I have a Microsoft Word 2016 document to which I have added a bibliography section (References > Bibliography > Bibliography), currently in IEEE style (like me some square brackets!).

I have added 3 references to reports to this using the source Manager (References > Manage Sources). The references have the same author and year but slightly different titles, of the following format:

  • Same Title Part I
  • Same Title Part II
  • Same Title Part III

My problem being that they do not show in this sequential order but always in the order Part II, followed by III and then I.

If I use the Source Manager to remove the items from the Current List and then re-add them in the order that makes more sense from the Master List, this works... but only until I update the Bibliography again or add a new source... then it switches right back to the unsequential order. Grrr

How can I tell Word that I want bibliographic references to maintain a given order?

EDIT: I've found that the fact that I have a citation to one of the references is what causes the order to change. Basically I can add them to the bibliography in the order that I want and they stay that way until I add a citation to one of them. Then that reference gets moved to the top. This doesn't solve the problem though as some of these references will be cited and some will not, but I'd still like to order them my way.

I have tried the information from Bibliography in Microsoft Word 2010 but although some adjustment stopped the items from reordering it did not stop the related reference numbers from reordering (so I ended up with reference [2] at the start of the bibliography). So this did not work either.

  • Do you have a lot of Bibliographic references? In addition to what @cnread has stated, my approach to it is to add numbering to Author (if there is) or Title/Name of Webpage. This will force Word to render it in order. – XPMai Feb 15 at 8:16

It sounds as though you're simply running up against Word's internal rules for IEEE style, according to which the bibliography (or, more accurately, 'References' list) must be arranged in the order of citation. Properly speaking, if you don't want it arranged that way, you should select a style other than IEEE, even if that means losing the brackets you like.

Still, if you want to create your own non-standard version of IEEE style, I think your only option is the one you're already using: wait until the doc is done, update the bibliography one last time, and then manually arrange the entries. Then, if you ever update the document and add other sources, you'll have to do this all over again. Unlike, say, TOC fields, BIBLIOGRAPHY (and CITATION) fields don't even have any option/switches that can be manually set; so obviously Word considers the format for these to be fixed.

  • 1
    Would you know which style might preserve ordering? I've tried a bunch of the default ones with no luck. I could add more but a pointer could help :) – Toby Oct 28 '16 at 9:48
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    Oh, gosh, I'm not really an expert on bibliography styles; but I think most of them sort first by author last name. If the author's the same, the secondary sort is by year of publication, at least for common formats such as Chicago and APA. So, if the 3 parts of your series were published in different years, this will be a de facto sort by title. If the author and publication year are the same, though, I think one usually designates the year as, e.g., 1984, 1984a, and 1984b for these styles. So this is one way you could force your 3 parts to be listed in order. – cnread Oct 28 '16 at 17:06

One pretty nasty solution is to insert citation to your source in order that you want them to appear at the end. You incert them at the beggining of your document and you apply a "masked" format to that text.

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