The journal I am submitting to requires the papers to be cited in this format:

% Citations and References in Supplementary files are permitted provided that they also appear in the reference list here. 

% References, variant A: internal bibliography
% Reference 1
Author1, T. The title of the cited article. {\em Journal Abbreviation} {\bf 2008}, {\em 10}, 142-149, doi:xxxxx.
% Reference 2
Author2, L. The title of the cited contribution. In {\em The Book Title}; Editor1, F., Editor2, A., Eds.; Publishing House: City, Country, 2007; pp. 32-58, ISBN.
% References, variant B: external bibliography


But when I try to export citations in Bibtex style, the format is totally different. Is there an efficient way to export the citation in this specified format? Otherwise everytime I have to copy and paste the required parameters needed for the papers I cite. The journal won't accept any other citation style.

If I use the external bibliography using a separate .bib file, I get an error message denoting "something is missing". So, that is not helping either

I found out by some search that this citation style is similar to that of American Chemical Society. Then how do I cite a particular paper in this style?

  • 3
    bibtex creates a .bbl file with the \bibitems...you can then copy&paste the contents in the main file – Bordaigorl Sep 24 '18 at 23:13
  • 2
    Typically journals indicate which bibtex style to use or provide a .bst file – Bordaigorl Sep 24 '18 at 23:15
  • hi, I am relatively new to latex. I found both the .bst file and .bbl file. But don't understand how that helps. The .bbl file is empty. Also, how to specifically export citations in the format given in the .bst? – Schneider Sep 24 '18 at 23:25
  • You can only efficiently do this if you have a .bst file that produces the output desired by your journal. If they are very strict about the bibliography format, chances are they have an official style - or if they are big and don't have an official style that there is an unofficial style somewhere. But it may turn out that there is no such thing. In that case you can try to write your own .bst file (the language takes some getting used to) or just produce your references manually. If you are not familiar with .bst styles and don't plan on submitting many more articles, write it manually – moewe Sep 25 '18 at 7:02
  • 1
    It is really not possible to give you the right answer if you do not provide a link to the class they want you to use and to their documentation. A LaTeX class can redefine every aspect of the typesetting environment including which commands do what, so without more knowledge we are in the dark. An MWE would help a lot – Bordaigorl Sep 25 '18 at 16:49

The class you are using appears to be the MDPI class that can be found here https://www.mdpi.com/data/MDPI_template.zip?v=20180904

By looking in the Definitions folder one can find two .bst files, which define the custom reference styles of this class. Which one is loaded (using Bibtex' \bibliographystyle) depends on the class options.

This means that the class is fully compatible with Bibtex and you should be able to use it (with the required reference formats) as usual. If you do not know how to use Bibtex, have a look at the standard documentation (for example here). In summary, you need to

  1. understand how to prepare a .bib file with the data of your references (say mybib.bib)
  2. use the "Variant B" (deleting variant A) from the template (replacing \bibliography{your_external_BibTeX_file} with \bibliography{mybib.bib})
  3. insert citations in your text with \cite and variants (or add \nocite{*} to just include all references)
  4. Compile with latex AND bibtex. My recommendation is to use latexmk -pdf yourfile.tex but you can also do it manually with pdflatex yourfile.tex; bibtex yourfile.tex; pdflatex yourfile.tex; pdflatex yourfile.tex

Alternatively, you may want to use Autorea or Overleaf (as suggested in the publisher's instructions here) as they offer a more intuitive interface, and maybe even templates for articles, which you can submit directly from the platform.

  • 2
    Great answer! Personally, I managed to overlook the Variant B comments. Btw, I tried the Overleaf option and you can not actually submit the article through it. When clicking the submit button, one is told to download the pdf and submit it over the MDPI website. So there is no additional advantage in using Overleaf. I think Overleaf is great, but for the writing of research articles, I prefer to be able to work offline. – user1323995 Jan 13 at 20:17

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