[Tex/LaTex] How to cite conference proceedings


This might be a little far fetched for this site, if it's inappropriate, close it, but please direct me to where I could ask this question.

My bibliography is growing quite huge and the time has come for me to standardize it. Most of the papers in it are from conference proceedings and I was wondering what is the best way to cite them?

For example, let's look at a conference called 'ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology', which when has to be abbreviated becomes UIST. I have a paper from the 9th instance of this conference, in the conference field of my bibtex, what should I write?

Proceedings of the 9th annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology ?

  • Should I write Proceedings as Proc.?
  • Should I abbreviate the conference
    name? (Proceedings of the 9th annual
    ACM Symposium on UIST)
  • Should I chop
    the Proceedings of the 9th annual?
    (ACM Symposium on User Interface
    Software and Technology)
  • How bout this? ACM UIST'96

Is it just a question of aesthetics?

Edit: Fixed the UIST'09 to become the proper year number, UIST'96.

Best Answer

I have done the following (ok, this is just a simplified version of it...):

  • I have a "database" that contains the details of the conferences in a machine-readable form. It contains information like the abbreviation, the full name of the conference, an almost-full name (with some irrelevant things like "Annual International" removed), location, month, year, publisher of the proceedings, and details such as LNCS volume number if the book was published in Springer's LNCS series.

  • Then I have a Python script that reads the database and outputs several Bibtex files: long.bib, medium.bib, short.bib. These contain Bibtex entries for conference proceedings, with different amounts of details. For example, long.bib might contain details like

      title = {Proc.\ 23rd International Symposium on Distributed Computing
          (DISC, Elche, Spain, September 2009)},
      booktitle = {Proc.\ 23rd International Symposium on Distributed Computing
          (DISC, Elche, Spain, September 2009)},
      volume = 5805,
      series = {Lecture Notes in Computer Science},
      publisher = {Springer},
      address = {Berlin, Germany},
      year = {2009}

    while short.bib might contain just

      title = {Proc.\ 23rd Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC 2009)},
      booktitle = {Proc.\ 23rd Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC 2009)},
      volume = 5805,
      series = {LNCS},
      publisher = {Springer},
      year = {2009}

    Once again, all this is machine-generated.

  • In my Bibtex database (articles.bib) I have crossreferences to conference proceedings. All details come from long.bib/medium.bib/short.bib.

      author = {...},
      title = {...},
      pages = {...},
      crossref = {proc-disc-2009},
      doi = {...},
  • I can easily change the amount of detail by choosing one of the following in any paper that I am writing:


    And if I ever wanted to switch from "Proc. ..." to "Proceedings of ...", I only need to change it in one place.

  • Of course I'll have to run bibtex -min-crossrefs=999 so that I don't have any crossreferences in the Bibtex output...

Works fine until you have to explain all this to your coauthors. :)

By the way, you can use bib2bib from the bibtex2html package to "flatten" the bibliography. Then you will have just one Bibtex file, less confusion with coauthors, no crossreferences, and no need to specify -min-crossrefs. I have a script that does something along these lines:

for a in short medium long; do
    bib2bib \
        -oc /dev/null \
        --remove abstract \
        --remove bibitemlabel \
        --remove comment \
        --remove file \
        --remove keywords \
        --remove owner \
        --remove review \
        --remove timestamp \
        --no-comment \
        --expand \
        --expand-xrefs \
        -s '$key' \
        -c 'not ($type = "proceedings" and $key : "^proc-")' \
        "articles.bib" "$a.bib" |
    perl -p0 -e '
        s/\n  address = \{\},//g;
    ' > "flat/$a.bib"
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