I want to cite from this paper(link goes directly to the page I need). I only want this short article there from the Author "M.E.Proth". As I have seen, I can download a bib-file, but I guess it's not for my purpose, since they don't know which part I want to cite. So I created the bib file:

    title = {Comptes rendus hebdomadaires des séances de l'Académie des sciences  },
    volume = {87 (1878)},
    url = {https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/24818},
    adress = {Paris},
    publisher = {Gauthier-Villards, Imprimeur-Libraire},
    author = {François Proth},
    year = {1878},
    pages = {926},
    keywords = {Periodicals|Science|Societies, etc|},

but I am not sure, whether "Francois Proth" as author is correctly chosen, since it only says "note de M.E.Proth". So it could be that another author (of the whole book maybe) just cites Proth itself.

  • 2
    I think the 'M' stands for Monsieur. Note that the rest of the name is in bold. Whether "E. Proth" is Francois Proth is not immediately clear to me.
    – Anyon
    Feb 5 at 14:54
  • 1
    Where does the name Francois come from?
    – Sursula
    Feb 5 at 15:18
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran%C3%A7ois_Proth is fairly brief, but does list this paper as one of his. One might look at the other papers referenced there to see how the name is given.
    – Jon Custer
    Feb 6 at 16:36

1 Answer 1


Normally you'd cite only the paper you're interested in, not the entire journal volume. This is the same logic as in your other question. (And if, for some reason, you were to cite the entire volume, it doesn't make much sense to list as author(s) only the author of a single article within it. Listing the editors would make more sense, just like is done for edited volumes with chapters written by multiple authors.) A bibTeX entry might look something like

title={Th{\'e}oremes sur les nombres premiers},
author={Proth, E.},
journal={Comptes rendus hebdomadaires des s{\'e}ances de l'Acad{\'e}mie des sciences},

The journal in question has seen many names, splits into sections and abbreviations over the years. A reasonable abbreviation for this iteration might be "C. R. Hebd. Séances Acad. Sci.", but there is also the less specific "C. R. Acad. Sci.". Sometimes "C. R." is expanded to "Comp. Rend.". This might be useful to know if you intend to publish somewhere that insists on using journal abbreviations in the reference list.

In the bibTeX entry above, I've listed the author as "E. Proth". I'm pretty sure the 'M' in "M. E. Proth" means the honorific 'Monsieur' and isn't part of the name. You'll find the same 'M' in many other entries in the volume, and in some cases also 'MM' for the plural (Messieurs).

Finally, there's the question of the 'E' in "E. Proth". Certainly, the theorem has since been attributed to François Proth, and cited as if published under "F. Proth". Perhaps the 'E' is a typo, or maybe Proth published under multiple initials names? In general, I think it's clearest to cite it as originally published, and add a note if you can find more historical details.

  • Thank you for helpful answer. My problem is that the article in the book says "Note de M.E.Proth". So maybe an author of the whole book used a note from Proth to write this short article.
    – Lereu
    Feb 5 at 21:28
  • 1
    @Lereu I would interpret "Note de M. E. Proth" as meaning "Note by E. Proth". Maybe someone more familiar with how the journal operated at the time could weigh in on this, but it is a venue that has been known for publishing many short articles and announcements of research that were to be published in full elsewhere. In light of a case where the self-taught Proth called something a theorem apparently without offering a proof, I wouldn't necessarily expect there to be more to this paper.
    – Anyon
    Feb 5 at 22:40
  • 1
    @Lereu There is no "author of the whole book". This is clearly an article by a Monsieur E. Proth published in this journal. Feb 6 at 7:46
  • Thank you. I also guess that "E. Proth" is a typo, or "E" is the abbreviation for another form of his name, though I can't think of another form of "Francois".
    – Lereu
    Feb 6 at 10:59
  • @Lereu A different form of Francois seems less likely than someone publishing a paper under a middle name to me (but then again, I haven't seen a second name listed anywhere). And typo seems likelier still. Who knows, maybe the situation is clearer to historians of French mathematics...
    – Anyon
    Feb 6 at 12:22

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