I'm writing a document where I want ISBNs to be shown for books so I have turned on the isbn option. This causes the ISSN for journals to be shown when I reference an article. Is there a way to enable ISBNs but dissable ISSNs? They seem to be controlled by the same option in when referring to the biblatex manual. I'm also using the biblatex-chem styles as well if that helps.


1 Answer 1


You can clear the contents of the issn field. This post gives you two options:

  1. Invoke \clearfield{issn} in \AtEveryBibitem (and maybe \AtEveryCitekey).
  2. Set the issn field to null with biber's source mapping feature.

Here's an example for the first approach.



  title = {Computers and Graphics},
  issuetitle = {Semantic {3D} Media and Content},
  volume = {35},
  number = {4},
  year = {2011},
  issn = {0097-8493}}
  author = {M. Sarfraz and M. F. A. Razzak},
  title = {Technical section: {An} algorithm for automatic capturing of the font outlines},
  journal = {Computers and Graphics},
  volume = {26},
  number = {5},
  pages = {795--804},
  year = {2002},
  issn = {0097-8493}}
  label = {CMS},
  title = {The Chicago Manual of Style},
  subtitle = {The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers},
  edition = {15},
  publisher = {University of Chicago Press},
  location = {Chicago, Ill.},
  date = {2003},
  isbn = {0-226-10403-6}}


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You could suppress the issn field more selectively. For example


would print issn for @periodical entries in the bibliography.

In the second approach, source mapping can be done two ways:

  • \DeclareSourcemap in the document preamble. This feature was introduced in biblatex 2.0 / biber 1.0.
  • The sourcemap option in the biber.conf file. The configuration file overrides any source mapping done in the preamble.

To demonstrate \DeclareSourcemap we use the same document, but with the preamble:


       \step[fieldset=issn, null]


This source mapping will suppress issn only in @article entries. To omit issn in all entry types, remove \pertype{article}.

The following biber configuration file will carry out the same source mapping:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <maps datatype="bibtex" map_overwrite="1">
        <map_step map_field_set="ISSN" map_null="1"/>

Here we can remove <per_type>ARTICLE</per_type> to suppress issn in all entry types. Save this file as biber.conf in the same folder as the document.

In either source mapping method, suppose the document is saved as test.tex. At the command line you would invoke:

latex test
biber test
latex test

Further details on source mapping can be found in biber's manual. For additional \DeclareSourcemap examples, refer to the biblatex manual.

  • Thanks Audrey. I've tried the \AtEveryBibitem{\ifentrytype{article}{\clearfield{issn}}{}} method so far and it works nicely. With regards the command line bit of the second suggestion would latexmk do that automatically?
    – Darling
    Commented Jan 5, 2012 at 22:14
  • @Darling Sorry, I don't have any experience with latexmk. But this topic has been discussed previously in this post.
    – Audrey
    Commented Jan 5, 2012 at 23:12
  • Yes, the latexmk tool will do this automaically, since it involves no special command line switches o biber. Then again, neither solution des.
    – PLK
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 14:48

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