BibTeX entry type: book

Example of a BibTeX book entry

    @book{hawking1988,
      title     = "A Brief History of Time: From the {B}ig {B}ang to Black Holes",
      author    = "Hawking, Stephen",
      year      = 1988,
      publisher = "Bantam",
      address   = "London"
    }

When to use the entry type book?

The book entry type is used to properly reference a book in BibTeX. You can use @book for any complete published work with a clearly defined publisher. In most cases, it is enough to provide the author, title, year, publisher, and address fields for BibTeX to generate a correct citation.

Complete list of fields for a BibTeX article entry

Below we provide a list of required and optional fields for the book type. There are also some non-standard fields that are only supported by some citation styles.

Field nameTypeDescription
authorRequiredThe person or persons who wrote the book.
editorRequiredThe person or persons who edited the book.
titleRequiredThe name of the book.
publisherRequiredThe publisher of the book.
yearRequiredThe year the book was published.
volumeOptionalThe volume of the work in the series.
numberOptionalThe number of the volume within the series.
pagesOptionalThe page number or page range the article is found on.
monthOptionalThe month the article was published.
noteOptionalAny miscellaneous information that does not qualify for another field.
doiNon-standardThe digital object identifier - a unique way in which the book is found.
issnNon-standardFor an article, the international standard serial number is a unique identifier determined by the publisher of the article.
isbnNon-standardThe international standard book number - a unique identifier determined by the International ISBN Agency.

How to cite a chapter of a book?

Sometimes only a section of a book, such as a chapter, is used. If only a part of a book is used then a proper reference is typically accomplished using the inbook entry type. This is considered the recommended method.

How to cite an electronic book (e-book)?

In this technologically evolving world we live in today, electronic versions of books (or e-books) are becoming ever the more commonplace. To cite a book you have read online, it is possible to include the url within the note’s field. In order for this to work, however, it is necessary to include the \usepackage{url} command within the your LaTeX file. See example:

@book{Hawking1988,
  title     = "A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes",
  author    = "Hawking, Stephen",
  year      = 1988,
  publisher = "Bantam",
  note      = {\url{http://example.com/history_of_time.pdf}(visited 2016-01-01)}
}

The more commonplace method is to use the non-standard field “url”. It’s note supported by all BibTeX styles, but for those that do it is the best solution. To verify if a style supports the “url” field, click here.

@book{Hawking1988,
  title     = "A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes",
  author    = "Hawking, Stephen",
  year      = 1988,
  publisher = "Bantam",
  url       = "http://example.com/history_of_time.pdf"
}