Xelatex Bibtex Bibliography

LaTeX supports bibliographies out of the box, either embedding the references in your document or storing them in an external file. This article explains how to manage bibliography with the environment and the BibTeX system.

Note: If you are starting from scratch it's recommended to use biblatex since that package provides localization in several languages, it's actively developed and makes bibliography management easier and more flexible.

[edit]Introduction

Standard bibliography commands in LaTeX have a similar syntax to that of lists and items.

\begin{thebibliography}{9}\bibitem{latexcompanion} Michel Goossens, Frank Mittelbach, and Alexander Samarin. \textit{The \LaTeX\ Companion}. Addison-Wesley, Reading, Massachusetts, 1993.   \bibitem{einstein} Albert Einstein. \textit{Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter K{\"o}rper}. (German) [\textit{On the electrodynamics of moving bodies}]. Annalen der Physik, 322(10):891–921, 1905.   \bibitem{knuthwebsite} Knuth: Computers and Typesetting, \\\texttt{http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/\~{}uno/abcde.html}\end{thebibliography}

The environment produces a list of references; such list will be titled "References" in a article document class, and "Bibliography" in book and report document classes. A parameter inside braces, in the example, indicates the number of entries to be added; this parameter can not be greater than 99.

To create a bibliography entry the command is used. A parameter inside braces is set to label this entry and can later be used as identifier for this reference. After the closing brace the text with the name of the author, the book title, publisher and so on is entered.

ShareLaTeX provides several templates with pre-defined styles to manage bibliography. See this link

  Open an example in ShareLaTeX

[edit]Embedded system

The example presented in the introduction only contains list of references, the next example shows how to cite the entries of that list within the document.

\begin{document}   \section{First section}   This document is an example of \texttt{thebibliography} environment using in bibliography management. Three items are cited: \textit{The \LaTeX\ Companion} book \cite{latexcompanion}, the Einstein journal paper \cite{einstein}, and the Donald Knuth's website \cite{knuthwebsite}. The \LaTeX\ related items are \cite{latexcompanion,knuthwebsite}.   \medskip   \begin{thebibliography}{9}\bibitem{latexcompanion} Michel Goossens, Frank Mittelbach, and Alexander Samarin. \textit{The \LaTeX\ Companion}. Addison-Wesley, Reading, Massachusetts, 1993.   \bibitem{einstein} Albert Einstein. \textit{Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter K{\"o}rper}. (German) [\textit{On the electrodynamics of moving bodies}]. Annalen der Physik, 322(10):891–921, 1905.   \bibitem{knuthwebsite} Knuth: Computers and Typesetting, \\\texttt{http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/\~{}uno/abcde.html}\end{thebibliography}   \end{document}

The command insert the number corresponding to the bibliography entry whose label is passed inside braces. For example, the output of is [2].

The information printed by the command depends on the bibliography style used. See Bibtex bibliography styles.

  Open an example in ShareLaTeX

[edit]Bibliography management with Bibtex

BibTeX is a widely used bibliography management tool in LaTeX, with BibTeX the bibliography entries are kept in a separate file and then imported into the main document.

Once the external bibliography file is imported, the command is used just as in the introductory example.

Ths document is an example of BibTeX using in bibliography management. Three items are cited: \textit{The \LaTeX\ Companion} book \cite{latexcompanion}, the Einstein journal paper \cite{einstein}, and the Donald Knuth's website \cite{knuthwebsite}. The \LaTeX\ related items are \cite{latexcompanion,knuthwebsite}.   \medskip   \bibliographystyle{unsrt}\bibliography{sample}

This uses the following commands:

Imports the BibTeX file "sample.bib" to display the bibliography. To import several .bib files just write them comma-separated inside the braces, the file extension is not necessary.
Sets the bibliography style to be used in this document. The information displayed depends on the bibliography style used, even if the entry contains information about the date, author, title, publisher, and abstract, the style used might only print the title and the author. See Bibtex bibliography styles which contains examples of the default bibliography styles in LaTeX.
This will print a number of text, depending on the bibliography style, to reference the bibliography entry whose label is passed to the command. In this case, the label produces [2].

When the main document is compiled, a .bbl file is generated from the .bib file. This is simply a .tex file reorganising the information in the .bib file in a environment, as above. On ShareLaTeX the .bbl file is stored in the cache, and you can download it from the list of other logs and files.

Note: Unicode characters are not supported on BibTeX. Also, if there are too many bibliography entries (+100) it may not work properly. See the further reading section for links to other bibliography management tools.

  Open an example of the bibtex package in ShareLaTeX

[edit]The bibliography file

Bibliographic references are usually kept in a bibliography file whose extension is .bib, this file consists of a list of records and fields. Each bibliography record holds relevant information for a single entry.

This file contains records in a special format, for instance, the first bibliographic reference is defined by:

This is the first line of a record entry, denotes the entry type and tells BibTeX that the information stored here is about an article. Besides the entry types shown in the example (, and ) there are a lot more, see the reference guide.
The label is assigned to this entry, is an identifier that can be used to refer this article within the document.
This is the first field in the bibliography entry, indicates that the author of this article is Albert Einstein. Several comma-separated fields can be added using the same syntax , for instance: title, pages, year, URL, etc. See the reference guide for a list of possible fields.

