I am writing a monograph in TexStudio on Windows with Miktex. I use the Springer svmono templates. My e-books, articles and notes are stored in a local Calibre database. My question is about references.

The svmono templates come with a file for references. Each reference looks like this.

  \bibitem{science-contrib} Broy, M.: Software engineering --- from auxiliary    to key technologies. In: Broy, M., Dener, E. (eds.) Software Pioneers, pp. 10-13. Springer, Heidelberg (2002)

What is \bibitem and what does it do, how does it work?

Calibre has an option to output bibtex information but it produces the following file ( after I tweaked with the fields to use ) which Windows reports to be a Bibtex Database and has the following contents.

%%%Calibre catalog %%%78 entries in catalog

@preamble{"This catalog of 78 entries was generated by calibre on dinsdag, 21. juli 2015 23:29"}

 @book{ DavidFinston1134,
     title = "Abstract Algebra: Structure and Application (Springer      Undergraduate Texts in Mathematics and Technology)",
     author = "David Finston",
     isbn = "978-33-1904-497-2",
     year = "2014",
     month = "aug",
     publisher = "Birkhäuser",
     volume = "1" }

What is this ? Why doesn't it use \bibitem?

I would like to export bookdata from Calibre in to a format such that TexStudio with the svmono class file can use it to generate a Reference chapter to cite from.


There are 3 common ways to create a bibliography in LaTeX.

  1. Use the thebibliography environment.
  2. Use a database of bibliographical entries and BibTeX.
    • The database takes the form of a .bib file.
  3. Use a database of bibliographical entries, Biblatex and Biber.
    • The database can be in one of several forms, most commonly a .bib file.

The template assumes you are using (1). Calibre exports a .bib file suitable for use with (2) or (3).

Find out if you can use option (2) or (3) as that would be easiest, most flexible and easiest to update/correct as you work.

If not, you can write your document as if you are going to use (2). When everything is finalised, you can then copy the contents of the .bbl file generated by BibTeX from your .bib file into your document, eliminating the dependence on the .bib file and BibTeX. But you will have to make sure that the bibliography uses the style of referencing required.

  • Is there perhaps another tool that exports in format (1)? Jul 21 '15 at 22:08
  • @ndroock1 If there is, it would not be of much use since people would have to then manually adjust the result to match the formatting they needed. (1) is a document-specific thing. It contains precisely the entries you need for a document in the format you require and the order you require for that document. It is not a database - it is an essentially particular, one-off, manual kind of markup.
    – cfr
    Jul 21 '15 at 22:17

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