TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

This may be an overly simplistic question but please bear with me...

I have a BibTeX bibliography containing all of my references, set up using BibDesk. I am now trying to cite these references in my LaTeX documents. Following the advice on the LaTeX wikibooks page, I have included the following lines into my LaTeX document...


... where BIBliography is my .bib file, created in BibDesk.

Unfortunately, when I cite something in the document, using \cite{citekey} and typeset the document, the log tells me that there were undefined references. In the .pdf that is produced, there is a [?] where the references should be.

Am I doing something wrong? Do I need to store my .bib for in a particular location? I know there can be some errors that mean you need to typeset the document several times, but I have tried countless times to no avail.

I would be very grateful if someone could help out.

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Make sure that after every change in your BibTeX file you do this:

  1. Run LaTeX
  2. Run BibTeX
  3. Run LaTeX
  4. Run LaTeX
share|improve this answer
Or use arara! – Harish Kumar Aug 7 '12 at 14:55
Install arara and then add % arara: pdflatex % arara: bibtex % arara: pdflatex % arara: pdflatex \documentclass{report} ... into your document. – Harish Kumar Aug 7 '12 at 15:02

You can do such things in a simplified way using the automation tool arara by @Paulo Cereda. First you have to install arara after downloading it from Paulo Cereda's git hub space. Then in your document just before the \documentclass{article} add the following lines:

% arara: pdflatex 
% arara: bibtex 
% arara: pdflatex 
% arara: pdflatex 

Let us say that you have saved your document with the name mydoc.tex. From command prompt, issue a command

arara full path to your document\mydoc.tex

Arara will take care of running pdflatex, then bibtex, pdflatex and again pdflatex by a single command.

For more details, refer to the arara user manual. If you are using a specific editor, you may seek help from this site for adding a tool bar button to your editor using which you can run arara.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.