I am using biblatex to produce a bibliography with several sections like this:

\defbibheading{cvpubs}[List of Publications]{\section{#1}}

\printbibliography[env=nolabel,sorting=ydnt,keyword=peer,heading=subbibliography,title={Peer-reviewed articles}]
\printbibliography[env=nolabel,sorting=ydnt,keyword=chapter,heading=subbibliography,title={Book chapters}]

% and so on ...

Now I need to mark certain entries with an asterisk left of the entry. Something like this:

* Besserwisser, John (2007). "Whatever you say, you're wrong". In: Journal for Know-it-alls. (1)1. pp. 1-19.

Is this possible?

P.S. If you are wondering why anyone would want to do such a thing: In my case it is simply demanded by a funding agency to mark certain publication in my publication list with an asterisk. But you could also use this to mark the mandatory readings or the recommended readings or so in a reading list.

  • Where are the special entries specified: in the bib file, or the TeX file?
    – mafp
    Mar 22, 2013 at 21:14
  • @mafp: it doesn't really matter. bib file is probably easier.
    – Christoph
    Mar 23, 2013 at 1:05

1 Answer 1


Here is a way to do it by adding a new field asterisk to the entries in the bib file. The solution requires biber.


The code above is to extend the data model with the new field asterisk.


EDIT A somehow simpler method is to create a new category for entries to be marked with an asterisk


then add the entires to be marked to such a category

\addtocategory{asterisk}{key1,key2, ...}

where key1, key2, ... are bib keys for the entries to be marked and finally

  • Hm, that looks surprisingly simple. But I'm not sure I understand where the code goes. Is it in biblatex-dm.cfg? And the second bit in the preamble?
    – Christoph
    Mar 23, 2013 at 1:13
  • Oh, and what value do I assign to the new field? asterisk = {true}?
    – Christoph
    Mar 23, 2013 at 1:17
  • @Christoph you can use you can use the filecontents package. In this way you create the biblatex configuraation file on the fly. Then the two snippets above in the preamble of your document. Any value should do for the new field.
    – Guido
    Mar 23, 2013 at 1:31
  • I thought I'd ask you this before posting another question — You helped me out earlier with this post (see comments) in adding an asterisk to the citation number based on a keyword. Do you have thoughts on extending it for two keywords? For instance, if keyword A then [1]*, if B then [1]† or if A, B then [1]*† or something like that. Adding another definition for renewbibmacro doesn't seem to be an option, since it replaces the previous ones... Sep 25, 2013 at 4:40
  • @yoda You can use \ifkeyword{A}{*}{}\ifkeyword{B}{$\dagger$}{}, or you can nest one \ifkeyword inside another, \ifkeyword{A}{\ifkeyword{B}{*$\dagger$}{*}}{\ifkeyword{B}{$\dagger$}{}}.
    – Guido
    Sep 25, 2013 at 15:24

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