refer (software)

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refer is a program for managing bibliographic references, and citing them in troff documents. It is implemented as a troff preprocessor.

refer was written by Mike E. Lesk at Bell Laboratories [1] in or before 1978, and is now available as part of most Unix-like operating systems. A free reimplementation exists as part of the groff package.

refer works with a reference file, a text file where the author lists works to which she might want to refer. One such reference (to an article in a journal in this case) might look like:

%A Brian W. Kernighan
%A Lorinda L. Cherry
%T A System for Typesetting Mathematics
%J J. Comm. ACM
%V 18
%N 3
%D March 1978
%P 151-157
%K eqn

The author then can refer to it in her troff document by listing keywords which uniquely match this reference:

.[
kernighan cherry eqn
.]

refer sees little use today, primarily because troff itself is not used much for longer technical writing that might need software support for reference and citation management.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Michael Lesk. Some applications of inverted indexes on the Unix system. In UNIX Programmer's manual: Supplementary Documents, volume 2. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, seventh edition, 1982. Also available online [1]

See also[edit]

Comparison of reference management software

External links[edit]