[OS X TeX] Bibliography programs and Unicode?

Roger Hart rhart at mail.utexas.edu
Tue Feb 15 22:29:42 CET 2005

Because my bibliography has many languages, including English, German, 
French, Chinese, and Japanese, I've been simply pasting formatted 
entries into the end of my document, in the "thebibliography" 
environment, and using the package natbib to format them and keep 
citations in the text uniform.  Now that my project has grown into 
several articles together with a book, this is becoming increasingly 
frustrating.  (I should mention that I use LaTeX and the wonderful 
program TeXShop.)

So first I tried using EndNote again -- I'd given up on EndNote because 
of the lack of Unicode support -- only to find that EndNote 8 still 
requires some work to fix numerous bugs and limitations. It does not 
work behind proxies, and because I'm on research leave this year, I 
can't access many important databases from home, like OCLC WorldCat.  
In addition, it seems to have problems with connection files, 
especially U_California (including the newest version), which caused 
multiple hangs and crashes. And the connection files that do work do 
not yet support Unicode, I was told by EndNote support. So downloading 
anything with German or French means cleaning it all up by hand.

So I thought I should look into using BibTeX.  While I was very 
impressed by the ease with which BibTeX processes and formats a 
bibliography, it seems to have many problems with Unicode.  I looked 
through the latest LaTeX Companion, 2nd edition, on BibTeX, and found 
several developments of BibTeX, but none seemed to be usable at this 

So what I suppose I'm looking for in a bibliography program is the 

1) A utility to download records using Unicode  (so I don't have to 
type them in), with filters supporting a variety of  formats (such as 
MARC) and databases (especially WorldCat), that would work through 
proxies, and save in BibTeX format.

2) A utility to manage Unicode records in BibTeX format, perhaps such 
as BibDesk.  I did try BibDesk, and it seemed to have some problems 
with Unicode, for example in the Author field.

3) A version or extension of BibTeX that works with Unicode and 
supports all the various BibTeX packages, such as natbib, etc., and 
different styles, such as chicagoa, elsart-harvard, etc.

I did try to read through past messages on this list, but I failed to 
find anything satisfactory.  I would very much appreciate any 
suggestions to any one of these three problems.

Thanks very much,



Roger Hart
Assistant Professor, Departments of History and Asian Studies
University of Texas at Austin

office: Room 405, Garrison Hall
office phone: 512-475-7258
department fax: 512-475-7222
email: rhart at mail.utexas.edu


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