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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},
    address = {Piscataway, NJ, USA},
}

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}

? 
share|improve this question
    
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
1  
Not to be needlessly combative, but ultimately the authoritative source on LaTeX macros is the file latex.ltx. On ca. line 6134 of that file, the macro \bibliography is defined as having one argument. –  Mico Jul 7 '12 at 18:43
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4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

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}
\usepackage[noadjust]{cite}
\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},
    address = {Piscataway, NJ, USA},
}
\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}

enter image description here

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