In GKP's Concrete Mathematics, there is a useful and interesting feature I would like to see in more books. The bibliography entries include:

  • a - the page numbers where the book or article is cited in the document.

  • b - a few lines of review of the cited work.

It is a kind of mix between bibliography, index and review.

Are there stable LaTeX packages/BibTeX styles to do (a) and (b) ?

EDIT: I wrote (b) initially as "comments about the work cited". It could be understood as "gathering comments made in the book about the work and reproducing them in the bibliography". This is not what I meant but this could be something useful for others.

3 Answers 3


For (a) use the backref package together with your bibliography setup (natbib, etc.)

With hyperlinks:

\hypersetup{<your setup params>}

or without hyperref

\usepackage{url}% for url's in bib

Then set the back references in a more readable format

    \ifcase #1 (Not cited.)%
    \or        (Cited on page~#2.)%
    \else      (Cited on pages~#2.)%

Note that you need 3 Latex runs to set everything properly!

For the (b) part you would need something similar so the backref functionality that will link it to a citation and then add a page number(s) to the \bibitem block. This is quite difficult but it can be done (a todo project when there is time available ;-)

  • Thanks a lot for this concrete answer. I thought (b) might also be possible : 1- with a modified BibTeX style but at the condition to enter the small review of the work in one or several fields of its entry in the bib file. OR 2- By maintaining a special file linking the work ref and the review.
    – ogerard
    Commented Apr 17, 2011 at 4:48
  • 2
    @ogerard: Adding it as a special field to the bibtex file is easy (just hack the .bst file). I was thinking more in terms of something like foot- or sidenotes commenting on a reference. I especially like the notion of commenting sidenotes. I am bussy helping a senior professor here typesetting his advanced doctoral desertation, which is basicaly a summation of his lifelong contibution to a research field (hundereds of refereces). In this instance this setup would be very useful.
    – Danie Els
    Commented Apr 17, 2011 at 7:09
  • I am fond of marginal notes (and they are a great part of Concrete Mathematics as well). Yes marginal notes for index and bibliography could be fun, especially if they can be written in small bits throughout the book then collected in the bibliography.
    – ogerard
    Commented Apr 17, 2011 at 14:49
  • I get an error message "Command \ifBR@verbose already defined. Or name \end.... illegal, see p.192 of the manual." Could you please help? Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 14:29
  • @DanieEls Can you also somehow change the color of the page numbers in "Cited on page..."?
    – pixel
    Commented Jan 14, 2023 at 20:03

(a): For people using biblatex, the backref package doesn't work any more. But biblatex has a native package option:


The backrefstyle governs whether consecutive pages are displayed as range or as single pages. This will give you single pages.

(b): I guess with biblatex, you could define a field for this, and then modify your bibstyle so that it prints this field.


In addition to Danie Els answer. If you want to localize backref you'll need another command.

For German, this would be \backrefgerman. You should insert this command after:

    \ifcase #1 (Not cited.)%
        \or        (Cited on page~#2.)% cite of one page
        \else      (Cited on pages~#2.)% cite of several pages 
  • 2
    forgot to tell: This will mainly change the conjunction when something of the BibTeX file is referenced more than once, so (Cited on pages 1,2 and 3) will become (Cited on pages 1,2 und 3) (Hint: und is German for and). The (Cited on ...) text can be directly changed in the redefinition of backrefalt (see above) Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 15:50

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