# [OS X TeX] plea for help with TeX bibliographic databases: the humanities, and unicode

Mohinish shukla at sissa.it
Wed Apr 13 05:36:14 EDT 2005

I am really not an expert, but recently something like this came up wrt
Bookends:

One possibility with Bookends is as follows:

Bookends allows for importing from utf-8 and storing in utf-8. Then, if
you export with the BiBTeX filters turned on, it tries to TeX some
things (like \textit{text} replacing italicized text), and leaves the
rest alone. Now this .bib file looks funny, but if you use it, having
\usepackage{ucs}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}

then it SHOULD print the bibliography with all the characters correctly
included.

I tried it with apacite; I suppose natbib should work as well..

hth
Mohinish

On 13 Apr 2005, at 4:44 AM, Roger Hart wrote:

> After reading all of the very helpful and detailed responses so
> generously offered in the thread,
>
> Re: [OS X TeX] Beginner: bibliography strategy?
>
> I decided that I should revisit the problem, which I had two months
> ago given up on in complete frustration, of working with bibliographic
> databases in LaTeX, for publications in the humanities (following the
> Chicago Manual of Style), with unicode.
>
> First I should note that I am in no way an expert in computers,
> programming, LaTeX, or TeX, but I have spent a considerable amount of
> time trying to resolve these issues to get something working.
>
> In general, most of the tools I work with now handle unicode fairly
> well -- both the extended European characters (probably of most
> interest to others on this list) and CJK (Chinese, Japanese and
> Korean):
>
> TeXShop works perfectly, as far as I can tell, including complex regex
> expressions, and is a really excellent program,
>
> most LaTeX packages work without incident,
>
> other utilities like Terminal and Perl work fine, and finally,
>
> XeTeX of course is an extremely exciting development.
>
> But bibliographic databases and utilities seem to me to still have
> considerable limitations. My sense is that they probably work well for
> the sciences and medicine in English, but not as well for the
> humanities, which have more complex (or admittedly, arcane, if you
> prefer) citations and bibliographies, and almost always include
> several languages.
>
> EndNote, as some have noted, crashes often, more than even beta
> software should, yet costs \$100 per upgrade. While EndNote 8 *is* a
> significant upgrade -- it now handles unicode -- it does not import
> CJK properly so you have to type it in by hand. Import and export
> filters, and connection files are very good. But find/replace
> capabilities are very poor: for example, it is impossible to generate
> LaTeX keys from the author and year fields to be placed in the label
> field (that is, except by hand, one-by-one). For reasons I don't
> understand, exporting all the records as text does not work reliably,
> making it impossible to export the text, clean it up through perl
> scripts, and import it again. But EndNote is the only program that
> comes close to having the capabilities to handle humanities citations.
>
> BibTex with LaTeX packages, such as natbib, etc., don't seem to me to
> have even the number of fields needed to be potentially capable of
> formatting a bibliography for the humanities.
>
> BibDesk still seems to me not to handle unicode well. I turned off
> character conversions, set open and save to UTF-8, but I can't even
> get it to properly import European characters in a file, or by pasting
> an entire record. Only cutting and pasting field by field, or typing
> into each field, seems to work. BibDesk otherwise looks very
> promising, with excellent integration with TeXShop, so I hope this
> will be fixed soon (assuming I'm not missing something here).
>
> seems very odd, for example not including OCLC WorldCat, the most
> complete database for research university libraries.
>
> So after having spent a couple more days looking in to all of this, I
> have again concluded that the most efficient strategy for formatting a
> humanities bibliography is to import from WorldCat into EndNote,
> export a formatted \bibitem ... entry, paste into my bibliography, and
> clean it up by hand.
>
> This is not the approach I would prefer to take, and this is really
> another plea for help: I would, of course, be extremely grateful for
> any suggestions, or corrections to these very preliminary impressions.
>
> Best,
>
> Roger
>
>
> ********************************
>
> Roger Hart
> Assistant Professor, Departments of History and Asian Studies
> University of Texas at Austin
>
> office: Room 405, Garrison Hall
> office phone: 512-475-7258
> department fax: 512-475-7222
> email: rhart at mail.utexas.edu
> http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~rhart
>
> *********************************
>
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