After reading https://arxiv.org/help/hypertex/bibstyles/ I thought that I would try to get the bibtex field "eprint" working in my Latex files. So I downloaded hplain.bst, changed \bibliographystyle{plain} to \bibliographystyle{hplain}, added the eprint field to a bibtex entry, and ran pdflatex. The eprint field shows up in the pdf file, but is not a link. Here is a bit of the header from my .tex file:



What am I doing wrong?

  • Did you run bibtex, and might need to run pdflatex twice. Also, tt is always best to compose a MWE that illustrates the problem so that those trying to help don't have to recreate it. Oct 21, 2011 at 22:24
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    The page make rather clear that only the last mentioned bib styles support link creation: utphys.bst, utcaps.bst and kp.bst
    – egreg
    Oct 21, 2011 at 22:40
  • @PeterGrill - Yes I ran bibtex and pdflatex several times.
    – Sam Nead
    Oct 21, 2011 at 23:11
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    Supporting an eprint field doesn't mean that an href is built. Indeed, hplain.bst just prints it if present (look for format.eprint in it).
    – egreg
    Oct 21, 2011 at 23:18
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    @egreg - ok, using kp.bst works. That immediately morphs my question into "how do I get the formatting of plain.bst and the linking of kp.bst?" That is - which part of kp.bst do I need to steal?
    – Sam Nead
    Oct 21, 2011 at 23:25

3 Answers 3


Following egreg's advice I looked at kp.bst (linked to from the arXiv page). This works, in that the arxiv references are now clickable; the .bst file automatically generates the correct \href commands for hyperref from the bibtex fields specified by the arXiv.

As I prefer the plain.bst style (numbers instead of names, etc) I pulled the relevant functions out of kp.bst, dropped them into hplain.bst, fiddled a bit, and renamed the mash-up, hyperplain.bst. If there is any interest I can email the file to the arXiv admins.


I think you need the function format.eprint as in utphys.bst. Then the eprint field should be a link.


utphys.bst and kp.bst are indeed the ones that support clickable URL's. I also struggled a long time before figuring this out. It is indeed indicated in the arxiv page, however a bit vague..

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