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How can I qoute secondary quotes which I’ve taken form another book.


Jon Doe writes a book an cites Fred Bloggs in it. Now I read the book of Doe an want to cite his cite of Bloggs. So my bibliography entry must look like

Bloggs, Fred: A nice old book, 1850, p. 35. Quoted in Doe, John: A bad new Book, 2011, p. 67.

Doe’s book should not be listed separately in the bibliography.

I know that there’s a bibstring quotedin containing “quoted in” (p. 159 of biblatex’s manual) but I don’t know if theres a (predefined) way to use it …


It seems that there’s no predefined way, so I decided to use userc for crossreferences like this. This works for the bibliography but not for cite commands. At the moment I create the “in text cite” manually.

It would be great to have a macro like

\QIautocite[<prenote a>][<postnote a>]{<author a>}[<prenote b>][<postnote b>]{<author b>}

that expands to the above given example.

That’s my new code, which gives the right results for bibliography and “in text cite” but the latter not automatically …

  title = {A nice old book},
  author = {Fred Bloggs},
  year = {1850},
  title = {A bad new book},
  author = {Jon Doe},
  year = {2011},





  bibcitedas = {{zitiert als}{zit. als}},

% Put the 'quoted in text' behind the bibentry.

    \blindtext\footnote{\cite[36]{autora}. Zit. nach \cite[89]{autorb}}
\blindtext\footnote{\cite[36]{autora}. Zit. nach \cite[89]{autorb}}


Example 2

In addition to my comment (Hi @Audrey. This works fine :-) but theres a little thing …) on Audrey’s answer:

If I use the quotecite command like this


the footnotes should look like

1 Reese [full cite], p. 1. Zit. nach Weinberg [full cite], p. 65
2 Ebd.
———— page break ————
3 Rese [short cite], p 1. Zit nach Weinberg [short cite], p. 65
4 Ebd.

Everything works like expected except footnote 3 which is

3 Rese [short cite], p 1. Zit nach Weinberg [full cite], p. 65

at the moment

Update 2

Since it seems not possible to react to autocite I created a new plain command with


  • Thanks for catching these problems, Tobi. The ibidem tracking scheme I initially wrote was unnecessarily complicated. The new approach is much more simple; it now has no effect ibidem in other citation commands. – Audrey Sep 11 '11 at 17:02

Some categories can help facilitate the output of quoted-in data and the suppression of "quoter" entries in the bibliography.

Your proposed "quoted-in" citation command can be defined via \DeclareMultiCiteCommand, where the delimiter can make use of quotedin. With some help from etoolbox, you can collect all of the quoted-in data through this new citation command and avoid the need to edit your bib file entirely.

The code below demonstrates these ideas, but accounts for the case where a quoter plays the role of a primary reference elsewhere. "Quotee"-only bibliography entries include quoted-in data. When a quotee has more than one quoter, the quoting entries are printed in the cite order. Quoter-only entries are suppressed. All other entries are treated normally.

Thanks to Tobi for finding bugs.


% Just for demonstration. Above options are necessary, including
% default and verbose-ibid tracking options: opcittracker=false,
% loccittracker=false, idemtracker=false, citetracker=context,
% ibidtracker=constrict and pagetracker=true.

  quotedfrom = {zit\adddotspace aus},
  quotedon = {zit\adddotspace auf}}


\defbibheading{citedasprimary}[Bibliography as desired]{\section*{#1}}

\defbibcheck{citedasprimary}{% Suppress quoter-only entries
  \ifboolexpr{ test {\ifcategory{quoter}}
               and not test {\ifcategory{quotee}}
               and not test {\ifcategory{primary}} }


\newtoggle{cbx@isquote}% Current citation quotecite?
\newtoggle{cbx@iflastquote}% Last citation quotecite?
\newtoggle{cbx@fullquote}% Print a full quotecite?
\newtoggle{cbx@iflastibid}% Last quotecite ibid?
\newtoggle{cbx@ifquoteepost}% Ibid quotecite outputs quotee postnote?
\newtoggle{cbx@ifquoterpost}% Ibid quotecite outputs quoter postnote?

