Like most working mathematicians I know, I use LaTeX for all of my mathematical typesetting. Until recently, the vast majority of my writing was for assignments for classes and personal essays where I didn’t need to cite any sources. Fortunately there is a wonderful tool called BibTeX that easily manages citations for when inevitably I need to cite others’ work. I have started compiling a centralized database of all the papers and books that I cite in my own writings. All of the sources are in a single file (which I called sources.bib). In order for BibTeX to find sources.bib whenever I reference it, I placed the file in my local texmf tree:
Now any time I feel the need to cite, for example, Cover and Thomas’ Elements of Information Theory, all I need to do is put
in my .tex file and BibTeX takes care of the rest.