Writing a thesis: LaTeX tidbits

So I’m writing my thesis and I’m very fond of AndrĂ© Miede’s classicthesis LaTeX template: it looks slick and has a ton of options. This month, he released version 4.2, the first update in three years. I was already using his previous version, but I decided to migrate, as there were a few fixes relevant to my interests. I like to use the APA citation style, but classicthesis 4.2 uses biblatex to handle the bibliography which in turn doesn’t support bibtex to render it. Getting this configured the way I wanted it to be turned out to be a small chore.

The first thing to do was to enable biber (the soon-to-be successor of bibtex) as a backend for rendering. This formats the citations and bibliography nicely according to the APA style guide (documentation), yet only when the special commands for citations are used: \parencite for “(Author, Year)” and \textcite for “Author (Year)”.

\PassOptionsToPackage
{
  %backend=bibtex8,
  backend=biber,% instead of bibtex
  style=apa
}{biblatex}
\usepackage{biblatex}

Next, I wanted to enable back references in the bibliography, for example: “<Publication details> Cited on pp. 3,4,17,19-21.” The biblatex package provides standard functionality for this with the option ‘backref’. However, this did not produce back references in the bibliography, as the APA style does not dictate the use of back references. I still wanted to use this, so I had to use a special option specifically for this use, namely ‘apabackref’. Additionally, there is ‘backrefstyle’, an option to specify how the pages are listed (‘one’: separately, ‘two’: 1,2-3,5-7, ‘three’: 1,2,3,5-7; documentation).

\PassOptionsToPackage
{
  %backend=bibtex8,
  backend=biber,% instead of bibtex
  style=apa,
  %backref=true,
  apabackref=true,
  backrefstyle=three
}{biblatex}
\usepackage{biblatex}

To further configure the way the back references are shown in the bibliography, there are two strings that can be modified straightforwardly.

\DefineBibliographyStrings{british}
{
  backrefpage = {Cited on p.},
  backrefpages = {Cited on pp.},
}

And that solves that, references just the way I like them.