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README for amsrefs 2.14 [2013/03/07]

Copyright 2001-2004, 2007, 2008, 2010-2013 American Mathematical Society.

This work may be distributed and/or modified under the
conditions of the LaTeX Project Public License, either version 1.3c
of this license or (at your option) any later version.
The latest version of this license is in
and version 1.3c or later is part of all distributions of LaTeX
version 2005/12/01 or later.

This work has the LPPL maintenance status `maintained'.

The Current Maintainer of this work is the American Mathematical

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The amsrefs package supports bibliographies and citations in LaTeX
documents.  The basic citation command remains more or less the same
as in standard LaTeX (\cite), but a number of additional variations
address certain known pitfalls or gaps in the standard LaTeX set of
citation features.

The command for bibliography items is different -- \bib instead of
\bibitem -- for reasons that will be evident upon further reading in
the documentation.

A set of BibTeX style files are provided to allow people to extract
data from .bib files and produce .bbl files in amsrefs format instead
of conventional \bibitem format.

User documentation is in amsrdoc.pdf and amsrefs.faq.

Technical documentation (including documentation for package writers)
is in amsrefs.pdf.


-- Preservation of structure.

With BibTeX alone, the structure of a bibitem in a .bib file is lost
when items are imported into a .bbl file for direct processing by
LaTeX.  With amsrefs, there is no such conversion; LaTeX typesets the
bibliography directly from the structured data.  The greatest
potential advantage of this is seen when archiving documents in LaTeX
form or transmitting them to another user (such as a publisher).

-- Deferred formatting.

Since bibliography entries are stored in structured format in the
LaTeX file and the formatting is under the control of a LaTeX package
instead of a separate program, the style of the bibliography can be
changed on demand without re-importing everything from the original

-- More natural data format for titles.

Proper nouns do not need to have braces added to prevent
capitalization problems.

-- Less ambiguous format for author names.

When author names are given in inverted order (last name first) it is
possible for LaTeX to unambiguously identify the last name without any
further markup, even in cases like Saunders Mac Lane (Mac Lane,
Saunders) versus Stephen H. Lane (Lane, Stephen H.), or Cam Van Tran
(Tran, Cam Van) versus Bert Van Keulen (Van Keulen, Bert). In BibTeX
some of these would need to have extra braces added to ensure that the
surname is accurately distinguished.

-- Author-year citations.

There is integrated support for citations in author-year form.

-- Back-reference support.

Works in conjunction with the hyperref package.

-- Setup requires only LaTeX knowledge.

All bibliography setup can be done in LaTeX; learning another
programming language (such as, the one used in BibTeX bst files) is

-- Self-printable database files.

A LaTeX document that contains only a bibliography in amsrefs forms can
be used as a database for exporting entries to other documents. And
because it is a LaTeX document, the database can be printed directly at
any time simply by running it through LaTeX in the usual way.

-- Self-contained.

In many cases it seems possible to do without BibTeX entirely. For
example, if the entries are extracted from a single database file that
is maintained in sorted order, the bibliography can be printed directly
by LaTeX on the first pass and the citations resolved on the second


1. Install the package, referring to install.txt as needed.

2. There are four example files provided:

   cite-xa : Demonstrates an author-year citation scheme. The
             bibliography is embedded in the .tex file instead of
             residing in a separate .bbl file.
   cite-xb : Demonstrates usage with more-or-less standard BibTeX
   cite-xs : Shows how the bbl file can be created by LaTeX itself from a
             suitably presorted ltb file.
   cite-xh : A working hyperref/backrefs example.

3. Run LaTeX on cite-xa.tex. Take a look at the messages that have to
   do with citations and the bibliography section. Run LaTeX again to
   resolve the citations and check the output.

4. Run LaTeX on cite-xb.tex. Run BibTeX. Look at the bbl file.
   Interesting, huh? Run LaTeX twice more to resolve the citations.

5. Run LaTeX on cite-xs.tex and look at the output.

6. Run pdflatex on cite-xh.tex (it is set up to use BibTeX also, like


Version 2.12 of amsrefs implements two new features for the biblist
environment, one new entry type, one new warning, and one bug fix.

New features: The biblist environment now takes an optional argument
    consisting of an asterisk followed by a brace-delimited set of
    key-value pairs.  The currently supported keys are "labels," which
    changes the label style of the current biblist, and "prefix,"
    which adds a prefix to each label.  For example, if you are using
    numeric labels, then


    will result in items labeled A1, A2, etc., instead of 1, 2, etc.



    will switch to alphabetic labels for the current bibliography.
    Other allowable values are "numeric" and "shortalphabetic."

    The biblist environment already takes a []-delimited optional
    argument, so if you want to use both, the *-argument comes last:


    NOTE: Use of non-numeric prefixes or of mixed numeric and
    non-numeric label styles can interfere with the citation sorting
    and compression features, depending on exactly how you arrange
    your \cite's.  You may need to pass the non-sorted-cites and
    non-compressed-cites options to amsrefs to get the correct

New entry type: There is now a webpage entry designed for references
    to online resources.  It takes the following fields: accessdate,
    author, date, note, subtitle, title, url.

