SORTBIB(1) General Commands Manual SORTBIB(1)
sortbib - sort bibliographic database
sortbib [ -sKEYS ] database ...
Sortbib sorts files of records containing refer key-letters by user-specified keys. Records may be separated by blank lines, or by .[ and
.] delimiters, but the two styles may not be mixed together. This program reads through each database and pulls out key fields, which are
sorted separately. The sorted key fields contain the file pointer, byte offset, and length of corresponding records. These records are
delivered using disk seeks and reads, so sortbib may not be used in a pipeline to read standard input.
By default, sortbib alphabetizes by the first %A and the %D fields, which contain the senior author and date. The -s option is used to
specify new KEYS. For instance, -sATD will sort by author, title, and date, while -sA+D will sort by all authors, and date. Sort keys
past the fourth are not meaningful. No more than 16 databases may be sorted together at one time. Records longer than 4096 characters
will be truncated.
Sortbib sorts on the last word on the %A line, which is assumed to be the author's last name. A word in the final position, such as
``jr.'' or ``ed.'', will be ignored if the name beforehand ends with a comma. Authors with two-word last names or unusual constructions
can be sorted correctly by using the nroff convention `` '' in place of a blank. A %Q field is considered to be the same as %A, except
sorting begins with the first, not the last, word. Sortbib sorts on the last word of the %D line, usually the year. It also ignores lead-
ing articles (like ``A'' or ``The'') when sorting by titles in the %T or %J fields; it will ignore articles of any modern European lan-
guage. If a sort-significant field is absent from a record, sortbib places that record before other records containing that field.
refer(1), addbib(1), roffbib(1), indxbib(1), lookbib(1)
Greg Shenaut, Bill Tuthill
Records with missing author fields should probably be sorted by title.
4.2 Berkeley Distribution April 29, 1985 SORTBIB(1)