I'm writing an thesis in British architecture and I need to follow the MLA style for bibliography.

I'm now using biblatex and biblatex-mla; but I can't find out how to define official reports (published by gov., commissions, associations, ...) or and web sites references (when it's not an article but just from the main website)

I can't find any clue in the two documentations.

EDIT: biblatex-mla adds restrictions to biblatex, so @misc, @online and @report are not written in the output file

  • 1
    I take it that the report and online types are in some way defective for your purpose?
    – Joseph Wright
    Aug 19, 2010 at 19:14
  • Removed the bibtex tag to avoid confusion.
    – Caramdir
    Aug 19, 2010 at 19:43
  • Ah, I see (from the edit) that there is an issue with report and online. I suspect this might be one for the author of biblatex-mla, as he may have had some reason for this.
    – Joseph Wright
    Aug 19, 2010 at 20:37
  • I contacted the author of biblatex-mla, but did not receive any answer so far ...
    – Kevin
    Aug 20, 2010 at 8:51
  • I need to be able to cite an online source using biblatex-mla. Did the author ever give an answer?
    – jsternberg
    Nov 8, 2010 at 2:26

3 Answers 3


I didn't see this question, or I would have responded earlier. Many apologies.

At the moment, both "report" and "online" are undefined by biblatex-mla. For all of my own needs, I've never previously cited a website that couldn't be conceived of as an article, but I can see the worth. "Online," at least, could very easily be defined in the next version of biblatex-mla.

"Report" is another problem altogether. The MLA conceives of governmental authorship as if it were a nesting doll. Something by the "Department of Unusual Citations" in the US Senate would be cited like this:

United States. Cong. Senate. Dept. of Unusual Citations. Italicized Title. Washington: GPO, 2011. Print.

The next entry, by the House's "Bureau of Oddities" would look like this:

---.---. House. Bureau of Oddities. Italicized Title. Washington: GPO, 2011. Print.

You can see where things start becoming too much to handle. If Biblatex-mla is able to handle everything else you need, at the moment I'd recommend defining your report as a "book" with the author in your .bib file defined within curled braces. I don't want to release support for governmental publications unless I can do it correctly, that way my users understand the limitations of the software. With the recent innovations in Biblatex and Biber, I'll be looking closer at this problem to see if it's one I'll soon be able to solve.


Reading the biblatex documentation, it says that there is an online type (like the book type you could use for web site referernces. It also has a url field.

Regarding the official reports, you could just use the misc type and fill its howpublished field.

  • Drat, didn't see your answer when posting. Aug 19, 2010 at 19:24

For web site references, the @misc type might be sufficient. This is for example what Wikipedia suggests when you click "Cite Page":

 @misc{ wiki:xxx,
   author = "Wikipedia",
   title = "BibTeX --- Wikipedia{,} The Free Encyclopedia",
   year = "2010",
   url = "\url{http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=BibTeX&oldid=379386079}",
   note = "[Online; accessed 19-August-2010]"
  • The question is about biblatex, not plain bibtex.
    – Caramdir
    Aug 19, 2010 at 19:45
  • Oh, you are right. Sorry. Should I remove answer? Aug 19, 2010 at 19:59

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