La Te X Notes

LaTeX is terrific until you need to format things a particular way, like when preparing an article for publication.

I've been wrestling with getting BibTeX to produce reference lists appropriate for Austral Ecology and have finally managed to do so, using a process of trial and error (I don't want to learn the .bst programming language and displace something more relevant my brain). Next time I think I'll use something more modern-looking like biblatex. As far as I can tell, it produces correct output for article, book, and inbook styles. I don't really use anything else.

Here's a BST file I cobbled together for Austral Ecology. The following preamble will also help:

 % Correct in-text citation style

 % Page numbers

 % Line numbers on each page

Some journals including Austral Ecology are a bit of a hassle because it uses abbreviated journal names. Apparently there's no good way to deal with them other than giving short names their own field in your bibliography and adjusting your bst to deal with them. Instead of doing this, I made a sed script that changes long versions to short ones for the journals I use. It would be nice if it was possible to make BibTeX use a text file database to look up abbreviated names. I looked into this briefly and I think it looked possible, but I'd much rather invest energy in biblatex.

Unfortunately, Austral Ecology doesn't currently accept submissions as LaTeX source or PDF anyway (note - it now accepts PDF! But it seems to work a bit better with Word documents), but this might be useful if you're producing a uni assignment formatted for the journal, trying to buck the system, or whatever.

My BST originally didn't preserve capitalisation of article titles, which is generally important in ecology where titles can contain place and species names. I've now fixed this.

There is still a problem where for article it should do \textbf{<number>,} rather than \textbf{<number>}, . I may fix this one day.