I've got the following .bib file (Material.bib):

  author = {The GHC Team},
  title = {The Glorious Glasgow Haskell Compilation System User's Guide},
  number = {7.6.3},
  institution={University Court of the University of Glasgow},
  year = {2013},
  month = {April}

  author = {John Peterson and others},
  title = {Report on the Programming Language Haskell},
  institution = {Various institutions},
  year = {1996},
  month = {May}

and the following tex file:






When running BibTeX, I get the following warnings:

This is BibTeX, Version 0.99d (MiKTeX 2.9)
The top-level auxiliary file: BibTeX.aux
The style file: alphadin.bst
Database file #1: Material.bib
Warning--empty number in Haskell_1_3
Warning--empty note in Haskell_1_3
Warning--empty edition in GHCUserGuide
Warning--empty address in GHCUserGuide
(There were 4 warnings)

That's strange because all the mentioned fields in the output are optional and not required for the given entry types. What's the reason for this behaviour and is there any way to get rid of the warning messages without having to add the fields to the .bib-file?

  • My test turns out correct. No warnings. My system is Vista, MiKTeX2.9 and TeXworks editor.
    – Jesse
    Commented Aug 30, 2013 at 2:56
  • That's really strange. I've also got MiKTeX2.9, but Windows 8. I'm using the editor WinEdt 7.1, but that shouldn't matter. Do you invoke BibTeX from the command line or from the editor? I invoke BibTeX on the command line without extra parameters.
    – M.B.
    Commented Aug 30, 2013 at 15:32
  • 4
    @M.B. the fields you've mentioned are optional for standard alpha style, but probably they are required for alphadin Commented Aug 30, 2013 at 16:01
  • 2
    @Jesse -- 'pass' is misleading: a 'warning' is a warning, not an error, so the file will be created. @M.B. should read the comments in alphadin.bst and confirm that he is constructing entries correctly. On a Unix-ish system, you can do this (e.g.) by typing less $(kpsewhich alphadin.bst) (or substitute for your favourite editor).
    – jon
    Commented Aug 30, 2013 at 16:20
  • 1
    How do you know they are not required? It is the given .bst that defines what is required. An option may be truely options in one style, but required in another. Though, I've never seen a reuired note before.
    – daleif
    Commented Aug 30, 2013 at 16:57

1 Answer 1


The alphadin.bst file is present in TeX Live


and it uses slightly different rules for the fields. The classification of fields into mandatory and optional for a particular entry type depends on the bibliography style. It happens that alphadin.bst requires those fields for those entry types, so BibTeX warns when it doesn't find them.

The documentation about the din1505 styles can be found at


and its title is

Bibtex–Beispiele für Normen, Patente und Software nach Abschnitt 6.4, 6.5 und 6.8 der Norm DIN 1505 Teil 2

so they seem very specialized bibliography styles, for which it's clear that particular rules are applied.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .