Discussion:
BibTeX vs. biblatex
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Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
2018-10-20 11:33:15 UTC
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I've been using BibTeX for a long time and know nothing about biblatex.

Is it an alternative?

Do scientific journals which formerly supported BibTeX now support both?

I am happy with BibTeX, though creating a new .bst file is not something
I want to do. Still, if I have need for one which is not available
already (doubtful), I can probably find someone to make me one in much
less time than I could get used to biblatex.
Peter Flynn
2018-10-20 14:36:39 UTC
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Post by Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
I've been using BibTeX for a long time and know nothing about
biblatex.
Is it an alternative?
Yes.
Post by Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
Do scientific journals which formerly supported BibTeX now support both?
I haven't seen anyone compare them yet. Knowing the journal business's
extreme conservatism, I somehow doubt it. Someone in each field would
need to write the biblatex format for them (if they're using their own
format rather than one of the popularly-available ones). And then
there's the task of keeping the two systems in synch.

Bearing in mind the enormous number of people in the scientific
community still using plain ol' LaTeX (creating a .dvi file intead of
using pdflatex, let alone XeLaTeX), I think it will be a long time
before they will willingly migrate to XeLaTeX and biblatex.
Post by Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
I am happy with BibTeX, though creating a new .bst file is not
something I want to do.
No-one wants to do that, which is one of the big advantages of biblatex.

1. No more .bst code: any mods can be done with LaTeX commands.
2. Use of biber (UTF-8 compliance) instead of bibtex.
3. Extra fields, formats, and options available.
4. Pretty much all new development is going into biblatex.
5. So that's where the up-to-date formats will be.
Post by Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
Still, if I have need for one which is not available already
(doubtful), I can probably find someone to make me one in much less
time than I could get used to biblatex.
There's very little to get used to if your requirements fit the existing
packages. At the simplest:

=====================================================
\usepackage[backend=biber,style=authoryear]{biblatex}
\addbibresource{myrefs.bib}
...
\textcite{abc} does Foobar (1999)
\parencite{abc} does (Foobar, 1999)
\footcite{abc} does¹
\citeyear{abc} does 1999
\citeauthor{abc} does Foobar
...
\printbibliography
———————
¹ Foobar, 1999
=====================================================

I have never tried biblatex with bibtex as the backend because my text
is all UTF-8 (and I use XeLaTeX). Depending on circumstances, you may
need the babel and csquotes packages.

There seem to be about 80 style packages mentioning biblatex at the
moment: I just extracted this from
https://ctan.org/search/index?phrase=biblatex

