Biblatex Custom Bibliography Style Sheets

Choosing a BibTeX Style

The great feature of BibTeX is that it takes a standardized database of books, articles, and other bibliographic entries and puts it in a customized format. A BibTeX style can change how a work is cited and how the bibliography is formatted. For more about using BibTeX than is described here, read our BibTeX documentation.

How to Use a Specific Style

  1. Choose your BibTeX style from the list below. Place it in the same folder as your LaTeX document.
  2. Change the \bibliographystyle line of your LaTeX document to reflect the style you chose. Remember to remove the file extension. For example, if you wanted to use the American Anthropologist style, \bibliographystyle{ filename} would become \bibliographystyle{humannat}.
  3. Many BibTeX styles require the inclusion of a package at the top of the document. The comments about a style will tell you exactly how to include its package. To learn more about your specific style, open up the .bst in your LaTeX editor or read the readme file, if available.
  4. Anytime you want to cite a document, type \cite[ pagenumber]{ citekey}. The square brackets and page number are optional. Some BibTeX styles use non-standard citations. Such styles include citation directions within the .bst itself or an included readme file.
  5. You will need to typeset your document four times, first LaTeX, BibTeX, LaTeX, and then LaTeX again. Your bibliography will now appear in the style of your choice and your citations will be correctly formatted. If question marks appear where citations should, that means you need to LaTeX your document once more. If the citations are entirely missing, you have likely forgotten to BibTeX your document.
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The Seven Standard Styles

Every computer with LaTeX comes with the following seven standard styles. While they work, we recommend the natbib interpretations below. NatBib is a citation package that standardizes citation commands across many different bibliography styles, so you can switch from using plain.bst to acm.bst without having to change your in-text citations.

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Styles Recommended by Reed

The following two styles were created or modified by Reed to match the following style manuals as closely as possible. Right-click (Control-Click on a Mac) on the linked name to download the style you want.

APA Style (American Psychology Association)
This is a custom style created by Ben Salzberg to duplicate the APA style as closely as possible. Make sure to include natbib as a package or it won't work. The following line should appear in the preamble: \usepackage{natbib}. 
Modern Language Associate Style (MLA)

This is a custom style created by Ben Salzberg to duplicate the Modern Language Associate style manual (6th Edition) as closely as possible. Make sure to include natbib as a package or it won't work. The following line should appear in the preamble: \usepackage{natbib}. MLA asks for citations of the form (LastName PageNumber), which is unsupported by Natbib's citation styles. We have asked Dr. Patrick Daly to provide support for these type of parenthetical citations in his next revision of natbib. In the meantime, citations of the following form will provide the correct citation:

(\citeauthor*{citekey} pagenumber)


Natbib Standard Styles




(Items in bibliography sorted in order cited)


Citation Commands Within Natbib

Author Name Styles look like this:

Numerical Styles look like this:

For additional modifications not covered above, this is a great NatBib reference sheet put out by a physical science professor in France.

And this one too! - This reference sheet includes instructions on how to change (Jones 1990, 341) to (Jones 1990: 341) [or (Jones, 1990: 341) to (Jones 1990: 341)] using the \setcitestyle command

You will see that your urls are formatted in typewritter font. If you want to change the font of your urls, add the command \urlstyle{same} to your preamble to make them the same font as the body of your paper. 

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Biblatex-Chicago Style

To use biblatex-Chicago, you need to change the backend from "bibtex" to "biber." To do this, pull up the preferences window (TeXShop/Preferences... or "⌘,"). Go to the "Engine" tab and change the entry in the BibTeX Engine field to "biber." This does require a somewhat new-ish version of tex, so if it's not working and you have an old version, you may need to download a new one.

Chicago A (footnotes)

To use Chicago style citations, comment out or remove the following line from the preamble:

To use Chicago A (footnote style citations), add these lines to the preamble (where "thesis" should be changed to the title of your .bib file):

Then go to the end of the .tex file and remove the following lines:

And replace them with this line:

Chicago B (parenthetical in-line citations)

To use Chicago style citations, comment out or remove the following line from the preamble:

To use Chicago B (parenthetical in-line citations), add these lines to the preamble (where "thesis" should be changed to the title of your .bib file):
\usepackage[authordate,autocite=inline,backend=biber, natbib]{biblatex-chicago}

Then go to the end of the .tex file and remove the following lines:

And replace them with this line:

In order to have the author and year all in parenthesis, use \autocite for in-text citation. If you want only the year in parenthesis, use \citet instead. 

