I cannot figure out why the bibiographystule ieeetr (or IEEEtrans) is putting the city in parenthesis in the bibliography listing:

enter image description here

Here is the bibtex entry:

  Title                    = {Notes on formalizing context},
  Author                   = {McCarthy, J.},
  Booktitle                = {Proceedings of the 13th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence},
  Year                     = {1993},

  Address                  = {San Mateo, California},
  Pages                    = {555-562},
  Publisher                = {Morgan Kaufmann},

  Owner                    = {rob},
  Timestamp                = {2015.07.10},
  Url                      = {http://bit.ly/OEHAyO}

I'm using it like this:


\bibliographystyle{plain} does not have this behavior.

  • 1
    This is specified by the bibliographystyle and so is by design. Jul 10, 2015 at 15:43

1 Answer 1


For entries of type @inproceedings, the bibliography style ieeetr provides the following definition of the function inproceedings:

FUNCTION {inproceedings}
{ output.bibitem
  format.authors "author" output.check
  format.title "title" output.check
  crossref missing$
    { format.in.ed.booktitle "booktitle" output.check
      format.bvolume output
      format.number.series output
      format.paddress output
      format.pages output
      organization output
      publisher output
      format.date "year" output.check
    { format.incoll.inproc.crossref output.nonnull
      format.pages output
  note output

The key instruction in this code block, from the point of view of your query, is

      format.paddress output

which serves to format the publisher's address. The function format.address, in turn, is defined as follows:

FUNCTION {format.paddress}
{ address empty$
    { "" }
    { "(" address * ")" * }

Observe the hard-coded opening and closing parentheses that are placed around the contents of the address field if the field is non-empty.

  • Thanks, this is very helpful! Would you recommend that I just go and edit the source file for ieeetr, or would it be better to use \renewcommand? Jul 13, 2015 at 9:23
  • @robguinness - For sure, you can't use \renewcommand (a LaTeX macro) since BibTeX's programming paradigm is not based on TeX. You should ask yourself, what are you trying to achieve? The ieeetr bibliography style has been around, pretty much unchanged, for well more than two decades. If you're required to use this style, you better not modify it unless you want to invite conflicts.
    – Mico
    Jul 13, 2015 at 9:31
  • I'm trying to format references for my thesis. IEEEtr is pretty close to the style I want, but this parenthesis around the city seems pretty strange to me. I can't remember ever seeing an IEEE paper have citations formatted like that (I could be wrong though...) Jul 26, 2015 at 19:25
  • @robguinness - You may want to look into using the makebst utility of the custom-bib package to create your very own bespoke bibliography style. It's a menu-driven utility, with multiple-choice answers for every question. One of the very nice aspects of this utility is that there's no further need to compromise on any design elements: You decide every single formatting aspect.
    – Mico
    Jul 27, 2015 at 8:37

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