Nick Bart - 2013-08-04

Rich text formatting in titles is rather common: Italic for foreign words and phrases, species names in biology, books referred to, ships etc.; sub/superscript in physics and chemistry; small caps for authors referred to.

Currently, biblatex2xml strips out curly braces and some but not all commands, generating undesirable and unusable output such as "Newly discovered \textitHomo sapiens fossils" in MODS.

I would like to suggest enabling rich text formatting for titles in MODS by using the following HTML-like tags:

<i> and </i> for italics
<b> and </b> for bold
<sub> and </sub> for subscript
<sup> and </sup> for superscript
<span style="font-variant:small-caps;"> and </span> for smallcaps

This is taken from the CSL specifications, and at least all CSL-based programs such as citeproc-hs etc. can parse these. For the most up-to-date specification, see

Thus, biblatex2xml should map

  • \textit{} and \emph{} to <i></i>
  • \textbf{} to <b></b>
  • \textsubscript{} to <sub></sub>
  • \textsuperscript{} to <sup></sup>
  • \textsc{} to <span style="font-variant:small-caps;"></span>

These are best practice in LaTeX and thus essential.

Others, such as {\itshape foo}, {\scshape foo}, {\bfseries foo}, plus biblatex variants such as \mkbibemph{foo}, \mkbibbold{foo} might be added, too.

Still others, such as {\bf foo}, {\it foo}, {\sc foo} are considered obsolete in LaTeX, so I would not trouble myself with these.

Last edit: Nick Bart 2013-08-04