[texhax] Bibtex, ordering of bibliography items.

Philip G. Ratcliffe philip.ratcliffe at fastwebnet.it
Mon Dec 6 11:08:59 CET 2010

> >> I have two papers by the same author, both dated 1971.
> >> 
> >> The later paper (which cites the first) gets listed *before*
> >> the earlier paper in the bibliography, since its title comes 
> >> before the title of the earlier paper in an alphabetical ordering.
> >> 
> >> I would like to get the earlier paper listed first.  Is there
> >> any simple way to achieve this?  I am using vanilla bibtex 
> >> and \bibliographystyle{plain}.
> > 
> > Here's an example of what to put in your bib file:
> > 
> > @PREAMBLE{ {\providecommand{\noopsort}[1]{}} }
> > ...
> > @ARTICLE{Rayleigh1,
> > AUTHOR = "{\noopsort{Rayleigh}}{Lord Rayleigh}",
> > ...
> > }
> > 
> > N.B. this is easily fond using "bibtex sorting" e.g. in 
> google an is 
> > an FAQ.
> Thank you. That worked. I must say however that I would not 
> have discerned that the ``Lord Rayleigh'' example given under 
> the first hit on a Google search pertained to my problem if I 
> had not had the benefit of your advice that it did so 
> pertain.  It seemed to be about suppressing unwanted 
> ``prefixes'' like ``Lord'' in the sorting process.  The fact 
> that it also applied to my problem was, to say the least, unclear.
> For the record, what I wound up doing --- and what I think 
> would generally solve problems of the ilk of that with which 
> I was faced --- was:
> 	author = "{\noopsort{HawkesA}}{Alan G. Hawkes}",
> for the item which I wished to come first in the sort, and
> 	author = "{\noopsort{HawkesB}}{Alan G. Hawkes}",
> for the item which I wished to come second.

I agree that searches for TeX solutions are often non so intuitive and it
does take a little imagination, but the solutions are generally there in the
FAQ and can be found.

And of course, the way one actually solves any given problem is a matter of
taste - one suggestion though is always to try and make sure that it will
always work - for example, did you check what happens if you later introduce
a frther reference such as

	author = "{Adrian Hawkes}" ?

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