\renewbibmacro*{finentry}{% Add quoted-in data to quotee-only entries
    {\ifboolexpr{ test {\ifcategory{quotee}}
                  and not test {\ifcategory{primary}} }


  \ifboolexpr{ test {\ifciteseen} and not test {\iftoggle{cbx@fullquote}} }
       {\ifboolexpr{ not test {\iffirstonpage}
                     and test {\ifsamepage{\value{instcount}}{\value{instcount}-2}}
                     and test {\iftoggle{cbx@iflastquote}}
                     and test {\iffieldequalcs{entrykey}{cbx@lastquoteekey}} }

  \ifboolexpr{ not test {\iftoggle{cbx@fullquote}}
               and test {\iftoggle{cbx@iflastibid}}
               and test {\iffieldequalcs{entrykey}{cbx@lastquoterkey}} }
     \ifboolexpr{ test {\ifciteseen} and not test {\iftoggle{cbx@fullquote}} }

  {\ifnumless{\value{multicitecount}}{2}% <loopcode>
     {\usebibmacro{citeindex}% Current entry is a quotee
     {\addtocategory{quoter}{\thefield{entrykey}}% Current entry is a quoter





% Use first argument to override trackers, second to format
% the citation (e.g. \mkbibfootnote). The third is reserved
% for multicite output.







First primary cite.\footcite{augustine}
Same cite.\footcite{augustine}
Quoted-in cite.\quotecite[10--15]{reese}[5]{weinberg}
Same quoted-in cite.\quotecite[10--15]{reese}[5]{weinberg}
Same quoted-in cite, but different quotee
Same quoted-in cite, but different quoter
Same quoted-in cite, but different

Same quoted-in cite, but on next
Different quoted-in cite, both quotee and quoter cited
  elsewhere as primary.\quotecite(See)()[10]{massa}[540]{augustine}
Same quotee, different quotee postnote and different
Primary cite, same as quotee (NB: ibidem not applied
New quoted-in cite.\quotecite(See)()[20]{shore}[11]{springer}
Same quotee, but different quoter.\quotecite[20]{shore}[100]{iliad}
Same, but full quoted-in cite.\fullquotecite[20]{shore}[100]{iliad}


Here are citations from the first page from the resulting document: enter image description here

Citations from the second page: enter image description here

The final bibliography: enter image description here

Some notes on requested extensions and refinements of the original answer:

  • Ibidem abbreviations. This extension isn't trivial; we need to examine two previous citations, but the existing citation tracker just looks at the last one. We can get around this by tracking the quoted-in citation manually, using some tests from both biblatex and etoolbox. A drawback of this approach is that use of ibidem for quoted-in citations is somewhat independent of the biblatex tracking options. Here I've attempted to mimic the default and verbose-ibid option settings.
  • Inline citations. verbose-ibid is intended for primarily citations in footnotes, but inline versions of the quoted-in citation can be defined by altering the wrapper used in \DeclareMultiCiteCommand.
  • "Full" citations. These can also be defined via the wrapper, provided that we have an additional flag to indicate that the citation should be printed with cite:full.
| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks Audrey, that works great :-). The only little thing that’s missing is the combination with the ibidem mechanism. So if I cite with Text\quotecite(Vgl.)()[36]{autora}[22]{autorb} Text\quotecite(Vgl.)()[36]{autora}[22]{autorb} (i.e. the two cites follow immediately. The output could better be “[Footnote 1] Fullcite [Footnote 2] Ibidem.” Is that possible? – Tobi Sep 10 '11 at 11:19
  • Hi @Audrey. This works fine :-) but theres a little thing I’d like to change. I even found the right place in your code but don’t know how to change it … Is it possible to get the non first cite on a second page use cite:short instead of cite:full) The corresponding line in your code seems to be {\usebibmacro{cite:full}}% (line 14 of \renewbibmacro*{cite}). I guess the must be a toggle if it is the first time the source is mentioned (> cite:full) or a second, third, … time (> cite:short). Hope you understand what I mean … – Tobi Sep 11 '11 at 12:46
  • See my 2nd example at my original question, that hopefully illustrates what I’d like to say. – Tobi Sep 11 '11 at 12:57
  • That’s so great. There’s just a little bug left which I tried to fix but don’t find the right place to do it: At the footnotes there’s a doubled space between “Zit. nach” and “Weinberg” for example. In the Bibliography everything is right. Is it ok with you if I release your code as part of a biblatex style on CTAN. your name (I know only your username from here) will certainly be mentioned in the manual and in the code itself. – Tobi Sep 11 '11 at 18:59
  • I’m not sure if I understand you right … I added your name (Audrey) and the link to this question to the manual an the bbx/cbx files. (The styles will be published under LPPL) Is that ok or do I have to to some more? If you like send me an e-mail (mail@tobias-weh.de) in fact that this isn’t relevant to the question … – Tobi Sep 11 '11 at 20:04

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