SORTBIB(1) General Commands Manual SORTBIB(1)
sortbib - sort a bibliographic database
sortbib [ -sKEYS ] database...
This command is available with the Text software installation option.
Refer to for information on how to install optional software.
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
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 `\0' 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 leading articles (like `A'
or `The') when sorting by titles in the %T or %J fields; it will ignore
articles of any modern European language. If a sort-significant field
is absent from a record, sortbib places that record before other
records containing that field.
addbib(1), indxbib(1), lookbib(1), refer(1), roffbib(1)
Records with missing author fields should probably be sorted by title.
21 December 1987 SORTBIB(1)