I am trying to format my references to suit the journals' (Journal of Physical Chemistry B) requirements. Their LaTeX template is not correct (frustrating!) I have used the "latex makebst" command as others have suggested.

I have gotten this .bst file very close to the journal's requirements via "latex makebst". However, there are a few minor details that the .bst file I created got wrong, and I am unable to redo by recompiling the .dbj file.

I am trying to follow the American Chemical Society as closely as I can so I don't have to type 200 references manually. I would like to give this to the journal so they can post it to other authors so they don't have this difficulty in the future.

There are a few issues I wish to correct in the .bst file:

  1. There is a comma after the last author in articles.

  2. Page numbers for books are omitted.

How can I edit the .bst file to correct these two errors? The .bst file is 1254 lines long.

Much appreciated and Merry Christmas!

  • 6
    Is there a reason you are trying to make your own .bst file? I've provided one for several years: the achemso contains code and instructions for matching all of the ACS journal styles.
    – Joseph Wright
    Commented Dec 23, 2013 at 8:17
  • Regarding the second question: I'm pretty sure that there's a question in the makebst utilility that asks if you want to show page numbers for books. The default answer is "n"; you'd have to switch it to "y" to get page numbers shown for entries of type @book.
    – Mico
    Commented Jun 1, 2014 at 15:33
  • Can you post your bst file online so that one could take a look at its code?
    – Mico
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 19:37

1 Answer 1


Many BibTeX users have encountered this same problem. There are a couple ways around this. Many journals require that users paste the contents of the BBL file into the main *.tex manuscript file, so that it needs to be compiled only with LaTeX and not BibTeX as well. For this case, users can manually edit the \bibitem entries to achieve the needed format.

However, this is not a very satisfying solution. The recently-developed Bibulous project provides an alternative. Since Bibulous' style templates are readily customized, it typically requires only a few minutes to develop a custom style that fits a journal requirements. For example, a journal that requires a list of author names followed by a title in quotes, a journal name in italics, a volume number in bold, an issue number in parentheses, a page range, and finally a year in parentheses, the template for an article entry would be

article = <au>, \enquote{<title>,} \textit{<journal>} \textbf{<volume>} (<issue>)...
          : [<startpage>--<endpage>|<startpage>|<eid>] (<year>).

One can also develop similar templates for any other entry types (book, inproceedings, etc) that are specified by the journal's requirements and the user's *.bib database file.

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