I use JabRef with custom export layout to export publication references for my research unit. Using a script and command line use of JabRef, I can automatically create several files by year, author and so on. It works great!
However, our bib file use a custom field to manage different kind of publication: international conference (ACTI), national conference (ACTN), PhD thesis (TH), poster (AFF), patent (BRE)...
The (reverse-)alphabetical sorting of the custom field is not satisfactory. We would like to have, for example, something like TH, ACTI, ACTN, AFF and BRE.
I manage this by adding an other custom entry type and update it according to the first custom entry: TH -> 1, ACTI -> 2, ACTN -> 3... I have to do this each time I download a new bib file (references are managed through a web site exporting a bib file), for the 15 different possible values.
I would be nice to manage directly a custom sorting order for custom entry type (or maybe non custom entry type also) by creating a sorted list of possible values for that entry type. I look for a JabRef plug-in that enable such a sorting (modifying the file and then export in the original order), but I did not find anything.