Monday, July 30, 2007

Be kind to nerds: Make your bibtex entry available

A break from babies and children's books for a small nerd plea. When you all become rich and famous (well, at least famous) by publishing a technical book that will be cited by untold millions of computer scientists take a moment before the fame goes to your head and perform this small act of kindness. On your website, or your books website, put the BibTeX entry for your book in an easily spotted location. This will only save every computer scientist two minutes of work and a few choice swear words, but will result in hundreds of scientist hours from being wasted doing what has been done at least a thousand times before.

For my less than nerdy readers, BibTeX is a program for generating bibliographies for publications written using the LaTeX typesetting system. LaTeX is the method of choice for producing technical documents in computer science and several other fields.

This afternoon I'm working on my proposal and wanted to cite two of the most fundamental texts in computer science. After Googling and swearing for a couple of minutes I found an entry for Knuth on a BibTeX tutorial, and nothing for the second text. So I've made the entries myself instead of cutting and pasting as I had hoped. And now, after wasting much more time blogging than I wasted generating the entries, I present for the hordes of hurried computer scientists the BibTeX entries for Knuth volume 1 and Cormen, Leiserson, Rivest, and Stein.

author = {Donald E. Knuth},
title = {Fundamental Algorithms},
volume = {1},
series = {The Art of Computer Programming},
publisher = {Addison-Wesley},
edition = {3rd},
address = {Reading, Massachusetts},
year = {1997}

author = "T.~H. Cormen and C.~E. Leiserson and R.~L. Rivest and C.~Stein",
edition = "2nd",
publisher = "MIT Press and McGraw-Hill Book Company",
title = "Introduction to Algorithms",
year = "2001"

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Blogger Bubba's Sis said...

I thought LaTeX was what they made balloons and rubber gloves out of...

Don't know what all that means, but I do love my nerds. :-)

6:11 PM  
Blogger Bubba said...

Why can't you just write a bib. entry yourself with your computer with only the 0 and 1 on the keyboard?

8:13 PM  
Blogger Bubba's Mom said...

Tim Smith, what in the heck are you talking about??? What's this about bibs? Only babies wear bibs Tim Smith!

7:12 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Thank you for this public service to all CS nerds ;)

1:01 AM  

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