Thursday, January 12, 2012

Suppressing BibTeX fields for specific biblatex entry types

I use LaTeX for writing academic papers and biblatex for handling the citations and references in them. One problem I ran into is that biblatex prints out the location, address, month, and publisher for a lot of entries, which I prefer not to have in my reference list. Rather than editing the BibTeX .bib file and losing that data forever, you can tell biblatex to ignore or suppress specific pieces of it.

Below is my code. It suppresses location, address, month, etc. for all entries, and suppresses the publisher and editor field unless the entry is a book. You may need to modify this for whatever style you're using.

% Loads biblatex with clickable links from citations and the reference list,
% with back references if the style supports them.
\usepackage[hyperref,doi,url=false,backref,style=alphabetic,maxbibnames=99]{biblatex}
\bibliography{refs.bib}

\AtEveryBibitem{% Clean up the bibtex rather than editing it
\clearfield{date}
\clearfield{eprint}
\clearfield{isbn}
\clearfield{issn}
\clearlist{location}
\clearfield{month}
\clearfield{series}

\ifentrytype{book}{}{% Remove publisher and editor except for books
\clearlist{publisher}
\clearname{editor}
}
}

Edit on 2/9/2012: As @siretart helpfully points out in the comments, biblatex makes distinctions between fields, name lists, and literal lists in the source file. To see whether to use \clearfield, \clearname, or \clearlist check the biblatex manual for the data type. For example, date and series are fields, location is a literal list, and editor is a name list. I've updated the code above to reflect this.