[texhax] Help with displaying optional bibliography fields withBibtex

Philip G. Ratcliffe philip.ratcliffe at fastwebnet.it
Fri Dec 5 08:14:56 CET 2008

> Newbie question.  I am trying to understand where to look if 
> I have bibtex entries with optional fields such as month in 
> an article entry and they are not displayed in my 
> bibliography.  I am using a style file recommended for 
> Finance papers (jf.bst) but am unfamiliar with the details of 
> how such files work with/control bibliography entries. I 
> scanned through the style file and found the following entry:
> FUNCTION {article}
> { output.bibitem
>   format.authors "author" output.check
>   author format.key output
>   format.date "year" output.check
>   format.title "title" output.check
>   crossref missing$
>     { journal emphasize "journal" output.check
>       format.vol.num.pages output
>     }
>     { format.article.crossref output.nonnull
>       format.pages output
>     }
>   if$
>   note output
>   fin.entry
> }
> which coincidently seems to specify just year for date format 
> on an article.  Is this typical or am I mistaken?  Is the 
> workaround to create a year entry with month and date 
> included in my bibtex entries or is this a bad idea?  Thanks.

Your analysis is correct: this BibTeX style does not include month and day.
Either you find a style already made that does what you want or you have to
hack the bst you're using.  The latter is relatively simple once you know
what you're doing, but you would have to learn a little of the language and
programming used.  If you feel up to it, most (I think) distros include a
file called btxhak.dvi, which explains the basics fairly well.

Good luck, Phil

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