[tex-live] .bib-files

Nelson H. F. Beebe beebe@math.utah.edu
Fri, 14 Dec 2001 07:57:11 -0700 (MST)

On Fri, Dec 14, 2001 at 09:31:29AM +0100, Klaus Jantzen wrote:
> a) Into what directory should I put my .bib-files? I tried the
> TEXINPUTS-structure and /usr/TeX/texmf-var but nothing seems to work.

Sebastian Rahtz responded:

>> I would recommend $TEXMFLOCAL/bibtex/bib/local

BibTeX uses two environment variables: BIBINPUTS for .bib files, and
BSTINPUTS for .bst files.  If BIBINPUTS is not defined, BibTeX will
search the current directory, then a system directory.  Ditto for

The question of where to put your .bib files comes down to this: If
the .bib files are shared by multiple projects or multiple users, then
it makes sense to have them in a common place, perhaps in your
$TEXMFLOCAL tree as Sebastian suggested.  

However, in many cases, .bib files are unique to one specific
(La)TeX/Scribe/troff document.  In that case, it makes more sense to
keep them in the same directory as that document, since that is where
BibTeX will look first.

BibTeX files are obvious candidates for information sharing; that is
why there is a world-wide computer science bibliography archive at


the TUG archive at


and the BibNet archive at


At my site, we have also collected bibliographic material from our
departmental colleagues, and prepared a common archive that is updated
nightly (by a cron job that does nothing until the original .bib files
have been changed), and made available in bibsearch like this:

	% bibsearch  mathutah
	Welcome to the BibTeX bibliography database search facility
	Version 2.00 13-Feb-2001

	Bibliography database:  mathutah

	Last database update:  Sat Oct 20 19:00:02 MDT 2001
	Bibliography entries:      203622
	Bibliography lines:       3486611
	Bibliography bytes:     127956440

bibsearch is a simple front end for the mg (managing gigabytes)
database search engine; both are available at:


- Nelson H. F. Beebe                    Tel: +1 801 581 5254                  -
- Center for Scientific Computing       FAX: +1 801 585 1640, +1 801 581 4148 -
- University of Utah                    Internet e-mail: beebe@math.utah.edu  -
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