I've been struggling trying to format my references for a paper which needs to follow the LNCS guidelines. They use to provide a .bst file which formats the references exactly as they require, but the only issue is that the references are sorted in alphabetical order, and now it seems they require them sorted in order of appearance. Is there any way of tuning the .bst in order to get the references sorted in order of appearance? Anyone had the same problem?

Here the template (including the .bst) I am using: ftp://ftp.springer.de/pub/tex/latex/llncs/latex2e/llncs2e.zip

  • Welcome to TeX.SX! – Heiko Oberdiek May 4 '14 at 16:18
  • If I use \bibliographystyle{splncs} the references are in order of appearance. – egreg May 4 '14 at 16:33
  • Could you please indicate a link to download the splncs.bst, or the full template you are using? At least the splncs03.bst (which is inside the template I am pointing to) does not format in order of appearance. Thanks – user51083 May 4 '14 at 17:00
  • 1
    You find it at ftp.springer.de/pub/tex/latex/llncs/latex2e/splncs.bst – egreg May 4 '14 at 18:10
  • Note that the order of appearance was an old habit around 2007 of LNCS. The alphabetical sorting was the new requirement. That leads me to the question: What do you mean by "they require"? Can you provide us an URL with that requirement? – koppor Feb 3 '18 at 19:07

The zip file has only splncs03.bst which uses alphabetical order. However, Springer also provides splncs.bst that uses order of appearance. You can download it at


| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks, I found this one as well, but even though this one sorts in order of appearance, it seems it does not format according to the latest springerNCS requirements (i.e. the volume is in bold, and the pages appear after the Year). As far as I know, these are the latest guidelines: static.springer.com/sgw/documents/1121537/application/pdf/… Any ideas on how to meet these guidelines? – user51083 May 4 '14 at 19:04
  • @user51083 I'm rather surprised that the guidelines tell you to do something that the provided styles don't allow. – egreg May 4 '14 at 19:32
  • Yes, I am surprised as well. I sent an email to springer, let's see what they suggest... – user51083 May 4 '14 at 19:48
  • @user51083 have they ever replied? – laika Mar 4 '15 at 16:53
  • 1
    Yes, actually They sent me a bst file with the correct formatting and without sorting. Sorry for the late reply: filedropper.com/splncs03unsrt – user51083 Mar 6 '15 at 8:38

Hi faced same problem and found the results in :

Just need to do the reverse of : Bibtex .bst file modification to include alphabetical ordering

Remove all code(a lot of functions with sortify or some sort) in the bst file between the


STRINGS { longest.label }

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    It probably suffices to remove -- or comment out -- two lines: the ones that say ITERATE {presort} and SORT; they occur just before the line that says STRINGS { longest.label }. Deleting all ca 150 lines won't hurt, though... – Mico May 27 '14 at 16:19
  • Deleting all the lines or commenting out ITERATE {presort} can make Bibtex crash at times. Commenting out SORT (at all places where it appears) should do the job. – Samufi Oct 5 '19 at 1:04

Using the .bst file that they've given as a starting point i.e. splncs03.bst ... make a copy of it and rename it to something like splncs04.bst. And then simply comment out ITERATE {presort}. Do not change original files!

I'd not recommend using old .bst files that they used to provide. splncs.bst is the old BibTeX style for use with llncs.cls. splncs_srt.bst is just like the previous but with alphabetic sorting and splncs03.bst is the current LNCS BibTeX style with alphabetic sorting.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Do not change original files! Make a copy, change it and rename it. – Mensch Oct 20 '15 at 3:22

Ok, so I sent an email to springer and they sent me a bst file which formats the references according to their guidelines, but does not sort the references in alphabetical order. You can download here: http://www.filedropper.com/splncs03unsrt

| improve this answer | |

I needed to use also LastName,FirstName, so this was my solution: Use this topic: Displaying author's name in a bibliographic entry in the form: Surname, First Initial of Firstname but change the file C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.9\bibtex\bst\base\unsrt.bst, instead of plainnat.

That's all!

| improve this answer | |

In the bst, before "STRINGS { longest.label }" there should be a command "SORT"; you can comment that out. Then the order of citation will be the order of reference.

| improve this answer | |
  • There are some files where the standalone command "SORT" appears multiple times. Then, all these statements should be commented out. – Samufi Oct 5 '19 at 1:02

I was facing the same issue. After searching a lot, I found the problem. Basically, the latest splncs04.bst automatically sorts according to the alphabetical order of the last name of the author. This is the latest Springer Style.

But if you want to have the citation numbers to be ordered by appearance, you have to use a different style file. For this, I have used splncs03_unsrt.bst. You can download the file from the link here. This will sort the citations in the order of the appearance.

For more information, you can refer to this thread. I got the help from here.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.