I'd like to \cite an entry in a scholarly handbook, albeit one that is not available in printed form but rather only on the WWW.

If this were part of a larger reference work but not online, @InReference'd be the entry type of choice (more generally, @InCollection or @InBook); and if it were online but not part of a larger work, @Online (or its alias @WWW). But what's right if it's both part of a larger work and online?

I found this question from about three years ago where David Purton, in a comment, suggested @InBook. That's basically what I'm using myself: @InReference with howpublished = {online}, which is working alright. Nonetheless I'm wondering --- is this still the state of the art/best current practice?

(FWIW the biblatex documentation itself does not explicitly state that the collection types are intended only for printed collections, but the reference to volumes makes it fairly obvious IMO that they are.)

1 Answer 1


I don't think there is a requirement that an @inreference (or indeed a @book, @inbook, @collection, @incollection, @reference, ...) be a printed (not online-only) work. If there is wording that implies this in the biblatex documentation I'd put that down to the data model being inspired ultimately by the data model of the BibTeX base styles which were written at a time when online-only publications of such works was not common (to say the least).

So if semantically (apart from the publication method: online vs print) @inreference seems the best fit, go for it.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a good example of a work that works perfectly as @(in)collection/@(in)reference even though it is online only. See for example How do you cite an entry in an online reference work using BibLaTeX apa? and How to include the title of the website in bibliography.

You must log in to answer this question.

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