Skip to main content

LaTeX and BibTeX

This LibGuide is designed for University of Melbourne staff and students to instruct 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 Shar

What is LaTeX?

LaTeX

LaTeX is a typesetting markup language that is used to create formatted documents.

  • You create a plain text file, with the extension.tex, and mark the text up with commands that are processed to create a formatted document.
  • It is widely used by scientists, engineers and other academics because it makes it easy to typeset complex mathematical formulae.

What is BibTeX?

BibTeX

You can use BibTeX to automatically generate & format a bibliography in a LaTeX document.

First you need to create a bibliography database file with the extension .bib containing bibliographic entries.

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.

LaTeX & BibTeX Example

This is an example of a .bib file called BibFile.bib that has just one bibliographic entry for a book:

@Book{gG07,
author = "Gratzer, George A.",
title = "More Math Into LaTeX",
publisher = "Birkhauser",
address = "Boston",
year = 2007,
edition = "4th"
}


This is an example of a .tex file that refers to the .bib file:

\documentclass[12pt]{article}

\usepackage{amsmath}

\title{An Example Document}

\author{John Smith}

\date{}

\begin{document}

\maketitle

\section{The first section}

This is an example of a document formatted using \LaTeX{}.
This is an example of a citation \cite{gG07}.
Now here is an example of an equation:

\begin{align}
i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial t}\Psi(r,t) = -\frac{\hbar^2}{2m}\nabla^2\Psi(r,t)+V(r)\Psi(r,t)
\end{align}

\bibliographystyle{amsplain}

\bibliography{BibFile}

\end{document}

 


And a screenshot of a section of the resulting typeset output:

Example typset document