I want to use more than one type of specification in my bibliography. I want to quote in chronological order but have the bibliography list in alphabetical order.

If I am quoting 2-3 references in the middle of my thesis writing, I want them to be displayed in chronological order.



The human race has had a fast and accelerating growth in terms of technology and communication, in the past decade, [Turner, 2001; Allis et al., 2007].


But When the bibliography is displayed at the end of the document, I want them to be displayed in alphabetical order



  1. Allis, C. D., Jenuwein, T., Reinberg, D., and Caparros, M. L. (2007). Epigenetics. Cold Spring Harbor Press
  2. Turner, B. M. (2001). Chromatin and Gene Regulation – Mechanisms in Epigenetics. 2nd Edition, BlackWell Science Ltd.

How should this be achieved given than I use bib latex package? I have not pasted the code of my biblatex line, but I hope that some1 can help me sort this out as not many topics in this forum is handling it.

4 Answers 4


Having different sorting within the text and the bibliography is currently possible with the development versions of biblatex and biber.
(UPDATE: By now biblatey 2.x and corresponding biber are released and incuded in both MiKTeX and Texlive 2012.)

The sorting scheme for citations has to be defined in the preamble. The sorting scheme for the bibliography is defined as an option to \printbibliography.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet \parencite{cicero}.
At vero eos et accusam et justo \parencite{wassenberg,angenendt}.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet \parencite{wassenberg,cicero,angenendt}.

enter image description here

  • 1
    With sortcites=true, "citations are sorted according to the sorting order of the bibliography" (biblatex manual). The OP wants a different sorting order.
    – lockstep
    Jun 18, 2012 at 22:51
  • Your example doesn't produce chronological sorting for, e.g., \cite{wassenberg,cicero,angenendt}.
    – lockstep
    Jun 18, 2012 at 22:56
  • 8
    @matth The dev versions of biblatex and biber allow for multiple sorting schemes. Using sortcites,sorting=ynt at load-time and sorting=nyt in \printbibliography should get you most of the way there.
    – Audrey
    Jun 18, 2012 at 23:23
  • @lockstep Sorry, looks like I misunderstood chronological: I thought the OP wanted the authors in the order of citation, but of course it makes more sense to sort them in the order of publication. I will edit the MWE, but I don't have the dev version of biblatex available, so I can't test it.
    – matth
    Jun 19, 2012 at 9:07
  • @Audrey- do u know how to do that during load and run time? I searched but I can't find how to do different sorting techniques! would appreciate more helps
    – user15736
    Jun 19, 2012 at 9:53

matth's answer was right for old versions of Biblatex (2.x). The MWE should be modified as follows to work properly with Biblatex 3.x versions:


\printbibliography[sorting=nyt] % this option has been deprecated




Got the answer from: Different sorting schemes in different sections of bibliography


For those who are still searching the answer, here is how to do

  • 4
    sortcites is a boolean option. You can't meaningfully pass a value such as ynt to it. I just checked and I do not get an error from sortcites=ynt, but it is certainly equivalent to sortcites=true, and does not set a separate sorting scheme.
    – moewe
    Jul 15, 2017 at 12:25
  • 3
    I have to correct my earlier comment: sortcites=ynt is equivalent to sortcites=false. Only sortcites=true turns on sorting of citations, all other values will leave it turned off.
    – moewe
    Jul 15, 2017 at 12:46

I tried it in the following way and I succeeded:

In preamble:


In document:


I'm sorry I saw your question very late...


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .