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BibTeX field type: chapter

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In the world of scholarly writing, citations serve as the backbone for validating arguments and referencing existing works. The chapter field in BibTeX entries further refines this by allowing users to specify the exact chapter, section, or range of pages being referred to in a cited book. This field is particularly important in inbook and incollection entries, facilitating more precise referencing and aiding readers in locating the exact source material. Let’s delve deeper into understanding and effectively using the chapter field in BibTeX.

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The chapter field is utilized to numerically represent a specific chapter or section within a book that you wish to cite. In the case of inbook entries, including the chapter field is mandatory to provide detailed citation information. However, it is not applicable for the book entry type as this type is used to cite a book in its entirety, thus not requiring specific chapter details.

Formatting and Usage

To accurately represent the chapter or section you are citing, employ the chapter field as illustrated below:

author = {Author Name},
title = {Title of the Book},
chapter = {Chapter Number},
pages = {Page Range},
year = {Publication Year},
publisher = {Publisher Name},
address = {Publication Location},

In the above template, replace “Chapter Number” with the actual number of the chapter you are citing. If citing a specific section or range of pages instead, this can be indicated in the pages field.


Here’s a concrete example demonstrating how to properly use the chapter field:

author = {Hans Mueller},
title = {Theories of Modern Physics},
chapter = {2},
pages = {23-45},
year = 2014,
publisher= {Scientific Press},
address = {New York, USA},

In this example, the chapter field is used to specifically reference chapter 2 of the cited book, allowing readers to easily locate the referenced material.

Points to Remember

  1. Specificity: The chapter field helps in pinpointing the exact section of the book being referred to, promoting precise and accurate citation.
  2. Mandatory for inbook Entries: When using the inbook entry type, the inclusion of the chapter field is mandatory to provide a detailed reference.
  3. Not Applicable for book Entries: The chapter field is not used in book entries as these entries are meant to cite the entire book.


Mastering the use of the chapter field in BibTeX not only enhances the accuracy of your citations but also aids readers in efficiently locating the cited material within larger works. Remember to maintain consistency in your formatting to ensure a well-organized and professional bibliography. Always double-check your entries to prevent any errors and uphold the standards of scholarly writing.