Explore the Biblatex-Chicago readme on CTAN to find customizations.

Styles Available at is the official LaTeX archive containing both the official LaTeX packages and items contributed by LaTeX users. Many of these BibTeX styles have either been created by journal editors or publishers for their authors or by users creating packages to fulfill a personal need. One problem with the user-contributed styles is that they may not match the official style they claim to implement exactly. However, the journal-specific styles will exactly match the journal's house style, as they were designed by the journals. Therefore, we recommend testing any non-journal style by using it with a large BibTeX database and compare the resulting bibliography to the official style.

Discipline Specific Listings of BibTeX Journal Styles

  • Art
  • Anthropology
    • Human Nature (humannat.bst)
    • American Anthropologist (humannat.bst)
    • Behavior and Brain Sciences (bbs.bst)
  • Biology
    • American Journal of Human Genetics (ajhg.bst)
    • American Medical Association Journals (JAMA, Cancer, etc.) (ama.bst)
    • Applied Bioinformatics (openmind.bst, include openmind package)
    • Applied Bionics and Biomechanics (openmind.bst, include openmind)
    • Applied Biotechnology, Food Science and Policy (openmind.bst, include openmind)
    • Applied Environmental Science and Public Health (openmind.bst, include openmind)
    • Applied Health Economics and Health Policy (openmind.bst, include openmind)
    • Applied Nanoscience (openmind.bst, include openmind)
    • Applied Population and Policy (openmind.bst, include openmind)
    • Behavior and Brain Sciences (bbs.bst)
    • Bioinformatics (bioinformatics.bst, include bioinformatics package)
    • Council of Biology Editors (includes such journals as American Naturalist, Evolution, etc) (cbe.bst)
    • Cell (cell.bst)
    • Development (development.bst)
    • Ecology (ecology.bst, include natbib, emboj, floatfig packages)
    • Human Biology (humanbio.bst)
    • Human Mutation (humanmutation.bst, include humanmutation package)
    • Journal of Bacteriology (jbact.bst)
    • Journal of Molecular Biology (jmb.bst)
    • Journal of Neuroscience (namedplus.sty, include namedplus package)
    • Journal of Super Computing (jsupercomp,include jsupercomp package)
    • Journal of Theoretical Biology (jtb.bst and newjtb.bst)
    • Methods in Enzymology (methenz.bst)
    • Molecular Cell Biology (molcellbiol, include molcellbiol package)
    • National Cancer Institute (nci.bst, include nci and \usepackage[normalem]{ulem})
    • Nature (nature.bst, include nature, citesuppernumber, naturefem packages)
    • Neuron (neuron.bst)
    • Nucleic Acid Research (nar.bst)
    • PLoS: Public Library of Science Journals (plos.bst, include natbib package)
    • Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (pnas.bst)
    • Proteins (proteins.bst, include proteins, citesupernumber packages)
    • Science (science.bst, scicite.sty)
  • Chemistry
    • American Chemical Society Journals (achemso.bst, include achemso package)
    • Journal of Computation Chemistry (jcc.bst)
    • Journal of Physical Chemistry (jpc.bst)
    • Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (pccp.bst)
    • Reviews in Computational Chemistry (revcompchem.bst)
  • Chinese
  • Classics
  • Dance
  • Economics
    • American Economic Review (aer.bst, include harvard, aer, aertt, and ulem packages)
    • Canadian Journal of Economics (cje.bst, include cje package)
    • Econometrica (econometrica.bst, include harvard package)
    • Economic Theory (et.bst, include et package)
    • Journal of Economics and Business (JEB.bst, include JEB, harvard, endnotes, caption2 packages)
    • Journal of Finance (jf.bst, include harvard package)
    • Journal of Investing (JOI.bst, include JOI, harvard, endnotes, caption2 packages)
    • Macroeconomic Dynamics (et.bst, include et package)
    • Review of Financial Studies (rfs.bst)
  • English and Creative Writing
  • French - translations of standard styles
    • Abbreviated (abbrv-fr.bst)
    • Alphabetical (alpha-fr.bst)
    • Plain (plain-fr.bst)
    • Unsorted (unsrt-fr.bst)
  • German
    • DIN 1505 Standard aka Author-Year Style
      • Abbreviated (abbrvdin.bst)
      • Alphabetical (alphadin.bst)
      • Nat Bib for German (natdin.bst)
      • Plain (plaindin.bst)
      • Unsorted (unsrtdin.bst)
