I was wondering what some biblatex entry types are used for. In the Overleaf documentation there is a list of avalible entry types:

article book mvbook
inbook bookinbook suppbook
booklet collection mvcollection
incollection suppcollection manual
misc online patent
periodical suppperiodical proceedings
mvproceedings inproceedings reference
mvreference inreference report
set thesis unpublished
custom conference electronic
masterthesis phdthesis techreport

Specificually I wonder what the enry datatype is used for? What are the mandatory and optional fields for this entry? I am also uncertain what set is used for. I would also like to know if there is a difference between misc and custom?

I also found some additional entries that is defined by biblatex but are not well supported according to wikibooks.

@artwork @audio @image
@movie @music @performance
@video @software

And some legal entry types:

@commentary @jurisdiction @legislation
@legal @letter @review

I am also curious about some of these. What is standard used for? What fields does music and performance accept? Do you put the music composer as author in that case? For instance; how would you go about citing music by Beethoven using music? I suspect it is not that different from using the misc entry?

Finally it would be very useful with some kind of list of what fields are mandatory and optional for each entry. I really liked the list provided by wikibooks:

enter image description here

Unfortuantley it does not include the two latter tables nor all entries from the first. Another shortcoming is that you can, for exaple, provide the url field for masterthesis or phdthesis and have it appear in the bibliography. This is however not mentioned by the list.

1 Answer 1


The biblatex documentation (specifically §2 Database Guide) has a short description of each entry type supported by the standard biblatex data model. It also lists the fields supported in each type and has a short explanation for each field.

The documentation does not have many example entries, but biblatex comes with the file biblatex-examples.bib that has example entries for many types and shows a lot of biblatex features.

While third-party lists can be useful, they may not always be completely accurate. Specifically, @datatype is not actually a type supported by the standard biblatex data model, instead it appears to be a typo for @dataset, a type for digital data sets (see more about the history of @dataset https://github.com/plk/biblatex/issues/880).

  • The biblatex-examples.bib does not contain any examples of the additional entries.
    – Vebjorn
    Oct 25, 2022 at 18:34

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