Bib file format

A .bib file is a text file (database) containing publication references formatted in the bibtex format. It can have anywhere from one to thousands of  entries. Examples of different bibliographic sources are:


 author    = "{Spoon}, H.~W.~W. and {Keane}, J.~V. and {Tielens}, A.~G.~G.~M. and
              {Lutz}, D. and {Moorwood}, A.~F.~M.",
 title     = "{The obscured mid-infrared continuum of NGC 4418: A dust- and ice-enshrouded AGN}",
 journal   = aap,
 year      = 2001,
 month     = jan,
 volume    = 356,
 pages     = {L353-L356}
 author    = {{Bridger}, A. and{Wright}, G.~S. and{Geballe}, T.~R.},
 title     = {{Dust Absorption in NGC1068}},
 booktitle = {ASSL Vol. 190: Astronomy With Arrays, The Next Generation},
 year      = 1994,
 pages     = {537}
 author    = "Milton {Abramowitz} and Irene A. {Stegun}",
 title     = "Handbook of Mathematical Functions with
              Formulas, Graphs, and Mathematical Tables",
 publisher = "Dover",
 year      =  1964,
 address   = "New York City",
 edition   = "ninth Dover printing, tenth GPO printing"


All major reference managers and scholarly search engines are able to export references in the bibtex file format. These new entries can be added to an existing .bib file using simple cut and paste.

Since bibtex references do not lose their validity, many researchers maintain a .bib file of references they have cited in the past. Using the bibtex manuscript command they can select references for their upcoming paper without having to start a new bibliography from scratch.