I am using the plainyr-rev.bst for a report (standard bibliography, but sorted in reverse order according to the year of publication). This works well, but I would like to alter it a little bit:

instead of:

Author A ..., 1999
Author B ..., 1999
Author C ..., 1995
Author D ..., 1995
Author E ..., 1990

I would like something along the lines of:

1999  Author A ..., 1999
      Author B ..., 1999

1995  Author C ..., 1995
      Author D ..., 1995

1990  Author E ..., 1990

The idea is to make it easier on the eyes: I have about 200 entries and having year indicators would make it much easier to read around in the bibliography.

I have found a manual workaround: I first generate the .bbl file and then copy & paste these few lines of LaTeX between bibitem entries of different years (this is specific to my page layout):

\raggedleft\hintfont{1999} %add right year

I looked at different FUNCTIONS within the .bst file but I have no idea where to add these lines to make it work automatically (i.e. without me copy & pasting in the bbl). Any suggestions?

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    Commented Jun 26, 2012 at 17:22

1 Answer 1


I think its a bit more complicated than a simple modification, the reason being that the bst file is simply viewing it on an reference by reference basis and doesn't have the knowledge (as is) to insert the per year changes you want.

What you have is different functions (i.e. article, book ...) that create a format string for each reference type. They know the year. The string they create is output by output.bibitem. However, it doesn't know the year.

What you can possibly do is edit each reference type function to store/compare the year of that reference vs a previous reference. And if the year changes do an output (ala output.bibitem) (something like

"\begin{thebibliography}{9}" write$ newline

(something I've used in my modified bst files). That fits your formatting (as you seem to already know what it should be).

Annoying that you would have to do it every where.

Sorry I couldn't be more help.

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