A bibliographic reference is a set of lines, constituting fields of bibliographic information. Each field starts on a line beginning with a `%', followed by a key-letter, then a blank, and finally the contents of the field, which may continue until the next line starting with `%'.
The lookbib utility uses an inverted index made by indxbib to find sets of bibliographic references. It reads keywords typed after the `>' prompt on the terminal, and retrieves records containing all these keywords. If nothing matches, nothing is returned except another `>' prompt.
It is possible to search multiple databases, as long as they have a common index made by indxbib(1). In that case, only the first argument given to indxbib is specified to lookbib.
If lookbib does not find the index files (the .i[abc] files), it looks for a reference file with the same name as the argument, without the suffixes. It creates a file with a .ig suffix, suitable for use with fgrep (see grep(1)). lookbib then uses this fgrep file to find references. This method is simpler to use, but the .ig file is slower to use than the .i[abc] files, and does not allow the use of multiple reference files.
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:
Probably all dates should be indexed, since many disciplines refer to literature written in the 1800s or earlier.