I use a BibTeX style which automatically italicises booktitles (using \emph). I have certain entries which contain italicised words in the title. I would like these to appear non-italicised (in roman) in the final PDF output. Using any of \emph or \textit or \textrm on these items doesn't seem to make any difference -- the whole title still appears in italics.

Minimal .bib entry

author = {Klein, Jared S.},
title = {The Particle \emph{u} in the {R}igveda},
school = {Yale},
year = {1974},
address = {New Haven, CT},
timestamp = {2009.12.04}

Minimal .bbl entry generated by sp.bst:

Klein, Jared~S. 1974.
\newblock \emph{The particle \emph{u} in the {R}igveda}.
\newblock New Haven, CT: Yale dissertation.

1 Answer 1


\emph should work because second-level emphasis is set in upright shape by default. If that doesn't work, try \textup instead.

Explanation: \textrm selects the serif family, \textup the upright shape. The five text font attributes encoding, family, series, shape, and size are all orthogonal to each other, and changing one attribute does not touch the others. This means that selecting the serif family via \textrm does not change the shape from italic to upright.

  • Although this points to some underlying problem with the .bst file, since having \textup in your .bib file isn't ideal given that it specifies the formatting rather than the semantics. So if another bibstyle requires upright titles, the bib records with \textup will have to be manually changed again so that the relevant words appear correctly with italics.
    – Alan Munn
    May 3, 2011 at 22:36
  • It's the "Semantics & Pragmatics" sp.bst (v. 2.1). May 4, 2011 at 0:11
  • @Alan, BeSlayed: this is weird since sp.bst always uses \emph as you said, so an inner \emph should work just fine. I've tested the style now, and it works as expected, so something else must be wrong. Please post a minimal example.
    – Philipp
    May 4, 2011 at 11:21
  • @BeSlayed I can confirm too, that \emph works as expected with the sp.bst. So to fix the problem properly, you really need to show us an example.
    – Alan Munn
    May 4, 2011 at 11:54
  • 4
    @Philipp since this answer has gotten plenty of votes and been accepted, it might be helpful to expand your answer explain that it's really not an ideal solution and that some other source is likely the cause of the problem (as it was for BeSlayed.)
    – Alan Munn
    May 4, 2011 at 21:45

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