[mandelbrot set] MATH DEPT Computer News, Volume 36

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How to delete or update your Math Dept MathSciNet publications list on your WWWbio page

The publication list on your Math WWWbio page might be seriously out of date.

That publication list was created some years ago by a well intentioned person. If you haven't updated it, it has stayed the same as the day it was created. I explain here how to update it or remove it.

If you keep your vita and publication list posted on your personal web page at


then you might not want another version on your official WWWbio page. You can get rid of it by following the steps I am about to give you. (These steps will remove a file called index in your

directory, and then remove the Publications directory too.)

In a UNIX terminal window on our SUN network, type the following commands:

cd WWWbio
cd Publications
rm index
rm *

You might have to answer "y" for yes to make those removals happen. Now index is gone along with any other files that might be sitting around that directory. (The rm * was to remove ALL the files from that directory.)

Next, you will remove the Publications directory too. (If you don't do this, there will be a non-functioning link to your publication list on your WWWbio page.)

cd WWWbio
rmdir Publications

If you would rather update the list, it can be done in a fairly automated fashion. Here's how.

Go to the MathSciNet search page at


and search for your publications. (Once you find yourself listed on something that is definitely your publication, click on your name there. In my case, that gets rid of the papers on the list by other people with my name.)

Next, select Citations (BibTeX) in the Batch Download drop down menu box (near the upper lefthand corner) and click on

Retrieve First 50

Now you should should see at most 50 of your publications in BibTeX reference format. If you have more than 50 publications, scroll down to the bottom and click on

Show all results

Now all your papers should be there. Next, you need to copy all that text to a file. I selected the text starting from the top and dragged my mouse down to the bottom of the screen so it would scroll and select all the way to the bottom. When all the text was selected, I typed control-c for copy. Then I dumped the text into a file named


that I put in my ~/WWWbio/Publications directory.

Next, you will need a command on our system at


In my ~/WWWbio/Publications directory where I put papers.bib I typed

/pkgs/bibtex2html/bin/bibtex2html papers.bib

You can copy and paste that command from here to avoid typing all that. (If you update often, you can add this command to your path so you can type only bibtex2html to call it, or you can make an alias for the command.)

Now when you list that directory, you will see new files papers.html and papers_bib.html. Move the first file to a file named


and move the second file to your directory


That second file should have name


Make both files readable to user, others, and group. You'll probably need to manually fix some minor things in the


file. (For example, none of my C-infinities or d-bars in TeX came out in HTML, so I had to go in and put them in as words.)

That's all there is to it!

P.S. If you'd like to accomplish some of these things on a Windows machine, you can find free reference management sofware called JabRef on the web. Check out the Wikipedia article about it, for example. There are also web sites out there that will convert BibTeX to HTML for you. Let me know if you come up with a better way to do these things.

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