My friend is writing a math thesis in persian language. He wants to cite to references with author names and year both but in persian while the references (at the end of the thesis) are all in English. Is there any way to do this? Please help as I searched and didn't found anything.

This is the command block of his thesis:

\usepackage[top=45mm, bottom=45mm, left=45mm, right=45mm]{geometry}
\usepackage{bbm, mathrsfs}
\settextfont[Scale=1.1]{XB Niloofar}
\setlatintextfont[Scale=1.1]{XB Niloofar}
\setdigitfont[Scale=1.1]{XB Zar}
\defpersianfont\titr[Scale=1.1]{XB Titre}
\defpersianfont\traffic[Scale=1.1]{B Traffic}

  • Please tell us which tool (if any) your friend uses to generate the bibliography and the citation call-outs.
    – Mico
    May 27, 2016 at 9:05

1 Answer 1


Does your friend use BibTeX, biblatex, or another tool to create the bibliography?

If he uses BibTeX and the natbib citation management package, he could create "aliases" for the citation call-outs: Use \defcitealias{key}{<farsi text string>} to set up the alias, and use \citetalias{key} and \citepalias{key} to generate citation call-outs using the Farsi text string. Here, key is the "key" to a bibliographic entry in question.

Addendum: Based on your follow-up comment, it would appear that your colleague is building the bibliography by hand, i.e., without a tool such as BibTeX or biblatex. Moreover, as there is no optional argument to the \bibitem instruction, the default citation call-out style would appear to be numeric rather than authoryear.

I would like to suggest that your colleague proceed as follows:

  • He should load the natbib package with the option numbers.

  • For each \bibitem, provide a \defcitealias instruction as shown in the example below.

  • To create citation call-outs to these bib entries, use \citetalias{...} and \citepalias{...} directives.

I'm afraid I don't know how to work with Persian letters. Hence, the following example uses only Latin letters. Hopefully, it'll be clear how to extend the code to a case with Persian letters.




\cite{Atkinson}       % numeric citation call-out

\citetalias{Atkinson} % plain string (no brackets)

\citepalias{Atkinson} % string surrounded by brackets


\bibitem{Atkinson} Atkinson A.C., (1994). Fast very robust
    methods for the detection of multiple outliers, {\it
    American Statistical Association.} 89, 1329--1339.

  • Thank you very much @Mico for your help. Please tell me how do I know which one he is using. I listed all the packages used by him in the preamble of his thesis.
    – Fermat
    May 27, 2016 at 10:29
  • @Fermat - Is there no \bibliography instruction in the body of the paper, and is there no \bibliographystyle instruction anywhere in the paper? Incidentally, which document class does your friend use?
    – Mico
    May 27, 2016 at 10:39
  • He uses "report" as a documet calss. For the references i see just \begin{thebibliography}{99} \bibitem{Atkinson} Atkinson A.C., (1994). Fast very robust methods for the detection of multiple outliers, {\it American Statistical Association.} 89, 1329-1339. \end{thebibliography}
    – Fermat
    May 27, 2016 at 10:46
  • Thank you @Mico for your detailed answer. I can not mark the answer as an accepted one since I don't know how to merge my accounts and access to this new account.
    – Fermat
    May 27, 2016 at 12:42
  • @Fermat - I've posted a query to the site moderators, asking that your accounts be merged.
    – Mico
    May 27, 2016 at 13:16

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