/pkg/biblatex-bwl BibLaTeX citations for FU Berlin
/pkg/biblatex-lni LNI style for BibLaTeX
/pkg/biblatex-bookinother Manage book edited in other entry type
/pkg/biblatex-cheatsheet BibLaTeX/Biber ‘cheat sheet’
/pkg/biblatex-nottsclassic Citation style for the University of Nottingham
/pkg/biblatex-shortfields Use short forms of fields with BibLaTeX
/pkg/biblatex-enc BibLaTeX style for the École nationale des chartes (Paris)
/pkg/biblatex-claves A tool to manage claves of old litterature with
BibLaTeX
/pkg/biblatex-subseries Manages subseries with BibLaTeX
/pkg/biblatex-iso690 BibLaTeX style for ISO 690 standard
/pkg/biblatex-morenames New names for standard BibLaTeX entry type
/pkg/biblatex-realauthor Indicate the real author of a work
/pkg/biblatex-jura BibLaTeX stylefiles for German legal literature
/pkg/biblatex-mla MLA style files for BibLaTeX
/pkg/biblatex-musuos A BibLaTeX style for citations in musuos.cls
/pkg/biblatex-ijsra BibLaTeX style for the International Journal of
Student Research in Archaeology
/pkg/biblatex-nejm BibLaTeX style for the New England Journal of
Medicine (NEJM)
/pkg/biblatex-juradiss BibLaTeX stylefiles for German law thesis
/pkg/biblatex-fiwi BibLaTeX styles for use in German humanities
/pkg/biblatex-historian A BibLaTeX style
/pkg/biblatex-bookinarticle Manage book edited in article
/pkg/biblatex-dw Humanities styles for BibLaTeX
/pkg/biblatex-chicago Chicago style files for BibLaTeX
/pkg/biblatex-trad “Traditional” BibTeX styles with BibLaTeX
/pkg/biblatex-gost BibLaTeX support for GOST standard bibliographies
/pkg/biblatex-oxref BibLaTeX styles inspired by the Oxford Guide to Style
/pkg/biblatex-philosophy Styles for using BibLaTeX for work in philosophy
/pkg/biblatex-apa BibLaTeX citation and reference style for APA
/pkg/biblatex-abnt BibLaTeX style for Brazil's ABNT rules
/pkg/biblatex-sbl Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) style files for
BibLaTeX
/pkg/biblatex-socialscienceshuberlin BibLaTeX-style for the social
sciences at HU Berlin
/pkg/biblatex-archaeology A collection of BibLaTeX styles for German
prehistory
/pkg/biblatex-caspervector A simple citation style for Chinese users
/pkg/biblatex-ieee IEEE style files for BibLaTeX
/pkg/biblatex-publist BibLaTeX bibliography support for publication lists
/pkg/biblatex-anonymous A tool to manage anonymous work with BibLaTeX
/pkg/biblatex-ext Extended BibLaTeX standard styles
/pkg/biblatex-chem A set of BibLaTeX implementations of
chemistry-related bibliography styles
/pkg/biblatex-phys A BibLaTeX implementation of the AIP and APS
bibliography style
/pkg/biblatex-bath Harvard referencing style as recommended by the
University of Bath Library
/pkg/biblatex-science BibLaTeX implementation of the Science
bibliography style
/pkg/biblatex-nature BibLaTeX support for Nature
/pkg/translation-biblatex-de German translation of the User Guide of
BibLaTeX
/pkg/biblatex-opcit-booktitle Use op. cit. for the booktitle of a subentry
/pkg/biblatex-multiple-dm Load multiple datamodels in BibLaTeX
/pkg/biblatex-luh-ipw BibLaTeX styles for social sciences
/pkg/biblatex-source-division References by “division” in classical sources
/pkg/biblatex-swiss-legal Bibliography and citation styles following
Swiss legal practice
/pkg/biblatex-authoryear-icomp-tt Author-year style with compact
multiple-reference-citations and ibidem mechanism for BibLaTeX
/pkg/biblatex-true-citepages-omit Correction of some limitation of the
citepages=omit option of BibLaTeX styles
/pkg/biblatex-arthistory-bonn BibLaTeX citation style covers the
citation and bibliography guidelines for art historians
/pkg/biblatex-gb7714-2015 A BibLaTeX implementation of the GBT7714-2015
bibliography style for Chinese users
/pkg/biblatex-manuscripts-philology Manage classical manuscripts with
BibLaTeX
/pkg/citeall Cite all entries of a bbl created with BibLaTeX
/pkg/ecobiblatex Global Ecology and Biogeography BibLaTeX styles for the
Biber backend
/pkg/mynsfc XeLaTeX template for writing the main body of NSFC proposals
/pkg/bibtex Process bibliographies for LaTeX, etc
/pkg/oscola BibLaTeX style for the Oxford Standard for the Citation of
Legal Authorities
/pkg/bibtool A tool for manipulating BibTeX files
/pkg/bibfilex A free bibliographic manager for BibLaTeX
/pkg/synapsen Reference management tool for BibTeX
/pkg/droit-fr Document class and bibliographic style for French law
/pkg/geschichtsfrkl BibLaTeX style for historians
/pkg/gcite Citations in a reader-friendly style
/pkg/historische-zeitschrift BibLaTeX style for the journal 'Historische
Zeitschrift'
/pkg/koma-moderncvclassic Makes the style and command of moderncv (style
classic) available for koma-classes and thus compatible with BibLaTeX
/pkg/musuos Typeset papers for the department of music, Osnabrück
/pkg/notes2bib Integrating notes into the bibliography
/pkg/usebib A simple bibliography processor
/pkg/uni-wtal-ger Citation style for literary studies at the University
of Wuppertal
/pkg/uni-wtal-lin Citation style for linguistic studies at the
University of Wuppertal
/pkg/biber A BibTeX replacement for users of BibLaTeX
/pkg/gzt Bundle of classes for “La Gazette des Mathématiciens”
/pkg/nwejm Support for the journal “North-Western European Journal of
Mathematics”
/pkg/yathesis A LaTeX class for writing a thesis following French rules
/pkg/ctanbib Export CTAN entries to bib format
/pkg/archaeologie A citation-style which covers rules of the German
Archaeological Institute
/pkg/jslectureplanner Creation and management of university course material

///Peter
Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
2018-10-20 15:32:50 UTC
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Post by Peter Flynn
Post by Phillip Helbig (undress to reply)
Do scientific journals which formerly supported BibTeX now support both?
I haven't seen anyone compare them yet. Knowing the journal business's
extreme conservatism, I somehow doubt it. Someone in each field would
need to write the biblatex format for them (if they're using their own
format rather than one of the popularly-available ones). And then
there's the task of keeping the two systems in synch.
Bearing in mind the enormous number of people in the scientific
community still using plain ol' LaTeX (creating a .dvi file intead of
using pdflatex, let alone XeLaTeX), I think it will be a long time
before they will willingly migrate to XeLaTeX and biblatex.
OK. Since I'm thinking mainly about journals, I'm probably stuck with
BibTeX for a while. Not sure that that's a bad thing. I'm also using
LaTeX with TeX 3.14159 on VMS and haven't had any compatibility
problems. :-)

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