I have to cite several OMG standards and specifications in a paper, such as MOF, UML, etc. What's the best BibTeX entry format to do so? These are not articles or conference papers. They are not exactly books, as they are not printed for publishing. They are also not exactly technical reports, since that the OMG does not have any other sort of publications. The "misc" type seems, however, somewhat demeaning for widely-adopted standards.

What sort of BibTeX entry, and with what fields, have you used to cite OMG specs (if you ever had to)?

5 Answers 5


If it neither has an ISBN nor appears in a series with an ISSN, then it falls within the scope of what Chicago calls "informally published materials", which are, overall, not so well handled by Bibtex.

The downside of using the @misc entry type is that institution isn't a recognised field key for that entry type in the default Bibtex styles, so you have to use the howpublished kludge. I would go for @techreport, which does have the required documentation. You should be prepared to change the representation to get the output you want though.

I note that Jabref has a custom @standard entry type for the internal representation of these kinds of entry, which it translates as appropriate to the bibliography style you want to use in a particular article.


For UML 2.0 there seems to be a reference manual from pearson so I ended up citing it as:

  title = {Unified Modeling Language Reference Manual, The (2nd Edition)},
  publisher = {Pearson Higher Education},
  year = {2004},
  author = {Rumbaugh, James and Jacobson, Ivar and Booch, Grady},
  isbn = {0321245628}

I'm not sure how a bibliography entry type can be demeaning. I'd cite it as

        title = {Meta Object Facility {(MOF)} 2.0 Core Specification},
        year = 2003,
        mon = oct,
        note = {Version 2},
        key = {Meta Object Facility},

Similarly for UML.

  • You'll need to use the howpublished field to say the standard is released by the OMG group. Jan 15, 2011 at 10:08

I think @misc is the only suitable document type, but I like to be a little bit more comprehensive so that readers can more easily find the document. Here's what I've been using:

    Author       = "{Object Management Group (OMG)}",
    Title        = "{Meta-Object Facility (MOF) Specification, Version 2.0}",
    Howpublished = "OMG Document Number formal/2006-01-01 (\url{http://www.omg.org/spec/MOF/2.0})",
    Year         = 2006,
  • @Mico thanks, but I think curly braces within quotes have the same effect as nested curly braces, so I believe it should be fine as-is. (Thanks to your comment I noticed there was a quote missing in the author, which I now added.)
    – Arend
    Sep 27, 2016 at 2:10
  • You're right -- I had completely missed the presence of the pair of double-quote marks. Tut tut. Will delete my earlier comment.
    – Mico
    Sep 27, 2016 at 4:25

I always use technical report when citing standards. For example, this is how I cited the UML standard from OMG. The authors are mentioned inside the PDF.

  author = {Steve Cook and Conrad Bock and Pete Rivett and Tom Rutt and Ed Seidewitz and Bran Selic and Doug Tolbert},
  title = {Unified Modeling Language ({UML}) Version 2.5.1},
  institution = {Object Management Group ({OMG})},
  type = {Standard},
  month = Dec,
  year = {2017},
  url = {https://www.omg.org/spec/UML/2.5.1}

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