    • Germbib Package
      • Abbreviated (gerabbrv.bst)
      • Alphabetical (geralpha.bst)
      • Apalike (gerapali.bst)
      • Plain (gerplain.bst)
      • Unsorted (gerunsrt.bst)
  • History
  • Linguistics
    • CSLI (cslibib.bst)
    • Language (laslike.bst)
    • Lingua (lingua.bst)
    • Linguistic Society of America style sheet (lsalike.bst)
    • Natural Language Semantics (nals.bst)
  • Mathematics
    • Association for Computing Machinery (acm.bst)
    • Association for Computing Machinery Transactions (acmtrans.bst)
    • American Mathematical Society
      • alphabetical (amsalpha.bst)
      • plain (amsplain.bst)
    • American Statistical Association Journals (asa.bst, include \bibpunct{(}{)}{;}{a}{}{,} in the preamble)
      • American Statistician
      • Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics
      • Journal of the American Statistical Association
      • Journal of Business and Economic Statistics
      • Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics
      • Technometrics
    • Biometrika (biometrika.bst)
    • Computer Journal (cj.bst)
    • Design Computing Unit, University of Sydney (dcu.bst)
    • IEEE Transactions (ieeetr.bst)
    • Institute of Mathematical Statistics Journals (ims.bst)
      • Annals of Applied Probability
      • Annals of Probability
      • Annals of Statistics
    • Journal of the Royal Statistical Society (rss.bst)
    • SIAM
    • Numerical Algorithms (numalg.bst)
    • American Association for Artificial Intelligence (aaai.bst)
  • Music
  • Philosophy
    • American Association for Artificial Intelligence (aaai.bst)
  • Physics
    • American Association for Artificial Intelligence (aaai.bst)
    • American Institute of Physics Journal (phaip.bst)
    • Astronomy (astron.bst)
    • Computer Physics Communications (phcpc.bst)
    • International Atomic Energy Agency Conferences (phiaea.bst)
    • IEEE with annotations(IEEEannot.bst)
    • IEEE Transactions (ieeetr.bst)
    • Journal of Computational Physics (phjcp.bst)
    • Journal of Quality Technology (jqt1999.bst)
    • Nuclear Fusion
    • Nuclear Fusion Letters
    • Optical Society of America (osa.bst)
    • Physics of Fluids
    • Reviews of Modern Physics (amsrmp.bst)
    • Physical Review (covers A, B, C, D, E, Special Topics, Focus, and Letters) (apsrev.bst)
    • Translate Physics Journals Initials into Full Names
  • Political Science
    • American Political Science Review (apsr-new.bst)
  • Psychology (various APA styles) (We recommend apa-good)
    • apalike
    • apa-good
    • apalike2
    • newapa
    • phapalik
    • apasoft
    • apacite
  • Religion
  • Russian (supporting Russian and Ukrainian)
    • GOST 7.1 1984
      • Sorted (gost71s.bst)
      • Unsorted (gost71u.bst)
    • GOST 7.80 2000
      • Sorted (gost780s.bst)
      • Unsorted (gost780u.bst)
  • Spanish
  • Sociology
    • American Journal of Sociology (ajs.bst)
    • American Sociological Review (asr.bst)
  • Theatre
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I love to use LaTeX for typesetting my papers. The flexibility of the environment and the crisp beauty of the final product&I think anyone who uses it regularly knows what I'm gushing about. While working on a recent paper, however, I was frustrated by the prospect of customizing bibliography and citation styles in LaTeX. I care about fine-grained control of my bibliography. I wondered if there was another sensitive soul out there who felt the same way and decided to create a better soluion.

Here, I'll describe an alternative to the standard bibliography environment that I found for style customization without sacrificing the raw power of LaTeX. I'll also comment briefly on some alternatives I've seen and tried. I take for granted that BibTeX library is already available as creating one is outside the scope of this article. I will mention that my favorite reference manager, Mendeley, can export its database as a BibTeX library.

The Problem

LaTeX's default bibliography environment is simple enough to invoke. For a complete description, see Stefan Kottwitz's book [1]. Inline styles are written with the command, as in the example below.

Previous studies have demonstrated that collective efficacy \cite{Morenoff2001} and prejudice \cite{Sampson2004} shape neighborhoods more strongly than their physical make-up and condition.

