When building my bibliography using the


The output looks like

[88] G. R. Ruetsch and M. R. Maxey. Small-scale features of vorticity and pas- sive scalar fields in homogeneous isotropic turbulence. Physics of Fluids A: Fluid Dynamics, 3(6):1587, 1991. ISSN 08998213. doi: 10.1063/1.857938. URL http://link.aip.org/link/PFADEB/v3/i6/p1587/s1&Agg=doi.

I'd like to omit of some of the fields, such as URL and ISSN. Is this possible? If so, what do I need to do?

(Note: My BibTex was made using Mendley)

  • 1
    If you want to omit the url and issn fields altogether in your references, just do a search and replace in your bib file: change url into NOOPurl and issn into NOOPissn in the field names and BibTeX will ignore those fields.
    – egreg
    Oct 11, 2013 at 9:31
  • 4
    @egreg, If I edit the .bib file, Mendley will just overwrite it when i run it again. I could make a copy of the .bib file, but then i loose the advantage of having the .bib automatically update when i update in Mendley.
    – mrsoltys
    Oct 11, 2013 at 20:35
  • 1
    Do you mean Mendeley? It is evil anyway :)
    – pluton
    Oct 12, 2013 at 2:21

2 Answers 2


One way to proceed is to create a modified version of the file plainnat.bst, in which the functions that format and print fields such as doi and isbn are reduced to stubs that do nothing:

  • Find the file plainnat.bst in your TeX distribution. Make a copy of this file and call it, say, myplainnat.bst. (Don't edit an original file of the TeX distribution directly.)

  • Open myplainnat.bst in your favorite text editor, and search for the function called format.doi. (In my copy of the file, it starts on line 292.)

  • In this function, replace the line

    { new.block "\doi{" doi * "}" * }


    { "" }

    In short, tell BibTeX to do nothing even if the field doi is non-empty. (You could go further and replace the function's entire body with { " " }. However, if you ever choose to undo some of these edits, it may be easier to do so if you leave behind for more than that absolute minimum code snippet.)

  • Repeat this procedure, as needed, for the functions format.url, format.issn, and format.isbn.

  • Save the file myplainnat.bst, either in the directory where your main .tex file is located or in a directory that's searched by BibTeX. If you choose the latter option, you'll probably need to update the filename database of your TeX distribution too.

  • Start using the new bibliography style via

  • How do I find the file plainnat.bst in my TeX distribution? (I use Ubunbu) Oct 17, 2013 at 6:30
  • 1
    @ErelSegalHalevi - What does kpsewhich plainnat.bst (to be typed from a command line) return?
    – Mico
    Oct 17, 2013 at 6:34
  • Thanks! I didn't know about this useful command. Oct 17, 2013 at 6:43
  • And your solution works perfectly, thanks again. Oct 17, 2013 at 6:50
  • 1
    @Ernesto - If one has to work with the plainnat bibliography style (and BibTeX), the answer to your question is "No". If you're free to use the biblatex package, you could indeed affect a lot more of the formatting via LaTeX code.
    – Mico
    Aug 18, 2017 at 20:26

You should use biblatex with this in your preamble (remove \bibliographystyle{plainnat})

\renewcommand\nameyeardelim{, }

Where this gives you the expected removal.

  \clearfield{issn} % Remove issn
  \clearfield{doi} % Remove doi

  \ifentrytype{online}{}{% Remove url except for @online

This is based on http://codydunne.blogspot.se/2012/01/suppressing-bibtex-fields-for-specific.html


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