The publisher of my PhD wants me to cite dictionaries in my bibliography as follows :

DCECH = Corominal, Joan/Pascual, José Antonio, Diccionario crítico etimológico castellano e histpánico, 6 vol., Madrid, Gredos, 1980-1991.

As a reference in the text, it should only show the abbreviation:


I work with a modified version of ksfh_nat style that you can find here.

I guess I will have to add a new entry type for dictionaries, but I'm not sure how. The style would be exactly the same as for a book entry, with the only difference that the author has to be preceded by abbreviation =, which should also be the part to be cited.

A simplified version of my code is:


\usepackage[main=french,italian, spanish, portuguese, latin, greek]{babel}

Cf. \cite{DCECH}\\



And the bibliography entry could look like this:

abbreviation (?? category not yet existing) = {DCECH},
author       = {Joan Corominas and José Pascual},
title        = {Diccionario crítico etimológico castellano e hispánico},
year         = {1980-1991},
publisher    = {Gredos},
address      = {6 vol., Madrid},

Could anyone help with this?

  • 1
    Off-topic: Why do you set ngerman as a document class option but not state it as a language option when loading the babel package?
    – Mico
    Feb 27, 2020 at 7:13
  • Does the publisher have some styles and example documents for you to look at?
    – vonbrand
    Feb 27, 2020 at 12:52
  • I asked a few times but they say they don't have a bibtex bibliography style or an example to share.... Feb 27, 2020 at 13:31

2 Answers 2


I suggest you proceed as follows. First, change the bib entry to

abbreviation = {DCECH}, 
author       = {Joan Corominas and José Antonio Pascual},
title        = {Diccionario Crítico Etimológico Castellano e Hispánico ({DCECH}), 6~vol.},
year         = {1980--1991},
publisher    = {Gredos},
address      = {Madrid},

(Aside: Is abbreviation a field name that's recognized by the Bibliography style you employ? I don't recognize it as a standard BibTeX field.)

Second, insert the following instruction in the preamble (after loading the natbib package):


Third, use \citetalias{DCECH} instead of the usual \citet{DCECH} in the body of the document generate citation call-outs that say "DCECH" rather than "Corominas/Pascual (1980-1991)".

  • No, "abbreviation" is not recognized yet, but I would need this field as an option for the Book style. This way, if it is a dictionary, it would contain data and would appear correctly, but if it's a normal book, it would still appear correctly as a normal book entry. Feb 27, 2020 at 9:31
  • @BiancaMertens - To my knowledge, most bibliography styles don't really do much with the key field *unless" the author field is missing -- which isn't the case here.
    – Mico
    Feb 27, 2020 at 15:32
  • Could I define this in a way that the abbreviation would be cited for every @book entry containing an abbreviation? I have something like 50 dictionaries to cite and this would make a very long list of \defciteetalis{}{}.... Feb 27, 2020 at 15:40
  • @BiancaMertens - I'm afraid I'm not sufficiently proficient in BibTeX's programming language to be able to address your question.
    – Mico
    Feb 27, 2020 at 15:51

I added the following to my .bst file :


as a new entry type with following code :

`FUNCTION {format.book.abbreviation}
{ abbreviation
 "abbreviation" bibinfo.check
  duplicate$ empty$ 'skip$

and below FUNCTION{book}, before author empty$, I added following code :

abbreviation empty$ 'skip$ { "" duplicate$ empty$ 'skip$ { } if$ output.nonnull.nostate format.book.abbreviation output.nonnull.nostate " = " duplicate$ empty$ 'skip$ { } if$ output.nonnull.nostate } if$ new.block

Combined with the suggestion from Mico to use \defcitealias{DCECH}{DCECH}, I new get exactly the output I need :

DCECH = Corominal, Joan/Pascual, José Antonio, Diccionario crítico etimológico castellano e histpánico, 6 vol., Madrid, Gredos, 1980-1991.

Now, the only problem left is that I have about 50 dictionaries in my bibliography and using \defcitetalias{}{} will create a very long list of definitions. Is there any way to simplify this or to create a command that will will cite the entry abbreviation instead of author.year ?

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