I have two separate .bib files I would like to have formatted in different ways when included in my .tex document. I was previously using bibtex+multibib which allowed me to define two separate style files in each section I was including the references. Given that only a single style file can be specified upon loading biblatex, what is the way to do this in biblatex?

This post discusses a specific case in which a numbered and unnumbered sections are mixed, but I am interested in knowing if there is a general solution, akin to multibib.

  • Are you speaking about the sorting options (author year for one bib file, numeric for the second, for instance) or are you speaking about different ways to display the bibliography? In the first case, there is already an answer here : tex.stackexchange.com/q/10104/5526. In the second case, it is less obvious, but you can tinker with the font between the two bibliographies, and the space between entries with \bibitemsep and \bibparsep, for instance. – Martigan Nov 14 '11 at 18:08
  • Yes, this is also the link I've included -- I'm interested in changing not just the number/no number format but also the order, author list, etc. – hatmatrix Nov 14 '11 at 19:45

Perusing the feature requests at SourceForge.net:biblatex, I found Switching citation/bibliography styles in the document from 2008-11-13:

User request:

I think it would make sense to be able to set bibliographic/citation styles more flexibly than once in the preamble. At least on a per bibliography/refsection basis. If two bibliographies exist in a document, logically, they could have different styles.

The author of biblatex, Philipp Lehman, marked this request as "Closed - Wont fix" at 2009-07-09.

Maybe (!) Philipp Lehman has changed his mind since then and is working to implement such a feature in version 2 of biblatex. (Other new features like different sorting schemes for multiple bibliographies are forthcoming.)

  • Thanks -- that was very helpful. Guess biblatex is not for me yet! – hatmatrix Nov 14 '11 at 19:45

It seems you may achieve what you are looking for by abusing the shorthand field using BibLaTeX 2.0 with Biber 1.0 (earlier versions may work as well).

In a long text I wanted to mix authoryear citations of books and papers with several articles from newspapers or magazines identified by an abbreviation of the publication title and a date, eg NYT/20120722 for a New York Times article of that date. Shorthands defeat every other field, like the author field, or title or journaltitle and, as far as I can tell, the are printed regardless of the style.

So if you format every entry accordingly, say with a custom style of your choosing, combining two styles is fairly easy and transparent to the user, even without (potentially ugly) hacks. Other answers, like this one, explain how to have two citation styles in the bibliography.

I think that a more consistent solution would be a third option to \cite and friends like this: \cite[pre][post][style]{key} so you would write \cite[authoryear]{Jones2010} and get Jones 2010 or \cite[25][alphabetic]{Jones2010} and get [Jon10]. (I've omitted pre/post fields disambiguation here, but it should be addressed as well). However this may be bring much unneeded complexity and I don't really know if it feasable, let alone desirable.

  • 5
    The most consistent solution is keeping the bib style fixed ;) – percusse Jul 22 '12 at 10:29

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