The information in this file can later be used within a LaTeX document to include these references, as shown in the next subsection.

  Open an example of the bibtex package in ShareLaTeX

[edit]Adding the bibliography in the table of contents

There are two ways of including the bibliography in the table of contents, either manually adding it or using the package tocbibind (recommended).

To add it manually just insert the next line right before the command or


for books and reports or


for articles. If you prefer to use tocbibind see the next example.

\documentclass[a4paper,10pt]{article}\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}\usepackage[english]{babel}   \usepackage[nottoc]{tocbibind}   \begin{document}   \tableofcontents   \section{First Section} This document ...   \bibliographystyle{unsrt}\bibliography{sample}   \end{document}

Adding the line


to the preamble will print the "References" or "Bibliography" in the table of contents, depending on the document type. Be careful, it will also add other elements like the Index, Glossary and list of Listings to the table of contents. For more information see [the tocbibind package documentation].

  Open an example of the bibtex package in ShareLaTeX

[edit]Reference guide

Standard entry types

Article from a magazine or journal
A published book
A work that is printed but have no publisher or sponsoring institution
An article in a conference proceedings
A part of a book (section, chapter and so on)
A part of a book having its own title
An article in a conference proceedings
Technical documentation
A Master's thesis
Something that doesn't fit in any other type
A PhD thesis
The same as
Report published by an institution
Document not formally published, with author and title


Most common fields used in BibTeX

address annote author
booktitle chapter crossref
edition editor institution
journal key month
note number organization
pages publisher school
series title type
volume year URL
ISBN ISSN LCCN
abstract keywords price
copyright language contents

[edit]Further reading

For more information see:

@article{einstein, author = "Albert Einstein", title = "{Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter K{\"o}rper}. ({German}) [{On} the electrodynamics of moving bodies]", journal = "Annalen der Physik", volume = "322", number = "10", pages = "891--921", year = "1905", DOI = "http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/andp.19053221004" }   @book{latexcompanion, author = "Michel Goossens and Frank Mittelbach and Alexander Samarin", title = "The \LaTeX\ Companion", year = "1993", publisher = "Addison-Wesley", address = "Reading, Massachusetts" }   @misc{knuthwebsite, author = "Donald Knuth", title = "Knuth: Computers and Typesetting", url = "http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/\~{}uno/abcde.html" }
\addcontentsline{toc}{chapter}{Bibliography}
\addcontentsline{toc}{section}{References}
\usepackage[nottoc]{tocbibind}

“Normal” use of BibTeX from LaTeX

To create a bibliography for your document, you need to perform a sequence of steps, some of which seem a bit odd. If you choose to use BibTeX, the sequence is:

First: you need a BibTeX bibliography file (a file) — see “creating a BibTeX file”.

Second: you must write your LaTeX document to include a declaration of the ‘style’ of bibliography, citations, and a reference to the bibliography file mentioned above. So we may have a LaTeX file containing:

\bibliographystyle{plain} ... Pooh is heroic~\cite{Milne:1926}. ... Alice struggles~\cite{Carroll:1865}. ... \bibliography{mybooks}
Note: we have bibliography style plain, above, which is nearly the simplest of the lot: a sample text, showing the sorts of style choices available, can be found on Ken Turner’s web site: http://www.cs.stir.ac.uk/ kjt/software/latex/showbst.html

Third: you must process the file.

latex myfile
As LaTeX processes the file, the command writes a note of the style to the file; each command writes a note of the citation to the file, and the command writes a note of which file is to be used, to the file.

Note that, at this stage, LaTeX isn’t “resolving” any of the citations: at every command, LaTeX will warn you of the undefined citation, and when the document finishes, there will be a further warning of undefined references.

Fourth: you must run BibTeX:

bibtex myfile
Don’t try to tell BibTeX anything but the file name: say (because you know it’s going to read the file) and BibTeX will blindly attempt to process .

BibTeX will scan the file; it will find which bibliography style it needs to use, and will “compile” that style; it will note the citations; it will find which bibliography files it needs, and will run through them matching citations to entries in the bibliography; and finally it will sort the entries that have been cited (if the bibliography style specifies that they should be sorted), and outputs the resulting details to a file.

Fifth: you run LaTeX again. It warns, again, that each citation is (still) undefined, but when it gets to the command, it finds a file, and reads it. As it encounters each command in the file, it notes a definition of the citation.

Sixth: you run LaTeX yet again. This time, it finds values for all the citations, in its file. Other things being equal, you’re done… until you change the file.

If, while editing, you change any of the citations, or add new ones, you need to go through the process above from steps 3 (first run of LaTeX) to 6, again, before the document is once again stable. These four mandatory runs of LaTeX make processing a document with a bibliography even more tiresome than the normal two runs required to resolve labels.

To summarise: processing to resolve citations requires: LaTeX; BibTeX; LaTeX; LaTeX.


This question on the Web: http://www.tex.ac.uk/cgi-bin/texfaq2html?label=usebibtex

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