I'm getting lost in the .bst file I created with "latex makebst". For a book entry, I chose the option

%   %: (def) Publisher as normal block without parentheses
% pub-par,%: Publisher in parentheses 
  pub-date,%: Publisher and date in parentheses (Oxford, 1994)
% pub-date,pub-xc,%: Publisher and date in parentheses, no comma (Oxford 1994)
% pub-date,pub-xpar,%: Publisher and date without parentheses Oxford, 1994
% pub-date,pub-xpar,pub-xc,%: Publisher and date, no parentheses, no comma Oxford 1994

However, after running bibtex and pdflatex I got:

(Oxford University Press, Oxford1961)

What do I have to change in the .bst file (or the .dbj file) to get the desired result, i.e.:

(Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1961) ?

The bib file entry:

  Title = {The Principles of Nuclear Magnetism}, 
  Author = {Abragam, A.}, 
  Publisher = {Oxford University Press}, 
  Year = {1961}, 
  Address = {Oxford}, 
  Pages = {304},
  • Hello, can you show the item in your .bib file that causes this issue, please?
    – yo'
    Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 13:59

3 Answers 3


It turns out that this issue has been noticed here.

Although it doesn't say how to fix the merlin.mbs file, it tells you how to fix the .bst file.

Basically, in the lines following:

FUNCTION {format.org.or.pub}

there is a line like this:

{ ", " swap$ * * }

Replace it by:

{ ", " swap$ * ", " * }

It fixed it for me! It's still not ideal, but at least you don't need to mess with the .bib or the .bbl.

I suspect that there is a typo somewhere between lines 6866 and 6954 in merlin.mbs. But I'm not familiar enough with this type of file to confidently fiddle with it... Maybe someone here can?


I'm getting lost in the .bst file I created with "latex makebst".

Without access to the full bst file, it's well-nigh impossible to diagnose what may have gone wrong. The only suggestion I can give is to re-run the makebst utility.


I had the same problem. Playing with the .dbj or the .bst did nothing to help.

However, if you simply change the format of your year entry to:

year = {, 1961},

Your output will become:

(Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1961)

I realize that this does not fix the underlying problem and will cause you to have to fix all of your book citations, but at least the output looks the way you want it.

  • 2
    Even as a quick fix, this is really not a good solution. It would be better to edit the .bbl file directly at the end rather than introduce spurious punctuation into the .bib file itself.
    – Alan Munn
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 21:32

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