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I am using Texmaker 3.1 and MiKTeX 2.9. To follow a standard, I have to write down references in a section and I would like to be able to refer these references using a [id] scheme possibly.

I managed to create a references.bib file and add a reference to it (say RFC2119). I found I had to run BibTeX on it and then I could use \cite{RFC2119} (given that RFC2119 is the reference's id). I can only use \cite successfully when I also call \bibliography too in the document.

My problem is, to respect the standard, I must make a \section{References} and list the references there. I would then like to refer to them in text with something like [RFC2119] while at the moment it will only write [1] when I use \cite, which doesn't tell much about the reference unless you actually print the bibliography and go look in it.

I would like the references to be sorted alphabetically by reference id to find them quickly while still having meaningful references in text.

I'm very new to LaTeX and I'd really appreciate some input on this. I could write everything down myself, right in the document, but I'd like to use built-in features if any can satisfy my constraints.

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Welcome to TeX.sx! Please add a minimal working example (MWE) that illustrates your problem. There are lots of variables here and we'll be much better placed to help if we see what you are currently trying. – Joseph Wright Nov 30 '11 at 8:46

I think that you face many different hurdles. Each of them is different. I strongly urge you to use the biblatex package to deal with the configuration of your bibliography and your citations in the text.

First of all, you want to have an alphabetical sorting of the bibliography, depending on the label used. It is easy with biblatex, by specifying in the preamble:


EDIT : removed the sorting=anyt option, following remark from lockstep

It will make a sorting of the bibliography with alphabetical label, name, year, title. Other sorting schemes are possible. It will also solve your other problem, which is to display the label of the citation in the text, and not a number (which is suited to a numeric style).

Then, in the text, you can freely use the \cite command, and at the end of your document, you add the following line to print the bibliography:


You can look into more details the package documentation to tweak the sorting and bibliography styles to suit your needs better if there are still things that you want to change.

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If you choose the alphabetic (bibliography) style, sorting=anyt is redundant because it's the default for this style. – lockstep Nov 30 '11 at 13:34

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