# Tweaking the style of the elements of the bibliography (using biblatex/biber)

I want to use biblatex for my bibliogrphy, but I don't like some things in the style of the entries of the bibliography.

My minimal working example:

Database biblio.bib

@article{example,
author  =   {Author},
title   =   {Title},
journal =   {Journal},
year    =   {2018}
}


Main file:

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage[backend=biber,style=alphabetic]{biblatex}

\begin{document}
I want to cite \cite{example}.

\printbibliography
\end{document}


If I run this, the article is cited as

[Aut18] Author. "Title". In: Journal (2018)

I would like to avoid the "In:" and have it cited as

[Aut18] Author. "Title". Journal (2018)

Moreover, if I remove the year and use

@article{example,
author  =   {Author},
title   =   {Title},
journal =   {Journal}
}


then I get

[Aut18] Author. "Title". In: Journal ()

I would like to avoid the empty brackets as well, if possible. Is there a pre-implemented way to do these things? If not, how can I do it?

• As far as I know, some bibliography entries (and depended on the style too) use year as a mandatory entry... but other's doesn't... Also there are many kinds of entries for @article... many for book... etc. So, the easy way is to change the bib file replacing for example journal by publisher and article by book. – koleygr Jan 18 '18 at 23:41
• For the "in:" part of you question this is probably of use: tex.stackexchange.com/a/10686/105447. – gusbrs Jan 19 '18 at 1:01
• And koleygr is correct, biblatex's documentation states for the article entrytype: "Required fields: author, title, journaltitle, year/date". – gusbrs Jan 19 '18 at 1:19
• Since the year is required by all styles I'm aware of - and not just by Biblatex's implementation of styles - why don't you have this information in the entry? You should have at least: author, title, journal, volume, pages and year, but preferably also number. Just the name of the journal makes it much more difficult for somebody to find the article you're citing. With year, volume, number and pages it is generally straightforward. – cfr Jan 19 '18 at 2:58
• Daniel, biblatex offers a pubstate field, which have as preset possibilities inpreparation, submitted, forthcoming, inpress, prepublished. It also offers supports for some eprints, arXiv prominently among them. But the @article entrytype is understood within it as something which is indeed published, it is then a matter of choosing the right entrytype for your case. Perhaps a look at the biblatex documentation could help. – gusbrs Jan 19 '18 at 9:19

It is easily possible to remove the "in:" either for all entry types or for @article, see Suppress "In:" biblatex.

Your second point about the empty brackets is more subtle. The biblatex documentation lists date/year among the required fields for @article. While it is sometimes possible to omit some required fields I don't think this is acceptable here. As discussed elsewhere (Format of @article without journal title field in biblatex bibliography entries) @article is only appropriate for articles that were actually published in a journal. As such they will always have a journal field, they will almost always have a volume field, and they will always have a year/date (i.e. the date the journal volume was published).

If you want to refer to arXiv preprints that were not yet published in a journal, don't use @article - use @online instead.

In the comments you talked about citing a paper that is still in the making. If you really must cite it even though it has never been made publicly accessible up to now (how will anybody get hold of it, if it is not published?) you can use @unpublished since that is what it is. If you have already put it on a preprint server or your website, then cite it as @online.

• Huh... I didn't even know there was an unpublished doc cat. – thymaro Mar 15 '18 at 7:18
• @thymaro It's a bit of a weird one, but some people have to cite "[a] work with an author and a title which has not been formally published, such as a manuscript or the script of a talk." (quote from the docs about @unpublished). – moewe Mar 15 '18 at 7:21
• @moewe, the answer looks great to me. And, for the record, depending on the area, unpublished sources are pretty common. For example, archival sources are typically unpublished. In a typical work of mine a large fraction (1/3-1/2?) of the individual citation items are somehow "unpublished", and others even if published are so rare they will hardly be reachable to most. If these are hard to get, it is unfortunate, they are still the sources and as such, must be cited/referenced. – gusbrs Mar 15 '18 at 12:45
• I'm not sure it is appropriate to treat arXiv sources as unpublished. Is this usual? @gusbrs I think that's a bit different: those aren't typically sources 'in the making', but just sources which are of the permanently unpublished kind (unless somebody else compiles them or something, but the original sources would still be essentially unpublished). – cfr Mar 16 '18 at 0:55
• @cfr, sure, I meant there are "unpublished" sources in general. There's no claim that this is the best entrytype to the OP's case. I guess I'm just one of the "some weird people" and felt the need to explain myself on behalf of our kind. ;) – gusbrs Mar 16 '18 at 1:00