My personal library (.bib-files) contains references which I gathered from various sources, including academic search engines. This includes problems like:

  • Some information are missing
  • Journal names might be abbreviated or not
  • Capitalization might differ

What is a good checklist to ensure that the references are in a acceptable state?

  • 3
    Your check-list is going to depend on what your definition is of an acceptable reference, surely.
    – Nicholas
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 16:30
  • @Nicholas: I think he is asking what the community considers a acceptable reference Commented May 13, 2014 at 1:13

1 Answer 1


The best strategy for dealing with a reference database (be that a citation manager or just a .bib file), is to clean everything when you initially add it. Otherwise going through these things later, when you need put together a reference list, is a major pain and prone to error. Establishing a standard set of formatting rules/procedures up front is always your best bet.

  • My group once hired a master student to do this ;)
    – gerrit
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 23:14
  • 1
    @gerrit I have been that student in the past.
    – Thomas
    Commented Jul 11, 2013 at 5:33

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