As I want to make my publications easily available for citation, at my website I am offering, together with my references, a citation file. For the moment I am offering a .bib BibTeX file with every citation.

The question is, if it is recommendable to use further citation formats. I have seen that Google Scholar offers 4 possible formats: BibTeX EndNote RefMan RefWorks. Is it recommendable to offer such a variety or it is enough to use BibTeX?


  • In what field? For example in math it would be pretty much pointless to offer anything other than bib(la)tex files, while in other fields people would give you a weird look if you started talking about latex. – user9646 Mar 13 '18 at 15:55
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    Field is crucial, there are tendencies. Next, is the effort helpful? Do you have some kind of a statistics from where people source your papers? Official journal/organisation websites, social networks such as researchgate, repositories such as arXiv, website your institution, your personal website, or do they just google-scholar and take the first hit with pdf? You would typically cover those, who go to your personal website. Are there many? – Oleg Lobachev Mar 13 '18 at 16:09
  • @OlegLobachev sorry I do not possess any statistical data. (I wish I would!) – loved.by.Jesus Mar 14 '18 at 14:49

My take on how to promote and make accessible your works for citation is as follows:

For your global library:

Pick a format. You won't get it always right. Mathematicians and physics will prefer bibtex, biologist and health-related researchers probably will rather have something that works directly on their word (EndNote). In any case, I feel that getting all the citations of an author from his/hers webpage is not that common. People will just pick those articles that are really relevant for them.

If you want to, at least, provide those two and you feel comfortable adding javascript to your personal page, you could use something like enw-to-bib to automate the translation upon user's request.

For each individual article:

If you don't want to complicate yourself, just add the DOI. Most journals have citation tools to download in multiple different citation formats. If you want to get creative, this same citation tools will provide the links for quite a lot of formats (I guess some journals will offer more options than others).

This option should be that much easier and allow for a more flexible way for your visitor's to actually pick whatever they are really interested in.

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    The citation tools of most journals tend to give horrible BibTeX entries. – Matteo Mar 13 '18 at 16:15
  • Well, I guess it depends on the journal, but true, they are not always top standard. Still, I was suggesting this as very non-intrusive option that would not require to add any local software. – jaumebonet Mar 13 '18 at 16:24
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    I agree that the easiest way for a personal page is to display a DOI link next to each reference. – Guillaume Mar 13 '18 at 16:58
  • Thanks for giving me an insight of the preferred citation formats related to disciplines. I find a very practical solution the idea of directly linking to the formats present in the journals. – loved.by.Jesus Mar 14 '18 at 14:46

You can use reference management software like JabRef or BibDesk to export your BibTeX file in a number of different formats.

In my opinion, a BibTeX file is a great resource that is more than sufficient (provided its entries are strictly better than the ones offered by Google Scholar, ACM, IEEE, or Springer, and many others, which are all abysmal, IMHO).

  • Ah, sure. BibDesk also support exporting in some of those formats. I edited the answer to mention these. – Matteo Mar 13 '18 at 16:11

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