Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Using accented characters with BibTeX

When writing scientific articles, I often cite authors with accented characters in their names, for example

Pörtzgen, N., Gisolf, D., & Blacquière, G. (2007).
Inverse wave field extrapolation: A different NDI approach to imaging defects.
IEEE Trans. Ultrason., Ferroelectr., Freq. Control , 54 (1), 118–127.

Such accented characters often creates problems when BibTeX is used. The reason for this is that BibTeX uses 8-bit encoding for the .bib file, as explained in this post at StackOverflow, and also in the LyX wiki.

The simple solution to this problem is to write accented characters in the BibTeX file using special symbols, as explained on the BibTeX webpage. For example, ö is written \"{o} and è is written \`{e}. With these special symbols, the BibTeX source code for the citation above is

  author = {Niels P\"{o}rtzgen and Dries Gisolf and Gerrit Blacqui\`{e}re},
  title = {Inverse Wave Field Extrapolation: A Different {NDI} Approach to Imaging Defects},
  journal = {IEEE Trans. Ultrason., Ferroelectr., Freq. Control},
  year = {2007},
  volume = {54},
  pages = {118-127},
  number = {1},
  month = {January}


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