The final and only other requirement is to add the bibliography and point to a BibTeX reference database. In the example below, it would be named .


It is necessary to invoke the program. This translates the references from our BibTeX library () that we have cited in our document into a environment which is put in place where we invoked the command, . In short, we call and then typeset twice.

After typesetting (twice), we see in-line citations and our bibliography. The bibliography style we specified, , is formatted such that the in-line citation labels are a combination of a shortened author name and publication year, the bibliography is sorted by author name, and square brakets surround the labels. But what if you want something different?

Well, there are four default styles. The other three are described by Kottwitz [1] are listed below. ShareLaTeX has a list of eight (8), including the four discussed here, with example output.

  • : Arabic numbers for the labels, sorted according to the names of the authors. The number is written in square brackets which also appear with .
  • : No sorting. All entries appear like they were cited in the text, otherwise it looks like .
  • : Like , but first names and other field entries are abbreviated.

The program figures out how to style your citations and bibliography from a specification that resides in a file (i.e., there is a for the built-in style). You could write one of these yourself, perhaps using one of the built-ins as a template, but the postfix language they are written can be very difficult to read and write.

It seems that others have recognized the need for more flexible customization and, to be fair, there are other options out there in the form of preprocessors and LaTeX packages. This TeX StackExchange article does a good job of summarizing their trade-offs. The only alternative among the extant packages and programs that I've tried is which doesn't completely solve the problem of fully customizable citations and bibliographies (though it's a good start). In the end, one still has to provide a file with .

A Solution

I should mention that my high expectations of full customization were shaped by my previous experience with R Markdown and . With R Markdown, formatting for bibliographies and in-line citations can be specified by the Citation Style Language (CSL); see also this reference. I have a vivid memory of first seeing the Zotero repository of CSL stylesheets: all 7,438 of them. Clearly, 7,438 options are better than 4 (or 8), right? If the numbers don't convince you, just open up a CSL stylesheet; it's an XML variant, making it much easier to read and write than files.

So, CSL works out-of-the-box in R Markdown—great! And , with help from Pandoc, enables R Markdown documents to be serialized to a wide variety of formats (e.g., PDF, HTML, Microsoft Word). But what if you want to use the full range of TeX commands and environments available through third-party packages? Some people might also object to using R Markdown to write their paper, anyway; particularly if they don't use R or markdown.

I'm not one of those people but I do want to use raw TeX sometimes. So, I started looking into Pandoc to preprocess my TeX documents. Pandoc supports CSL and can defer raw TeX input to the LaTeX typesetting program. By chaining Pandoc and LaTeX, with a custom CSL file to my liking, I can fully customize my bibliography and citation styles without sacrificing the full range of TeX features available in third-party libraries.

As an example, here is the References section of a paper I wrote. I wanted hanging indents in my bibliography—one last, obsessive detail to achieve my vision for a bibliography—so I have invoked and which require the and packages, respectively. The last line looks a lot like it did before, right? I just point to my BibTeX bibliography database.

\section{References}\setlength{\parindent}{0pt}% Reset indentation for references...\hangparas{32pt}{1}\bibliography{/home/arthur/library.bib}

To typeset this with Pandoc, I have a little shell script that encapsulates the variety of options available with that program. I locate my BibTeX library for Pandoc with the option and I tell it how I'd like my bibliography and citations formatted, in CSL, with the option.

pandoc \ -M author="K. Arthur Endsley"\ -M date="February 2, 2015"\ -f latex+raw_tex -N -R \ --smart \ --include-in-header=header.tex \ --bibliography=/home/arthur/library.bib \ --csl=citation_style.csl \ --template=template.latex \ -o MyPaper.pdf MyPaper.tex

Note that I have a custom LaTeX template and a header TeX file that load some packages and set up my document. These are important, as and some other commands can only be used in the preamble—they can't go inside your input TeX file to Pandoc. To get an idea of what I mean, see my input TeX file () below:

\title{Assessment of Urban Change through a Land-Cover Change Proxy at the Neighborhood Scale with Subpixel Measurements from Satellite Remote Sensing}\author{K. Arthur Endsley}\begin{document}\maketitle\section{Background} Neighborhood change manifests in changes in the physical environment...

Anything else has to go in the template or in the header.


  1. LaTeX: Beginner's Guide by Stefan Kottwitz

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