The EPTCS bibliography style

The following defines the EPTCS style for quoting references.

References are ordered lexicographically by authors' last names, year of publication and title. They are labelled and called for by keys of the form [n], with n the number of the nth reference.

Composition of references

A reference consist of 3 parts. The first part tells you which reference is meant. The second part tells you where it can be found. And the third supplies all other relevant information. In principle each of these parts takes one sentence. However, if a paper appeared nowhere, the second part is missing, and if it appeared in several places, a new sentence for each listed occurrence of the paper is used. Furthermore the last part can be empty or more than one sentence long.

The first part lists the authors, date and title in that order. These entries and this order is also used for ordering the references lexicographically. The authors appear in roman, separated by comma's, except for the last two authors, which are separated by an "&". The year of the reference follows in brackets, omitting the month altogether, and then the title appears in italics after a ":". The idea is that these items are the most important ones when scanning references, and therefore deserve the most stress. If the reference is to a book, the edition may follow in the same sentence; if it is to a part of a book, information as to which part follows at the end of the first sentence. These entries are separated by comma's. Note that there is a semantic difference between page numbers in the first sentence and page numbers in the second.

In the second sentence, a title of a book in which a paper appeared can be distinguished from a journal in which it appeared, by means of the word "In". In case of a conference proceedings, after "In" the editors appear, then a colon, and next the booktitle of the proceedings; then if applicable a series name and number, and the publisher followed by his address. The page numbers follow at the end, since in that position they are most helpful for finding the right pages. For electronic journals that do not use page numbers, typically an electronic identifier (eid) appears instead; it is usually the number n indicating that this is the nth paper in the issue. Names of journals, series and proceedings are not italized, but merely slanted. The reason is that the title of a paper is considered to be a more important part of the reference.

References and links to electronic publications

Nowadays most papers are published electronically, and each paper has a response page listing the authors, title, abstract, date of publication and all other bibliographic information deemed relevant. The response page contains links to the actual paper, sometimes in multiple formats (e.g. dvi, postscript, pdf or html). Even in cases where the electronic manifestations of a paper can only be downloaded in exchange for a payment to the publisher, the response page of a paper is always available free of charge. For this reason, and also because the response page contains information that is often not in the paper itself, and because in the future other formats may replace pdf (just like pdf has largely replaced postscript), it is preferable to refer and link to the response page of a paper, rather than to an electronic manifestation of the paper in a particular format.

Almost all publishers use digital object identifiers (DOIs) as a persistent way to locate electronic publications. Prefixing the DOI of any paper with yields a URI that resolves to the current location (URL) of the response page of that paper. When the location of the response page changes (for instance through a merge of publishers), the DOI of the paper remains the same and (through an update by the publisher) the corresponding URI will then resolve to the new location. For that reason a reference ought to contain the DOI of a paper, with a life link to corresponding URI, rather than a direct reference or link to the current URL of publisher's response page.

In the EPTCS style the DOI of a publication, with a life link to the corresponding URI, follows at the end of the sentence that points to that publication, after the page numbers or eid. Authors are strongly encouraged to look up the DOI of a reference and include it therein. Methods for finding DOIs, as well as instructions for adding them to references, are given here.

Often an official publication is only available against payment, but as a courtesy to readers that do not wish to pay, the authors also make the paper available free of charge at a repository such as In such a case it is recommended to refer and link to the URL of the response page of the paper in such a repository as well, using a separate sentence, such as "Available at ...". Such a sentence should not be used to duplicate information that is already provided through the DOI of the paper.


Below detailed specifications for the most common types of references follow, in which irrelevant and unavailable items can be deleted.

For articles in journals:
Author 1, Author 2, ... , Author n-1 & Author n (year): italics{Title}. slanted{Journalname} volume(number), pp. first page--last page, doi: doi. Available at url. Notes.
For articles in journals with eids instead of page numbers:
Author 1, Author 2, ... , Author n-1 & Author n (year): italics{Title}. slanted{Journalname} volume(number):eid, doi: doi. Available at url. Notes.
For books, proceedings or parts thereof:
Author 1, Author 2, ... , Author n-1 & Author n, editor[s] (year): italics{Title}, edition, chapter numbers, pp. first page--last page. slanted{Series} number, Publisher, publisher's address, doi: doi. Available at url. Notes.
For papers in conference proceedings:
Author 1, Author 2, ... , Author n-1 & Author n (year): italics{Title}. In Editor 1, Editor 2, ... , Editor n-1 & Editor n, editor[s]: slanted{Booktitle}, slanted{Series} number, Publisher, publisher's address, pp. first page--last page, doi: doi. Available at url. Notes.
And for technical reports (including theses and manuals):
Author 1, Author 2, ... , Author n-1 & Author n, (year): italics{Title}. Type of report number, Institute, institute's address. Available at url. Extended abstract in Editor 1, Editor 2, ... , Editor n-1 & Editor n, editor[s]: slanted{Booktitle}, slanted{Series} number, Publisher, publisher's address, year, pp. first page--last page, doi: doi. Available at url. Notes.
Here Booktitle is used an an atom, but often the title of a proceedings consists of 4 parts: Type of book (such as Conference record of the or Proceedings - optionally followed by of the or shortened to Proc.), Type of conference (such as Fifth Annual IEEE Symposium on) Name of conference (such Logic in Computer Science) and Place and Date (such as Philadelphia, PA, USA, June 1990). Although this cannot easily be implemented in bibtex, preferably only the third part gets slanted. I do this in my own bibliography by within the bibtex entries explicitly declaring roman fonts for the other parts.


To save space, depending on how hard it is to find a reference, the publisher's address can generally be omitted, and journal names, series and book titles can be abbreviated. The example above can for instance be shortened to Proc. LICS '90. This is in particular allowed when a DOI is present, as this makes all other information to some extent redundant.


The EPTCS style is implemented in the style file eptcs.bst, whereas eptcsalpha.bst is a version of this file with alphanumeric reference labels, akin to alpha.bst. Use eptcsini.bst or eptcsalphaini.bst if you prefer to automatically abbreviate first names of authors by initials; here multiple first names in your bib-file need to be separated by spaces—these spaces disappear in the generated bbl-file. These style files work with the same 13 references types as in the original LaTeX bibliography styles, listed in the first column of the table below. They moreover allow the same bibtex fields, except that month is ignored, and new bibtex fields eid, doi, ee and url, where ee is used as a synonym for url, have been added. The use of these fields is indicated in the table below, where x means that a field is used by the given reference type, and an x shared between two columns means that only one of them can be used - if both appear a warning occurs and the one on the left is chosen. x! means the field is obligatory, in the sense that a warning is given if it is missing.
organisation edition series howpublished doi
editor type volume institution url
author chapter number school ee
year booktitle eid publisher note
title journal pages address key
article x! x! x! x! x .x  x x x x v
book x! x! x! x x x x! x x x x v
inbook x! x! x! x x x x x x x! x x x x v
incollection x x! x! x! x x! x x x! x! x x x x v
inproceedings x x x! x! x! x! x x x! x x x x x v
proceedings x x x! x! x x x x x x x v
techreport x! x! x! x x x! x x x x v
phdthesis x! x! x! x x! x x x x v
mastersthesis x! x! x! x x! x x x x v
manual x x x x! x x x x x v
booklet x x x! x! x x x x v
misc x x x x x x x v
unpublished x! x x! x x x! v

Here are some examples in dvi, postscript and pdf form with the la- and bibtex source.


The EPTCS style is a small variation on the GV-style, implemented in 1987 for troff referencing in cooperation with Frits Vaandrager.

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