# What is the proper way of citing/referencing an external image/document file?

I'm writing a paper in latex and I have some tables and image files that are too big to fit on the page, so I wanted to just include them as extra files with the paper and reference them through the bibliography (I'm using BibTex).

Is there a "proper" way to do this? How would an entry in the .bib file that cites an external file look? I've only cited other papers so far, I can't find out how to reference to an external file.

• Mhhh, how would you distribute those extra files? How/where do you intend to publish your main paper? (If you self-publish there is no need to cite the external files, just always enclose them with the paper and refer to them in the text as normal.) I have the strong feeling that cited works should be obtainable (in their own right) by the information as given in the bibliography. So if you, let's say, upload your extra files to a website and refer to them in the bibliography, that should be fine as well. Feb 9 '14 at 11:43
• Anyway, this question might be more suitable for academia.stackexchange.com. Feb 9 '14 at 11:45

Here is an example, of how I cite external files.

% arara: pdflatex
% arara: bibtex
% arara: pdflatex
\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{filecontents}
\usepackage[demo]{graphicx}
\usepackage{natbib}
\usepackage{url}
\begin{filecontents*}{test.bib}
@MISC{WikipediaEN:AFM,
author = {{Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia}},
title = {Atomic force microscopy},
year = {2013},
note = {[Online; accessed April 27, 2013]},
url = {https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Atomic_force_microscope_block_diagram.svg}
}
\end{filecontents*}
\begin{document}
\begin{figure}[htpb]
\centering
\includegraphics[width=\textwidth,height=6cm,keepaspectratio=true]{AFM_Wikipedia}
\caption{
Sketch of the functionality principle of an AFM, from \cite{WikipediaEN:AFM}. The laser beam hits the cantilever. As the cantilever is bended because of the interaction forces of the tip with the sample the reflection angle changes. This change is recognized by the photo diode and translated into a picture by the detector.
}
\label{fig:basics AFM sketch}
\end{figure}

\bibliographystyle{plainnat}
\bibliography{test}
\end{document}


• Slightly unrelated: Please note that "Wikipedia" is never an author for a photo or diagram that is hosted there. The author is always described in the file page. In this case, it would be "OverlordQ". Sep 4 '14 at 17:03
• @JulianHzg Apparently it seems that Wikimedia (though not Wikipedia) is the author of the graphics hosted there, at least they suggest this in their "Cite This Page" link (commons.wikimedia.org/w/…) Jan 29 '18 at 13:07
• @lcnittl That is the suggestion for citing the page, because that is the suggesting for citing any page in the Wikimedia universe (Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, ...). The reason is that, for example, most Wikipedia articles will have been written by tens or hundreds of authors. For the specific case of an image or illustration, citing the page rather than the file itself seems odd though, since there is one (in this case arguably two, which I missed earlier) specific file author(s) that can be cited directly. Jan 30 '18 at 13:39