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LaTeX and BibTeX

Designed for University of Melbourne staff and students on the various methods of reference management within LaTeX documents. The basics of a LaTeX bibliography is explained with reference to more popular editors such as Overleaf


Use your University of Melbourne email to access to Overleaf.

Overleaf is an online LaTeX editor that enables publishing, editing and writing scientific document quick and easy. Overleaf aims to make the research of science open and accessible in a faster format, by allowing writing, reviewing and publication to take place in one space. 

As an online LaTeX document manager Overleaf allows for collaboration, lack of installation, document history recording and the ability to be able to work from any computer anywhere in the world (either online or by saving work in a Dropbox or via GitHub).

Creating a bibliography file from scratch

To create a new bibliography file in Overleaf, in the editor, click New File icon. 

An input box will appear for you to set the name of the new file. The file should have the .bib extension, in this example it's called "mybibliography.bib"; now click on Create.

A new file will be listed in the left panel, click it to edit its contents. Add your bibliography entries there.


Upload Bibliography file in Overleaf

If you already have a bibliography file that you need to use in an Overleaf project, you can upload it. Click the Upload icon  on top of the left pane. 

A dialogue box will appear, you can either drag and drop the .bib file or click Select from your computer to navigate to the location of your file.

Overleaf bibliography template

In the Project Management view click New Project, then in the drop-down menu that will appear click View All.


You will be redirected to a list of templates. Choose Bibliography.

Creating a bibliography is made easy in LaTeX through the use of packages such as bibtex, biber, natbib and biblatex which allow the automatic generation of the reference list in the chosen style (e.g. in that required by the academic journal you’re submitting your article to). Here we present some example documents to help you see how to set up a bibliography in LaTeX to achieve the reference and citation style required.

Choose a template and open in Overleaf editor so you can start working on it.