I'm using biblatex, and am still very new at it.

I can't figure out how to suppress certain fields automatically generated from my bibtex file into my .bbl file. For instance, for all of my entries, I have a category Language in which I record the language that that work was written in. This is just for my own database, and I don't want this information listed in the References at the end of my article/book. But it gets listed anyway. The same is true of my notes field. Is there anyway to suppress a specific field so that it does not show up in the "List of References"?

I would write my own style, but my knowledge of programming/TeX is not even close to being able to do that. I've noticed there is a solution for the ISBN number (an option isbn=false), and this is exactly what I need, but for different fields.


The command \clearlist can be used to suppress a category. You can read more details in the documenation

texdoc biblatex

In the MWE below I have used filecontents* to create the bibliography, but if you already have a .bib file then you can delete these lines.

% this part creates mybib.bib
% delete these lines if you already have a .bib file
 author = "M. Abramowitz and I. A. Stegun",
 title = {Handbook of mathematical functions},
 publisher = "Dover publications",
 year = "1965",
 language="English" }
% end delete


\AtEveryBibitem{\clearlist{language}} % clears language
\AtEveryBibitem{\clearfield{note}}    % clears notes


hello world \cite{Ab_Steg}



The compilation sequence is

pdflatex myfile.tex
biber myfile.bcf
pdflatex myfile.tex
pdflatex myfile.tex

(You don't have to use the extensions if you don't want to.)

  • 4
    Thank you very much, cmhughes, for the advice! It worked perfectly to suppress the information from the "Language" field, which is a variable of the \list command in the generated .bib file. And it led me to the solution for the other field I wanted to suppress: "note" - however, the "note" field is a variable of the \field command, so \clearlist{} doesn't work, but \clearfield{} does, as in: \AtEveryBibitem{\clearfield{note}}
    – jeutzsch
    Oct 28 '11 at 9:04
  • @cmhughes Would you mind commenting on why you used '\clearlist' in the first case and '\clearfield' in the second? Apr 21 '12 at 14:34
  • @louiscypher see Jeutzsch comment above
    – cmhughes
    Apr 22 '12 at 10:55
  • @cmhughes Sorry I must have had tomatoes on my eyes Apr 22 '12 at 12:23
  • Just in case someone tried to clear list of names like editors: \clearlist didn't work for me, but \clearname did.
    – effeffe
    Jun 15 '16 at 16:10

If you are using Biber rather than BibTeX, you can supress/map any fields before BibLaTeX even sees them. See section 3.1.1 of the Biber PDF manual. For example, in your case, you could put this in your biber.conf (version 0.9.8+):

    <maps datatype="bibtex" map_overwrite="1">
        <map_step map_field_set="LANGUAGE" map_null="1"/>
        <map_step map_field_set="NOTES" map_null="1"/>

You can also do this only for specific entrytypes. See the Biber manual. There is a also a document level macro interface to this, see the biblatex 2.0+ manual. In your preamble, you could do the following, which is equivalent to the above:

  \maps[datatype=bibtex, overwrite]{
      \step[fieldset=language, null]
      \step[fieldset=notes, null]
  • This worked for my in clearing the issn field. The other answer did not work for issn for some reason. Oct 21 '16 at 9:25
  • Curious why datatype=bibtex is bibtex not biblatex . But it works.
    – KcFnMi
    May 21 '19 at 9:00
  • The data itself is bibtex format data which biblatex can read (here, via the program biber)
    – PLK
    May 27 '19 at 14:02

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