Numbered reverse-chronological CV listings with BibTeX

Prompted by a yahapj-related question from Máté Ádámkovics, I spent a little bit of time this evening figuring out how to get a “fancy” publication listing from BibTeX, where the papers are listed like:

[3] Some guy and me, 2013
[2] Me and someone else, 2010
[1] My first paper, 10,000 BC

I found a fragile way to make it work:

  1. Make a copy of your preferred BibTeX style file and modify it to use the code in this StackExchange answer to reverse-sort your bibliography by year and month. (If you only know the base name of your style, you can find it with the command kpsewhich basename.bst)

  2. If necessary, also modify the style file to only output \bibitem{key} text rather than \bibitem[abbrev]{key} text, since our hack can’t handle the latter.

  3. Add the scary preamble from this StackExchange answer to your TeX file to reverse the bibliography list counters.

  4. Put the preamble after other \usepackage commands and use as few of them as possible, since they seem to break the magic pretty easily.

  5. Stick a \nocite{*} command in your TeX file somewhere. This causes BibTeX to emit a record for every item in your .bib file. (I’m presuming that you have a mypubs.bib file containing all of your publications and only your publications.)

Not exactly easy. But if there’s call for it, I’ll polish up the changes and add them to the yahapj repository with an example cv.tex for reference.