How to insert different multiple bibliographies?


I want to insert multiple bibliography tables in the same document.

My document is made of several parts (I’m using Styles->Headings for that) and I need different bibliography tables and numeration for each one (I need to “reset” the bibliography numeration after I finish each part, so the table of the next part doesn’t include the bibliography entries from the previous part).

I don’t know if this is possible. I tried using Insert->Section so the different parts of my documents act like different subdocuments, but bibliography tools seem to ignore sections and act for the whole document.

Sorry if my explanation wasn’t clear enough. Thanks in advance.

Your problem is two-fold here.

A single bibliography database

Although you can change the built-on DB for anyone you like, Writer references a single DB in any document. Consequently, all entries go into this single DB. And entries are "unified", i.e. they all have the same "value". You can't tag them to tell Writer you want to make a distinction between the document subjects/topics.

A simplistic extraction algorithm

The bibliography may be much richer than what you strictly need for the present document (the BD may be shared between several documents). When you build the table, the document is scanned for bibliography "citations" and marks the corresponding records in the DB. These records are extracted to be processed for the table.

As I mentioned above, you can’t tag entries and you can’t either add a filter in the parameters for Insert>TOC & Index>TOC, Index or Bibliography. All entries are collected in the table.

Possible workaround (not experimented)

Since the Bibliography feature extend over a document, you could try to split your book as several files provided your overall structure allows it. My understanding of your description is as follows:
  • Cover page and introductory material (dedication, thanks, legalese, …
  • TOC
  • Chapters made of:
    • Text
    • Chapter Bibliography
  • Conclusion
  • Index

If your structure matches this model, you can organise your book as a master document containing everything except chapters and one sub-document per chapter. The subdocument will contain its own bibliography table. Since the algorithm is local to a file, the table will contain only entries found in this one.

Of course, to guarantee formatting consistency, I highly recommend to base all files on the same template and to proscribe absolutely any direct formatting.

My suggestion assumes that your partial bibliography tables are chapter-based. Should they be topics-based (e.g. all related to chemistry, then all for medicine, …), there is unfortunately no solution because of the already mentioned reasons.

Thank you so much ajlittoz.

Your description of the problems helped me to understand so much better how the bibliography tool works in Writer.

The solution provided is somewhat similar to what I was thinking and I think it can do the trick (haven’t tested yet); might be a bit tedious since there are a lot of chapters and they are not very extensive, but this is more likely to be my fault for trying some unorthodox structure for my document.

Again, it was very helpful. Thanks.

Reading your remark about the “size” of your chapters, there might be another workaround, though less optimal bibliography-wise, which avoids splitting the document in numerous sub-documents.

Instead of relying on the bibliography feature, you could send your references into end notes. Make your chapters sections and configure endnotes to be inserted at end of section.

Unfortunately, endnotes appear in document order and are not sorted alphabetically. I think this is not a big inconvenience since you say your chapters are rather short, implying the number of bibliography entries is rather low. The upside is you can format references more freely than what is provided by the bibliography feature but this is a fully manual process.

You may have multiple references to the same reference. You won’t enter twice the same note because they are not merged. Instead, on second and subsequent use of the same citation, insert a cross-reference. When you open the dialog, Endnotes are listed under Type and you select the relevant one in Selection.

The endnote number (in the endnotes section) can be automatically decorated with separators, e.g. [ and ]. See Tools>Footnotes & Endnotes. But this “decoration” is not added in the text around the anchor. You must enter it yourself.

I think what I was trying to do was, essentially, end notes, but I wanted to take advantage of the format automatization that bibliography entries provide. But probably endnotes makes more sense, while I can do a traditional bibliography and display the table at the end of the document.

I’m still learning to use Writer and these answers have been definitely helpful. Thanks again.

Then think about your real intent and what you what to convey to your reader.

You have the choice between footnotes and endnotes. Footnotes are located on the same page as the anchor and can be read without flipping pages, allowing immediate return to the main discourse. Endnotes are collected together in a separate group of pages. I think this fits better when notes have some commonality and may be looked up rather globally because they are more or less related to each other. They may also collectively be considered as an indexed sub-document.

Endnotes are technically more difficult to set and format.

I saw academic papers where the number of notes was such (several per phrases) that it imposed endnotes otherwise the space left for the discourse would have been ridiculously small.