BibTeX bibliographies for proof engineering-related papers
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surveys.bib added some SE surveys for comparison Jul 19, 2017


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A collection of proof engineering BibTeX bibliography files.

To obtain the bibliographies, run:

git clone

This is a set of BibTeX bibliographies. You can re-use them rather than having to re-type or download. Re-typing or downloading bibliography entries is a notorious source of errors. For example, even the ACM Digital Library often has incorrect capitalization, or gives a SIGPLAN Notices reference when the conference proceedings would be more appropriate.

Here are some other features:

  • Short and long versions of names, locations, and dates for conferences, journals, etc. The short (abbreviated) version is convenient if your paper is nearing its page limit. Changing between the two versions only requires a tiny change to your LaTeX file (see below), and no changes to any bib files.
  • Consistent naming convention for citation keys: last name of first author, followed by last initial of each other author, followed by year. This makes the citation more recognizable in your LaTeX source, and avoids duplicates.
  • Searchable via the bibfind tool. For instance, bibfind keyword1 keyword2 displays all the bibliographies with all the keywords, either in the entries in the comments. (This is why there are no blank lines in the comments that abut some bib entries: the search tool considers each blank line to start a new entry. We may lift that restriction in the future.)

You can obtain the bibliographies by running the command git clone but you don't need to -- see below for how to set your build system to automatically obtain and/or update a copy.


To choose the abbreviated (short) or unabbreviated (long) version of the bibliography strings, use one of these commands in your LaTeX file:


When using the bibliographies, add near the top of your LaTeX document:


This defines the \url command used in the bibliographies. To make URLs use a slightly narrower font (the regular tt font is very wide), use:


or, to use a smaller font, use:



Changes, corrections, and additions are welcome.

When adding new bibliography entries, please create an entry in crossrefs.bib for conferences, and create bibliography strings in bibstring-master for journal/institution names and abbreviations.

For consistency, please start each new bibliography entry with "@" in the first column, and end the entry with "}" on its own line.

SETUP -- if you use a Makefile to process your paper

  1. Add "bib" as a dependency for the rule that calls bibtex, if any; for example, make "bib" a dependency for the myfile.bbl target, if any.
  2. Add "bib-update" as a dependency of your default target (such as "all").
  3. Add the following rules to your Makefile.
export BIBINPUTS ?= .:bib
ifdef PEBIB
	    ln -s ${PEBIB} $@
	    git clone $@
.PHONY: bib-update
bib-update: bib
# Even if this command fails, it does not terminate the make job.
# However, to skip it, invoke make as:  make NOGIT=1 ...
ifndef NOGIT
	    -(cd bib && git pull && make)

SETUP -- non-Makefile version

If you have previously cloned proofengineering-bib and set the PEBIB environment variable, there is nothing to do. Otherwise, run this command:

cd; git clone bib

Then, set the PEBIB environment variable to $HOME/bib and add the "bib" directory to your BIBINPUTS environment variable.

bash syntax:

export PEBIB=$HOME/bib
export BIBINPUTS=.:${PEBIB}:..:

SETUP -- miscellaneous details

For the bibfind command, see . The bibfind command uses the bibroot file in the proofengineering-bib directory.

If you wish to have only a single copy of the bibliographies on your computer, you can clone the repository just once and set the PEBIB environment variable. Then your Makefile will create (or you can make by hand) a symbolic link from any directories where you are writing a paper.

Note for miktex users: The bibtex that is supplied with miktex (the popular Windows implementation) does not support the BIBINPUTS variable. You need to modify the miktex configuration. In file ...\miktex\config\miktex.ini, edit this entry:

Input Dirs=searchpath
(search path for BibTeX input files -- both databases and style files).

INVOKING BIBTEX: crossref and -min-crossrefs=9999

proofengineering-bib's .bib files use @crossref. To avoid outut like

[1] Brun et al.  Paper title.  In [2].
[2] Proceedings of ESEC/FSE 2011.  Szeged, Hungary, Sep. 7--9, 2011.

you need to pass the -min-crossrefs=9999 command-line option to BibTeX; for example:

bibtex -min-crossrefs=9999 mypaper


Uses the Creative Commons Attribution ("CC-BY") license. See file LICENSE.