# References in IEEEtran?

I've downloaded the official IEEE LaTeX template but am having some trouble adding references in bibtex format.

For instance if I wanted to cite and reference this article, given as:

@article{Khoe:1994:CML:2288694.2294265,
author = {Khoe, G. -D.},
title = {Coherent multicarrier lightwave technology for flexible capacity networks},
journal = {Comm. Mag.},
issue_date = {March 1994},
volume = {32},
number = {3},
month = mar,
year = {1994},
issn = {0163-6804},
pages = {22--33},
numpages = {12},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/35.267438},
doi = {10.1109/35.267438},
acmid = {2294265},
publisher = {IEEE Press},
}


### My attempt

1. Created references.bib
2. Populated it with the above reference
3. Uncommented the \usepackage{cite} from the IEEE template
4. Adding ~\cite{Khoe:1994:CML:2288694.2294265} to a random section
5. Inserting this text just above % An example of a floating figure using the graphicx package.

\bibliography{references}{}
\bibliographystyle{plain}


### Error

! 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 \end{thebibliography}

?

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In the 5th item of your list: the command \bibliography takes only one argument (the name(s) of the bib file(s)), not two. Also, be sure to delete all aux files left over from previous compilations of your main .tex file before running latex, bibtex, latex, and latex once more. –  Mico Jul 7 '12 at 18:25
It only takes one argument? - But the official documentation said otherwise :\ — Even after deleting all non *.tex *.bib files from that directory I am still getting aforementioned error. –  A T Jul 7 '12 at 18:27
What you may think is the official BibTeX site on the web -- hey, the domain name does say bibtex.org, so isn't it by definition official?! -- is in fact not official. For one, the site is not affiliated in any way with Oren Patashnik, the creator of BibTeX. Another dead give-away is that the code examples given on bibtex.org feature an embarrassing number of errors. Don't be misled by the fact that somebody was able to capture the domain name bibtex.org. –  Mico Aug 20 '14 at 19:56

General Edit : IEEEtran is just for the author's convenience to get an idea of the approximate end product. The house-style of IEEE is not released and your (journal) article will be modified by the editors and copy-editors of the publication office. So no need to super tune your article, balance columns adjust biographies etc. when you are submitting the final version. A rough idea of what is what is enough.

Having said that I've removed my previous comment as it might be understood as it's Michael Shell's fault which something that I would not even think. I'm not happy with IEEE and it's workflow that's about it.

First of all, IEEE is really bad with conference style (I should probably say that the IEEEtran is getting old pretty fast.) and many conferences encourage the users to download the ieeeconf style from various sources. However, the following is not giving me any errors.

\documentclass[conference]{IEEEtran}
\usepackage{filecontents,lipsum}
\begin{filecontents*}{references.bib}
@article{Khoe:1994:CML:2288694.2294265,
author = {Khoe, G. -D.},
title = {Coherent multicarrier lightwave technology for flexible capacity networks},
journal = {Comm. Mag.},
issue_date = {March 1994},
volume = {32},
number = {3},
month = mar,
year = {1994},
issn = {0163-6804},
pages = {22--33},
numpages = {12},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/35.267438},
doi = {10.1109/35.267438},
acmid = {2294265},
publisher = {IEEE Press},
}
\end{filecontents*}
\title{This document}
\author{This author}

\begin{document}

\maketitle

\begin{abstract}
\lipsum[1]
\end{abstract}

\lipsum[2-6]
I have cited this document \cite{Khoe:1994:CML:2288694.2294265}

\bibliographystyle{ieeetran}
\bibliography{references}
\end{document}


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Perfect, thanks. –  A T Jul 8 '12 at 11:01

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

Before anything, just put the IEEEabrv in the folder of your TeX installation. It could be as simple as missing IEEEabrv file.

IEEEabrv was missing in my TeX installations. You need to download IEEEabrv and put it in the directory of your TeX file.

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


It can be either due to;

1. Wrong path or name to citation file (*.bib). Note that the file-name or path is case sensitive and without extension. \bibliography{./citations}
2. There is no citation in the text, i.e. ~\cite{} ... You can temporarily use \nocite{*} to print all citations.

P.S. or may be you are using \ref{} instead of \cite{} ;)

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The reason you were getting the missing \item error was that you were using both the \bibliography{} and the \begin{thebibliography} and \end{thebibliography} commands. If you're using BibTex, you only need the former. See also this question.

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I had this same problem - the issue was I was using both

\begin{thebibliography}
\end{thebibliography}


AND

\bibliography{IEEEabrv,references_v2}  % Using references_v2.bib


To use an external .bib file, you should comment-out the \begin{} & \end{} lines.

Of course IEEE tells us to copy/paste the entire .bbl file into the .tex doc before submitting, so I suppose that copy/pasted .bbl file will go in between the \begin{the bibliography} & \end{the bibliography} lines. I haven't gotten that far in my paper yet, so haven't tried it.

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You are correct - we should copy in the .bbl file, not .bib file. Updated the answer. –  Demis Aug 20 '14 at 21:39
I also just noticed that 'sizzle beam' provided this exact same answer, which is also answered in this question: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/47136/bibliography-problem –  Demis Aug 20 '14 at 21:43

Actual Reason for this error is... I found that there are two things that I found are necessary to make the IEEEtran class compile:

1. There needs to be a at least one correct citation in your document one in your bib (in your case, bibi.bib) file.
2. In the tool chain, you need to compile with LaTeX (or equivalently PdfLaTeX) twice, then once with BibTex, and then with LaTeX again to incorporate the bibliography.

If either of these two things is not the case, I also get the same LaTeX Error: Something's wrong--perhaps a missing \item error. Bizarrely, with a single citation it works for me, but after commenting it out it crashes again.

The apparent reason for this is that the IEEEtran class doesn't like empty bibliographies and can't deal with that. I haven't been able to find an underlying reason for that, though, nor a way to fix it.

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If you cite something like ~\cite{Euzenat10} in your text but there is no any reference in the corresponding .bbl file named Euzenat10, then it throws the mentioned error (it may be the cause of misspelling.). When you execute the BibTex command, you can see the message box which citations it couldn't recognize.

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Welcome to TeX.SX! You can have a look at our starter guide to familiarize yourself further with our format. –  strpeter Mar 25 at 10:17