The process for inserting references into a Latex document consists of running:
latex bibtex latex latex
This is necessary because each step produces auxiliary files that the next step uses (i.e., the first latex command generates an .aux file with the citations need, the bibtex command generates a .bbl file, the third command incorporates these references into the document, and the fourth is necessary to ensure that the insertion of these references still produces correct formatting).
Is there an easier way to do this? This strange sequence of commands is difficult for a beginner and makes me wonder if other sequences of commands like this are necessary for other Latex-related tasks.
I'm hoping the sources I've come across are outdated. Is there a less quirky and error-prone way of including references in my articles?