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I wish to cite this article. A bibtex entry can be downloaded directly, which is as follows:

@inbook{Kleinhenz2017,
author = {Julie E. Kleinhenz and Aaron Paz},
title = {An {ISRU} propellant production system for a fully fueled {Mars} {Ascent} {Vehicle}},
booktitle = {10th Symposium on Space Resource Utilization},
chapter = {},
pages = {},
doi = {10.2514/6.2017-0423},
URL = {https://arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/6.2017-0423},
eprint = {https://arc.aiaa.org/doi/pdf/10.2514/6.2017-0423}
}

This makes use of the @inbook entry but does not provide any chapter nor pages. In the output, I still get chapters and pages which are just spaces (to be expected since this is a required field).

Output

Other articles cite this as

1 Kleinhenz J. E. and Paz A., “An ISRU Propellant Production System to Fully Fuel a Mars Ascent Vehicle,” 10th Symposium on Space Resource Utilization, AIAA Paper 2017-0423, Jan. 2017. https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2017-0423

which is the first reference from this other article.

I've tried using the @inproceedings entry,

@inproceedings{Kleinhenz2017,
title = {An {ISRU} propellant production system for a fully fueled {Mars} {Ascent} {Vehicle}},
author = {Kleinhenz, Julie E. and Paz, Aaron},
booktitle = {10th Symposium on Space Resource Utilization},
year = {2017},
month = {January},
doi = {10.2514/6.2017-0423},
series = {{AIAA 2017-0423}}
}

which yielded (ignore the number and the blue box)

output2

With this in mind, here are my questions:

  1. Should you keep the bibtex entry provided by the source, or make your own?
  2. What entry would best replicate the citation taken from this other article?
4
  • 2
    External bibtex is unrealiable, generally. The bibtex provided via the doi is basically your second entry, which seems reasonable. The inbook category in the first version is totally improper use of that type. Your second question is much more about bibliography style than .bib file entry. – Alan Munn Dec 16 '20 at 20:36
  • @AlanMunn I don't know if this was confusing, but the inbook category was the one provided by the doi bibtex. The second entry (inproceedings) was adapted by me. – Jak Dec 16 '20 at 20:55
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    I guess it depends on where you get the doi bibtex from. When I pasted the doi into BibDesk (a Mac bib manager) I get your inproceedings entry. When I use doi.org I get an article type. So clearly they're using different sources. And your inbook is yet a third type, which just proves my first sentence. :) – Alan Munn Dec 16 '20 at 21:12
  • I think the quality of the bibtex data depends on the source. Some organizations or individuals are very careful to provide accurate data; this is more likely to be the case for sources that themselves use and depend on this tool and TeX. It looks like the source for the citation you provide is not among them. – barbara beeton Dec 17 '20 at 1:10
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The bibtex format is quite specific to TeX, and there is no guarantee that external sources that provide .bib entries will use it correctly. This means that any externally gathered bibtex should be used with some suspicion. The fact that it comes from "the source" isn't any sign of reliability, since it assumes that the source knows what well formed bibtex is like, which is often not true.

So what should you do in practice? Certainly getting .bib entries from the DOI is a good start, but I always vet them before using them to make sure they are correct.

To get a sense of the variability, here is the entry I get from pasting the DOI into BibDesk (with some BibDesk internal fields removed.)

@inproceedings{Kleinhenz_2017,
    author = {Julie E. Kleinhenz and Aaron Paz},
    booktitle = {10th Symposium on Space Resource Utilization},
    doi = {10.2514/6.2017-0423},
    month = {jan},
    publisher = {American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics},
    title = {An {ISRU} propellant production system for a fully fueled Mars Ascent Vehicle},
    url = {https://doi.org/10.2514%2F6.2017-0423},
    year = 2017,
    }

But here is the entry I get from doi.org:

Notice that the doi.org entry is article (which is incorrect), and it also fails to put {...} around the ISRU in the title. The BibDesk version does a much better job of getting things right.

@article{Kleinhenz_2017, 
  title={An ISRU propellant production system for a fully fueled Mars Ascent Vehicle}, 
  ISBN={9781624104541}, 
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.2514/6.2017-0423}, 
  DOI={10.2514/6.2017-0423}, 
  journal={10th Symposium on Space Resource Utilization}, 
  publisher={American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics}, 
  author={Kleinhenz, Julie E. and Paz, Aaron}, 
  year={2017}, 
  month={Jan}}

And here is the version I get from Google Scholar:

@inproceedings{kleinhenz2017isru,
  title={An ISRU propellant production system for a fully fueled Mars Ascent Vehicle},
  author={Kleinhenz, Julie E and Paz, Aaron},
  booktitle={10th Symposium on Space Resource Utilization},
  pages={0423},
  year={2017}
}

For this particular entry, the BibDesk version is best (although since I use biblatex I would change the month to 1 from jan.) The entry you got, which uses inbook is completely inappropriate for this type of entry, since that entry type is for chapters in books by a single author, a type that is very rarely used in practice.

For a comprehensive list of recurring problems with online bibtex entries see:

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  • A number of issues with downloaded .bib entries can be found in tex.stackexchange.com/q/386053/35864. – moewe Dec 19 '20 at 13:20
  • @moewe Thanks! I had never seen that question. I've added a link to it in my answer. – Alan Munn Dec 19 '20 at 21:56

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