Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Generating your publication list

It is often necessary to compile one's bibliography. For example to apply for a grant or a job. One approach is to keep a text file and update it as you publish. However, unstructured data is a pain to update when you fall behind, and you anyway already have your publications in your bibliography database. Is there a quick and simple way to generate a publication list?

For those using BibDesk to manage their bibliography, the answer is Jürgen Spitzmüller's biblatex-publist package. It generates correct citations leaving out your name, sorts them by date, and allows grouping by publication type.

In the preamble you just add three items:

  • \usepackage[bibstyle=publist]{biblatex}
  • \omitname[your first name]{your last name}
  • \addbibresource{biblio.bib}

In the document part you just add a block like below for each publication type:

  • \section{Patents}
  • \begin{refsection}[biblio]
  • \nocite{*}
  • \printbibliography[heading=none, filter=mine, type=patent]
  • \end{refsection}

The citation result will look like this when set into type:

Aug. 2006 (with Audrius J. Budrys). “Multi-component iconic representation of file characteristics”. 7,086,011. Hewlett-Packard Development Company.

If you are still using BibTeX, this is a good time to update your engine. BibTeX has been obsolete for many years and is no longer used these days. People now use biblatex, and publist is just a style file for biblatex. Actually, biblatex still uses BibTeX, so you want to switch your engine to Biber.

The make the switch, in the TexShop preferences go in the Engine tab and replace the BibTeX engine bibtex with biber. It may be necessary to run the TeX Live utility to update all the packages, as there has been a bug fix in the last week.

Extra tip: Option-Go to the folder ∼/Library/TeXShop/Engines/Inactive/Latexmk/ where you find the file Latexmk For TeXShop.pdf with the instructions on how to typeset your documents with a single mouse click.