I am writing my bachelor thesis. I have found an article which is part of a conference's proceedings. It's like a book with a whole collection of articles that were submitted for the conference. I use Mendeley to manage my sources and have added the entire proceedings as "conference proceedings". Mendeley generates the .bib for met. When I quote from one of the articles within the proceedings, i obviously don't want to reference the entire collection, just the one article. Does that mean I need to add both the article and the proceedings to my bib? And how do I then reference the article to the conference proceedings?

  • 2
    I had a similar problem and decided to change everything to using biblatex (ctan.org/topic/biblatex) in conjunction with biber (biblatex-biber.sourceforge.net). This provides an entry type inproceedings which you can cite. – Martin - マーチン Jul 9 '13 at 11:59
  • I did come across this option, the downside is that Mendeley only supports BiBTeX. The nice thing about Mendeley is that it extracts the meta information from the PDF you import, or I can import it from the website supplying the article (e.g. Springer). Also it gets additional info if it can find the article on Scholar. – Chielt Jul 9 '13 at 12:24

The recommended way is to have a @proceedings entry for the "book" (with editor, conference date, venue, ISBN, and so forth) and then @inproceedings entries for every paper. In the @inproceedings entries you refer via crossref to the @proceedings entry.

  author =       {Singaravelu, Lenin and Pu, Calton and H{\"a}rtig, Hermann and Helmuth, Christian},
  title =        {Reducing TCB complexity for security-sensitive applications: three case studies},
  crossref =     {eurosys:06},
  pages =        {161--174},
  doi =          {10.1145/1217935.1217951},
  keywords =     {application security, trusted computing base},

  author =       {Yoann Padioleau and Julia L. Lawall and Gilles Muller},
  title =        {Understanding Collateral Evolution in {Linux} Device Drivers},
  crossref =     {eurosys:06},
  pages =        {59--71},
  doi =          {10.1145/1218063.1217942},
  keywords =     {Coccinelle},

  editor =       {Yolande Berbers and Willy Zwaenepoel},
  title =        "Proceedings of the 6th European Conference on Computer Systems",
  booktitle =    "Proceedings of the 6th European Conference on Computer Systems",
  publisher =    {ACM}
  venue =        {Leuven, Belgium},
  month =        apr,
  year =         {2006},
  isbn =         {1-59593-322-0},

With this structure, if you cite a paper (@inproceedings entry), BibTeX will either import the missing information from the crossref'ed @proceedings entry into the paper's entry inside the bibliography or, if more than two papers from the same proceedings are referenced, save some space by putting the @proceedings entry itself into the bibliography and refer from the paper's entries to them.

(The threshold of two is the default; this is configurable on the bibtex command line with the -min-crossrefs=NUMBER option.)


  • With many bibtex implementations, the @proceedings entry has to be placed behind the respective @inproceedings entires in the bib-file. Otherwise it is not found.

  • The duplication of title and booktitle is a strange necessity. If BibTex imports the missing field into the @inproceedings entry, it needs the booktitle field. If the @proceedings entry is itself referenced (either implicitly through the threshold or explicitly by a \cite command) it needs the title field.

  • With BibLaTeX, the principle remains the same. In combination with biber, we can get rid of the above idiosyncrasies, though.

  • Thnx! That's exactly what I was looking for :) – Chielt Jul 9 '13 at 12:39
  • When I \cite an article with pages={3310--3317}, do I cite pages 1-7 in text or 3310-3317? Since it's an inproceedings entry, the page numbers should refer to the article itself, shouldn't they? – Post Self Feb 14 '18 at 18:29
  • @kim366: I am not sure I understand your question: Technically, the page numbers refer to what was given in the pages field. If both, the @inproceedings and the @proceedings entry have a pages field, the "later" wins, depending on where you do insert the crossref. – Daniel Feb 15 '18 at 9:37
  • Is it possible to put the link on the name of the book in @inproceedings, just like usual articles in Bibtex? When I include DOI in the Bibtex file, it appears as DOI which is not nice. – QGravity Jan 2 '19 at 7:22
  • @QGravity: You don't have to use @proceedings. Just put everything into the @inproceedings entry and you are fine. – Daniel Jan 3 '19 at 8:54

You need a separate @inproceedings entry for each article from the proceedings. If you have more than one article from the same proceedings you can separate out the common things in a single @proceedings and refer to it using a crossref field, using the key from the @proceedings entry. For example:

  booktitle={Proceedings of SAICSIT'98},

  title={Design of a scalable video on demand architecture},
  author={Machanick, Philip},

  title={Disk Delay Lines},
  author={Machanick, Philip},

This saves you repeating the common details of the conference like its name and year. The purpose of booktitle is to name the proceedings; title is the title of the article. Doing it with the @proceedings first worked for me; some versions of BiBTeX require it last. If you need to cite the whole proceedings the minimum extra thing you need as an editor field so it can be sorted correctly in the reference list or bibliography. For some reason the book title is not picked up so you also need the title (same as booktitle). I seldom do that so for me the minimalist version given here works.

More here.

  • All of this was already given in the answer from 2013. – Tiuri Apr 4 '18 at 11:33

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