New warning: A common mistake when using non-numeric labels is to
    place the bibliography items in an order that is incompatible with
    the labels assigned by amsrefs.  This can result in a sequence
    such as this

         [D] John Doe. ...
        [DS] John Doe and Jane Smith. ...
         [D] John Dunn. ...

    where amsrefs does not automatically replace the first and third
    labels by "D1" and "D2" as it would if they were consecutive.
    This is because the real error lies in attempting to force the
    labels into an unordered sequence.  Readers are entitled to expect
    that reference "D2" lies between references "D1" and "DS" in the
    bibliography just as they are entitled to expect that reference
    [2] lies between references [1] and [3].
    If amsrefs encounters a situation like this, it will now issue a
    warning.  There are three ways to resolve the problem:

    1. Rearrange the items in an order that is compatible with the
       label style you have chosen.
    2. Choose a different label style that is compatible with the
       order you have chosen for the items.
    3. Use the label field to override the automatically-generated
       label and leave your readers to their own devices.
Bug fix: Spaces are now ignored inside the first argument (the
    citekey) to \bib.  Previously, something like

        \bib{Doe 1998}{...}{...}

    along with

        \cite{Doe 1998}

    would result in a warning that the citation 'Doe1998' was
    undefined since the space was stripped from the argument to \cite,
    but not from the first argument to \bib.


2012-03-07 amsrefs.dtx v2.14
    -- More thorough patch to \calc@alpha@suffix.

2012-03-06 amsrefs.dtx v2.13
    -- Patched \calc@alpha@suffix to fix a problem with use of
       \etalchar in alphabetic labels.

2012-01-15 amsrefs.dtx v2.12
    -- Added *-optional argument to biblist to allow setting of new
       per-biblist prefix and labels options.
    -- Added new webpage entry type.
    -- Patched \bib to ignore spaces inside the citekey for
       compatibility with \cite.
    -- Add a warning if an out-of-order duplicate biblabel stem is

2012-07-26 amsrefs.dtx v2.11
    -- Minimal support for mixing \bibitem with \bib.  This is *not*
       recommended practice and will not be mentioned in the user
       documentation, but it is necessary for certain internal AMS

    -- Eliminated the "(to appear in print)" note that \PrintDOI used
       to add if there was was no volume field.

    -- Added \citeyear to aid in emulating natbib.

    * textcmds.dtx 2.00:
      -- Replaced most \newcommand's by \providecommand to minimize
         chances of conflicts with other packages or user definitions. 

2012-05-08 amsrefs.dtx 2.10
    -- patched amsbst.sty to remove unwanted close paren from \PrintEditorsA
    -- patched \@endbiblist to reset \previous@primary between biblists

2010-08-17 amsrefs.dtx 2.09

    -- Restored support for \citeform that was inadvertently lost
       somewhere along the way.
    -- .bst files now unpack into bibtex/bst/amsrefs instead of
    -- .bib files now unpack into bibtex/bib/amsrefs instead of

2010-08-13 amsrefs.dtx 2.08

    -- Updated license to LPPL.
    -- Patched author-year \BibLabel to support hyperref.
    -- Added \biblistfont to support easier customization of
       bibliography font.

2008-07-25 amsrefs.dtx 2.07: AMS-internal modifications.

2008-07-25 amsrefs.dtx 2.06

    -- Modified \BibLabel to typeset numeric labels flush-right
       instead of flush-left, per AMS house style.

amrefs.dtx 2.03, 2.04, 2.05: AMS-internal modifications only.

2007-10-22 amsrefs.dtx 2.03

    -- .sty files now unpack into tex/latex/amsrefs instead of

    * amsrefs.dtx 2.03:
      -- Added the msc-links option.
      -- \nocite no longer produces a back reference with the backrefs
      -- The backrefs option no longer automatically loads hyperref.
      -- Fixed support for showkeys (not showlabels, as incorrectly
         stated in the release notes for 2.02) and the showkeys
         notcite option.
      -- Modified the bibdiv, bibchapter and bibsection environments
         to set the page headings correctly for non-AMS document
      -- For journals with issue numbers but no volumes, the issue
         number is now treated as a volume number, per AMS house
      -- \cite and related commands can now be used within the fields
         of a \bib item, for example, note={See also \cite{SokalB1998}}

    * textcmds.dtx 1.06:
      -- Added \q for symmetry with \qq.

2006-10-25 amsrefs.dtx 2.02

    -- Updated copyright and license fields.
    -- Numerous bug fixes.

    * amsrefs.dtx 2.02:
      -- Fixed bug in copying cross-referenced entries from .ltb files
         to the .bbl file.
      -- Fixed disappearing table of contents when used with AMS
         document classes.
      -- Enabled xrefs in more fields.
      -- Fixed spacing problems with \MR.  Also be more forgiving if
         the argument to \MR begins with "MR" or "MR ".
      -- Added support for showlabels.sty.
      -- Fixed some bugs in the interaction with hyperref.
      -- Removed support for the obsolete beta and jpa package options.

    * amsxport.dtx 2.01:
      -- Fixed bug in sort order of references.

2004-06-30 amsrefs.dtx 2.0 

    * Major rewrite of internals.  See changes.pdf for information on
      the user-visible changes.

Download the contents of this package in one zip archive (2.1M).

amsrefs – A -based replacement for

Amsrefs is a package for bibliographies that provides an archival data format similar to the format of database files, but adapted to make direct processing by easier. The package can be used either in conjunction with or as a replacement for .

Home pagehttps://www.ams.org/arc/resources/amsrefs-about.html
LicensesThe Project Public License 1.3
Copyright2001, 2004, 2006, 2007 American Mathematical Society
MaintainerThe American Mathematical Society
David M. Jones
Michael J. Downes (deceased)
TDS archiveamsrefs.tds.zip
Contained inTeX Live as amsrefs
MiKTeX as amsrefs
See alsoBib
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