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I am using BibTeX. I would like to start numbering of the bibliography at a later number than one. I could redefine \thebibliography in the preamble (an often cited 'solution'). A minimal example (bla.tex):

\documentclass{article}
\let\oldthebibliography=\thebibliography
\let\oldendthebibliography=\endthebibliography
\renewenvironment{thebibliography}[1]{%
    \oldthebibliography{#1}%
    \setcounter{enumiv}{77}%
}{\oldendthebibliography}

\begin{document}
This is a test.  Some newer thing
about a canonical quantum gravity approach\cite{rovelli2004}.
\bibliographystyle{plain}
\bibliography{biblio-physics}
\end{document}

The bibliography file, biblio-physics.bib, only contains one entry:

@BOOK{rovelli2004,
    author = {Rovelli, Carlo},
    citeulike-article-id = {469595},
    howpublished = {Hardcover},
    isbn = {0521837332},
    keywords = {quantum\_gravity},
    month = {November},
    posted-at = {2007-05-06 15:26:19},
    priority = {3},
    publisher = {Cambridge University Press},
    address = {Cambridge},
    title = {Quantum Gravity},
    url = {http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/redirect?tag=citeulike09-20\&path=ASIN/0521837332},
    year = {2004}
}

This should start numbering at 78, but, using a minimal example with TeX Live 2012, I get an error from pdflatex:

marco@gluon test $ ls
biblio-physics.bib  bla.tex
marco@gluon test $ pdflatex bla
This is pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-2.4-1.40.13 (TeX Live 2012/Debian)
 restricted \write18 enabled.
entering extended mode
(./bla.tex
LaTeX2e <2011/06/27>
Babel <v3.8m> and hyphenation patterns for english, dumylang, nohyphenation, du
tch, nynorsk, bokmal, indonesian, esperanto, coptic, welsh, irish, interlingua,
 serbian, serbianc, slovenian, friulan, romansh, estonian, romanian, armenian, 
uppersorbian, turkish, afrikaans, icelandic, kurmanji, loaded.
(/usr/share/texlive/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/article.cls
Document Class: article 2007/10/19 v1.4h Standard LaTeX document class
(/usr/share/texlive/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/size10.clo))
No file bla.aux.

LaTeX Warning: Citation `wald1984' on page 1 undefined on input line 10.


LaTeX Warning: Citation `rovelli2004' on page 1 undefined on input line 11.

No file bla.bbl.
[1{/var/lib/texmf/fonts/map/pdftex/updmap/pdftex.map}] (./bla.aux)

LaTeX Warning: There were undefined references.

 )</usr/share/texlive/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmbx10.pfb></us
r/share/texlive/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmr10.pfb>
Output written on bla.pdf (1 page, 24290 bytes).
Transcript written on bla.log.
marco@gluon test $ bibtex bla
This is BibTeX, Version 0.99d (TeX Live 2012/Debian)
The top-level auxiliary file: bla.aux
The style file: plain.bst
Database file #1: biblio-physics.bib
marco@gluon test $ pdflatex bla
This is pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-2.4-1.40.13 (TeX Live 2012/Debian)
 restricted \write18 enabled.
entering extended mode
(./bla.tex
LaTeX2e <2011/06/27>
Babel <v3.8m> and hyphenation patterns for english, dumylang, nohyphenation, du
tch, nynorsk, bokmal, indonesian, esperanto, coptic, welsh, irish, interlingua,
 serbian, serbianc, slovenian, friulan, romansh, estonian, romanian, armenian, 
uppersorbian, turkish, afrikaans, icelandic, kurmanji, loaded.
(/usr/share/texlive/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/article.cls
Document Class: article 2007/10/19 v1.4h Standard LaTeX document class
(/usr/share/texlive/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/size10.clo)) (./bla.aux)

LaTeX Warning: Citation `wald1984' on page 1 undefined on input line 10.


LaTeX Warning: Citation `rovelli2004' on page 1 undefined on input line 11.

(./bla.bbl

! LaTeX Error: Something's wrong--perhaps a missing \item.

See the LaTeX manual or LaTeX Companion for explanation.
Type  H <return>  for immediate help.
 ...                                              

l.3 \bibitem{rovelli2004}

?

Without the redefinition of \thebibliography, the document compiles fine, but of course starting the bibliography items at one.

All files can be found here: http://d-brane.net/pub/StackExchange/TeX_100184/

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closed as too localized by egreg, Kurt, tohecz, topskip, Stefan Kottwitz♦ Feb 28 '13 at 14:01

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
Welcome to TeX.sx! –  Peter Jansson Feb 27 '13 at 16:48
3  
We need a minimal working example (MWE), because a small test doesn't show problems. –  egreg Feb 27 '13 at 16:59
    
@PeterJansson thank you for the welcome! –  Marco van Hulten Feb 27 '13 at 17:20
1  
I get no error from the MWE –  egreg Feb 27 '13 at 17:24
2  
is it at all possible that you didn't run latex twice after changing the definition that resets the initial value of enumiv? –  barbara beeton Feb 27 '13 at 18:42