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I've always used \bibliography to tell BibTeX where my bibliography is, and when I moved to biblatex, I didn't change. I see a lot of biblatex answers use \addbibresource instead. What is the advantage of this new command over its older rival?

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up vote 47 down vote accepted

\addbibresource features an optional argument that allows you (among other things) to specify the location of a (local or remote) resource and the date type of the resource (e.g., bibtex, ris). See section 3.6.1 of the biblatex documentation for details.

Note that when using \addbibresource (which was introduced in biblatex v1.2), "files must be specified with their full name, including the extension", i.e., instead of


you must use (assuming the standard .bib file format)


EDIT: Two additional notes about using \addbibresource:

  • Contrary to \bibliography, one can't use a comma-separated list to load multiple .bib files (\bibliography{bibfile1,bibfile2}). Instead, one must invoke \addbibresource multiple times.

  • As PLK points out in his comment, loading a remote bibliography resource requires biber as backend.

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You can link directly to a citeulike bibliography!? That's amazing. That would make collaboration much easier... – Seamus Jun 23 '11 at 11:40
Yes, as long as the remote source returns a parseable bibtex data file. So, you could say: \addbibresource[location=remote]{http://www.citeulike.org/bibtex/group/9517} See section 3.5.1 of the biblatex manual. This feature is biber only (it's all done by biber in the backend). – PLK Jun 23 '11 at 13:04
@PLK do you know if there is any way of using addbibresources to remote files located on a dropbox server and refered to by something like: \addbibresource[location=remote,type=file]{dropbox.com/s/h1x0l95hbcypij/TestBibliography.bib?dl=1} that would be great! thanks! – imo May 29 '12 at 12:06
Along as the url returns a .bib file, it should be fine. – PLK May 30 '12 at 6:34
Also note that according to section 3.6.1 of the biblatex documentation, "[\bibliography] is deprecated. Please consider using \addbibresource instead." It's only still available for the purpose of backwards compatibility. – Cerran Mar 8 '14 at 15:34

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