4

I'm using biblatex and biber and sometimes I create my own commands for special citations, like so:

\newcommand{\met}[3]{(\emph{Met.} #1\textsuperscript{#2}#3)\nocite{metaphysics}\mancite}
\met{987}{b}{5}

\met{987}{b}{5}

The thing is, I also use the backref option, so regular citations have back references in the bibliography, like "(See pp. 5-7)".

The same doesn't happen for my own custom citations, though, since \nocite adds the entry to the bibliography but doesn't care for where it was called from.

So is there a different way I can define my \met command and others of the sort to account for that and have back references pointing to them?

I'm actually trying to write my own biblatex style, so I'm thinking I could declare a cite command that doesn't print anything and use that… but it doesn't sound like a very elegant solution, so I'm hoping there's a better way to achieve what I want.


Edit: Here's an MWE:

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage[backend=biber, backref]{biblatex}
\addbibresource{bib.bib}

\newcommand{\met}[3]{(\emph{Met.} #1\textsuperscript{#2}#3)\nocite{metaphysics}\mancite}

\begin{document}

    `Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe; all mimsy were the borogoves, and the mome raths outgrabe. \met{987}{b}{5} %\cite{metaphysics}

    \printbibliography

\end{document}

bib.bib includes:

@incollection{metaphysics,
    Address = {New Jersey},
    Author = {Aristotle},
    Booktitle = {The Complete Works of {Aristotle}},
    Editor = {Jonathan Barnes},
    Publisher = {Princeton University Press},
    Title = {Metaphysics},
    Volume = {2},
    Year = {1995}}

Uncommenting \cite{metaphysics} adds "(cit. on p. 1)" to the references. I want that to happen with my \met command.


Edit 2:

I'm using @incollection because I was using bibtex with a crazy brazilian style file and that was my only option. Now I'm trying to move to biblatex little by little.

Anyway, using shorttitle seems great for this specific case, I didn't even know that existed. But I would have to declare a lot of new cite commands for many specific cases. And some of the citations might actually have nothing to do with the bibliography entry. For instance, to cite pre-socratic philosophers I'd use the Diels-Kranz numbering. So I could have one bibliography entry for Parmenides and another one for Heraclitus and they'd both be cited as something like "(28B1 DK)".

So I think it would be better to have something like \nocite except it would work with the back references, wouldn't it?

My first thought was to declare a cite command like \hiddencite and have it print nothing at all (or maybe just the prenote and postnote). I was just wondering if there wasn't a better option, since I just started using biblatex and I don't know much about it.

  • Best would be to define a custom cite command using Biblatex's facilities. But it would be much easier to help with a complete minimal example document we can work with. – cfr Apr 24 '16 at 21:35
  • I don't really follow. If the citation has nothing to do with the bibliography entry, why would you want a back reference claiming that the bibliography entry was cited by the citation? – cfr Apr 24 '16 at 23:54
  • Note that Biblatex supports customised pagination schemes which you can specify in .bib entries. I have some of these set up for various things. Some are quite specific e.g. EHU/EPM/T for Hume or AK for Kant (although I seem not to actually use the Kant one for some reason) and some are more general e.g. bk\adddot/bks\adddot etc. – cfr Apr 25 '16 at 0:00
  • Put this another way: originally you asked for a command inherently tied to a particular .bib entry. That's obviously only worth doing for something cited repeatedly and, even then, it might be best avoided. Now you're asking about using the same format for different entries without defining a different citation command for each entry. That's perfectly reasonable, so don't. Use entry-neutral commands for those cases, as you usually would. If I had to make a recommendation, I'd say avoid entry-specific commands. But for a book on Aristotle's Metaphysics, I can see the case for using one. – cfr Apr 25 '16 at 0:11
  • Do take a look at biblatex-examples.bib. It doesn't have any examples of custom pagination, but it does illustrate the use of shorthand (e.g. see kant:ku). These entries are annotated with comments concerning the use of various of Biblatex's features. – cfr Apr 25 '16 at 0:24
5

Note that the .bib entry is misclassified, in my opinion. Aristotle's Metaphysics is not a contribution to an edited anthology. It is, rather, a book in its own right. Here, it is simply included in a larger collection of his works. As such @bookinbook strikes me as a more appropriate classification than @incollection.

This changes the format of the bibliography entry, but that seems right: the title shouldn't be in quotation marks, but italics, as hinted at in your shorthand label, Met.

This means we can use something like the shorttitle field of the .bib entry for the shorthand. (Alternatively, you might look at the shorthand field.)

I would probably consider a different syntax for the custom citation command, but if you have stuff already using the syntax in the question, then that would be a pain to implement.

In that case, something like this might work:

\begin{filecontents}{\jobname.bib}
@bookinbook{metaphysics,
    Address = {New Jersey},
    Author = {Aristotle},
    maintitle = {The Complete Works of {Aristotle}},
    Editor = {Jonathan Barnes},
    Publisher = {Princeton University Press},
    Title = {Metaphysics},
    Volume = {2},
    Year = {1995},
    shorttitle = {Met.}}
\end{filecontents}
\documentclass{article}

\usepackage[backend=biber, backref]{biblatex}
\addbibresource{\jobname.bib}

\DeclareCiteCommand{\aristcite}[\mkbibparens]{\usebibmacro{prenote}}{\printfield[citetitle]{labeltitle}}{\multicitedelim}{\usebibmacro{postnote}}
\newcommand*\met[3]{\aristcite[][#1\textsuperscript{#2}#3]{metaphysics}}

\begin{document}

  `Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe; all mimsy were the borogoves, and the mome raths outgrabe. \met{987}{b}{5}

    \printbibliography

\end{document}

back reference to custom citation

By the way, do you have the original Greek for this quotation, by any chance? ;)

  • Thanks, that was really helpful and I'll use it for authors that I cite often… but there's still an issue I described in another edit. Any thoughts on that? – dbmrq Apr 24 '16 at 23:49
  • 1
    Are you meaning that Jabberwocky isn't by Aristotle? ;-) – egreg Apr 24 '16 at 23:50
  • 1
    Here's a Greek version: www76.pair.com/keithlim/jabberwocky/translations/greek1.html – egreg Apr 25 '16 at 0:01
  • @egreg But is it the original? It says it is a translation into New Testament Greek ;). – cfr Apr 25 '16 at 0:02
  • @cfr I'm taking another look at this and you got me curious: "I would probably consider a different syntax"… What would you do differently? – dbmrq Jul 6 '16 at 10:38

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