Referencing with LaTeX


After much thinking, I've decided that, after my transfer (or upgrade, if you like) in September, which will be 12 months' in, I'm going to switch from Word to LaTeX. I've already installed TeXniccentre and MikTeX, and have been having a play around with them, but the one thing which still worries me is the referencing. I've downloaded JabRef, but I can't get it to work with my outputs. I'm sure I'm doing something wrong (generally, the output just contains the name of the key, not the actual reference, and no bibliography is built at the bottom), but this is the one area in which, at the moment, Word/Endnote still wins hands down. Can anyone help with this, or point me in the right direction?

Equally, if anyone knows of any better options that TeXniccenter, MikTeX, or JabRef, feel free to suggest. The problem is that I have zero experience in programming, and lots of the internet-based info is written by people who know a lot more about this kind of thing than me, even to the extent where I'm confised by terms like "class" and "argument".

Thanks for the help in advance! :-)



I used LaTex for my MSc thesis, but have forgotten most of it. I used to use BibTex for referencing. I had to compile the references before compiling the document to change the output to show the actual reference (there was a BibTex compile button-This needs to be done a couple of times...not enough to click on the Bibtex compile once. I used to click around 3/4 times to make sure it has fully compiled). Once that is compiled you can then convert the document to the dvi or pdf viewer.

Check the Latex Wikibook, which I always found quite helpful.

Good luck


Hi I also use BiBTeX for referencing with LaTeX. I use Mendeley as a reference manager and there is an option to export all of your references to a BiBTeX file which can then be used for doing your references. It works quite well although it does need to be compiled a few times before it will run properly. If you choose to use BiBTeX then make sure you have the natbib package installed as this gives you a range of style options for your references and will let you do them in the style of some journals if you want.


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it's hard to say what causes your problem without seeing the code and perhaps a few other things. But a few general things worth double checking:

- are there any warnings/errors in your latex file that might point to the problem?

- have you got your bib-file in the same folder on your hard disk where your latex file is? (it's also possible to keep them separate if the path to the bibfiles is in the search path, iirc)?

- and then the general structure -- does it look like this? (exchange natbib and chicaco for whatever applies in your case)?


(Put content here, including \cite{Author2011}.)


- googling for the problem might also help, there's loads of help files available online for referencing with latex.

Hope you get it sorted soon!


Apple's suggestions all sound good...

And I used Jabref to make my Bibtex file during my PhD. I can't comment on other options for making bibtex files but I found it quite nice and straightforward, so if I can help at all I'll try (although that was quite a while ago admittedly!).


Although LaTeX is very good, it consumes a lot of time from graduate students, and has got a very steep learning curve. What I recommend to my students to use some kind of a Word to LaTeX service at the end of their studies.. Something like:

It saves a lot of students time and effort, so that they can stay focused on the research topic.

Hope that helps.

Prof. MG.