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I work on an institutional repository and want to offer citation information for items in the repository as a bibtex file download.

Which character encoding should I use for writing the bibtex file?

  • BiBTeX or BiBLaTeX? – Dr. Manuel Kuehner Apr 5 '17 at 15:20
  • I thought about BiBTeX, for BiBLaTeX it would probably be UTF-8 and much less hassle? Are the two formats easily convertible into the respective other? Would it make sense to offer BiBLaTeX instead of BiBTeX? – MartinW Apr 6 '17 at 7:26
  • If you start a new project then normally you would choose the newer BiBLaTeX. The documentation is better and the features too. – Dr. Manuel Kuehner Apr 6 '17 at 9:22
  • I made tutorials for BiBLaTeX, have a look if you want: youtube.com/…. There's also a famous question with high quality answers here: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/13509. – Dr. Manuel Kuehner Apr 6 '17 at 9:31
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Regarding the encoding I would say you have only two options:

  1. ASCII with accented chars and non-western script written as commands or
  2. UTF-8.

I would use UTF-8: It is more readable, and in a lot of cases it will work fine with bibtex.

I would also ensure biblatex/biber compability as biblatex/biber is more picky. While a lot of entries meant for biblatex works with bibtex too, the other way round is not true. Pay attention to the dates (month should be a number, and dates gives as YYY-MM-DD), and you shouldn't use parentheses in the entry keys.

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