your options are thus to either switch to biblatex, or encode all author names with the "fancy accent" style:

author = {{\v{C}}ermak, Vladim{\'{\i}}r and Jetel, J{\'a}n}


The problem is that .bib files are a useful resource to share (among colleages, have some common ones for the project, ...), and in that setting you'd better have ASCII-only files (no, BibLaTeX doesn't solve the character encoding problems, you need extra pieces like biber for that; and that one I could never get to even build). –  vonbrand Feb 21 at 3:30