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Referencing, Citing, and Structuring Bibliographies

A beginners' guide to referencing and bibliographies.

Citing and referencing in LaTex - using BibTeX

You can manage your references and bibliography in LaTex using the BibTex system. BibTex allows you to automatically generate and format a bibliography in a LaTeX document. You can do this by storing them in separate BibTeX database files (.bib extension). Advantages to doing this include:

  • Once stored in a BibTeX file, a reference can be re-used in future documents (you may choose to maintain one master or a series of BibTeX files)
  • Many databases and reference management software allows automatic export of reference details as BibTeX files

You can then use the following commands in your LaTeX document:

  • \cite{label}
    • To insert a citation where label is the label of a bibliographic entry in a .bib file.
  • \bibliography{bibfilename}
    • To insert a bibliography where bibfilename is the name of a .bib file.
  • \bibliographystyle{bstfilename}
    • To choose a BibTeX bibliographic style file with the extension .bst.

There is a wealth of guides on how to do this available on the web, including LaTeX's own guide on bibliography management here.

This is also a really helpful guide on how BibTex works: https://www.latex-tutorial.com/tutorials/bibtex/