Standard and Extended Refer Codes

The refer format is limited to single-character field descriptors. This means that some of the field descriptors are non-mnemonic, and that realistically, we are limited to 26 field names, even though refer programs are case-sensitive. There are several fields that serve no general bibliographic purpose, but are used for computational purposes or for obscure information: %F %G %H %M, and %U is not mentioned in the documentation for addbib, a program for `interactive' addition of entries. Extended bibliographic entries with single-character field-names require unused or little-used fields to represent extended information. Re-allocating fields is at best controversial and still non-mnemonic, and at worst may cause problems for some users of existing refer tools. In the worst case, it is always possible to rename problematic fields to make programs ignore them.

The representation of formatting is another problem for the HCI Bibliography. The refer manual suggests using troff codes, but this would create search problems for all users and display problems for non-troff users. Formatting information such as filling, bold, italic, underline, subscript, superscript, and paragraph indentation are all problems that should be addressed, but there are no conventions. Some mnemonics for special characters and formatting are enclosed in curly braces.

The following table describes the standard codes used by the refer system and extensions used in the HCI Bibliography. The description of the refer code is based on UNIX documentation, while the comments discuss current and future conventions for the HCI Bibliography. If a comment begins with an equal sign, then it means that the HCI Bibliography is redefining the meaning of that field. If a comment begins with a plus sign, then it means that the HCI Bibliography is augmenting the meaning of that field.

 %A   Author's name                           pointer to author record
 %B   Book containing article referenced      %T of edited book, proceedings
 %C   City (place of publication)             +place of presentation
 %D   Date of publication
 %E   Editor of book containing article       +multiple %E fields allowed
 %F   Footnote number or label (computed)     USELESS but must be kept clear
 %G   Government order number                 =ISBN, ISSN or other number
 %H   Header commentary, printed before ref.  USELESS?
 %I   Issuer (publisher)                      pointer to pub. record, imply %C
 %J   Journal containing article              pointer to journal record
 %K   Keywords to help search for references  init. upper-case, comma separated
 %L   Label field used by -k option of refer  should be kept clear
 %M   Bell Labs Memorandum (undefined)        mnemonic id / modification info.
 %N   Number of issue within volume           +chapt/sect/rept #, # ents.
 %O   Other commentary, printed after ref.    the field of last resort
 %P   Page number(s)                          +book/conf/rept # pages
 %Q   Corporate, Foreign Author               unreversed author name
 %R   Report, paper, thesis (unpublished)     %T of tech. report, thesis
 %S   Series title                            +book/jour/conf sect. title
 %T   Title of article or book                mixed case title format
 %U   User email address                 
 %V   Volume number                           used with with %N
 %W   undefined by refer                      reserved for future use
 %X   Abstract                                filled text, matching line-by-line
 %Y   Table of Contents                       ignored by refer
 %Z   References                              ignored by refer
 %$   Purchase Price                          member/other cost
 %*   Copyright Notice                        accompanies all fields
 %^   Contained Parts or Containing Doc       currently unused

An Example Record

The following bibliographic record of a journal article shows the names of fields and the conventions for line continuation. All the fields are standard, except for the %Y (table of contents) field.
 %T An Eye for an Eye for an Arm and a Leg:
 Applied Dysfunctional Measurement
 %A Gary Perlman
 %D 1981
 %J Journal of Irreproducible Results
 %V 27
 %N 4
 %P 29-30
 %O Also in The Best of the Journal of Irreproducible Results,
 G. H. Scherr (ed.)
 %X An arm and a leg are not worth two eyes; they are worth less.