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I'm extremely new at this. Basically I'm a would-be academic who needs (and therefore wants) to use LaTeX for my professional writing stuffs. This means that the most important thing to me is to be able to get a decent bibliography sorted.

I've been having trouble installing natbib (which I apparently need) so I heard that TeXLive comes with natbib built in. Can anyone tell me whether this is right? And if so, does this mean that it's already set up to use the natbib commands?

Many thanks and sorry if this is embarrassingly basic.

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Don't use natbib. Use the package biblatex together with biber. Both is in a current texlive. – Ulrike Fischer Dec 28 '12 at 15:24
@Ulrike does the various journals accept biblatex? – daleif Dec 28 '12 at 15:39
Welcome to TeX.SX. Note that you don't have to sign with your name since it automatically appears in the lower right corner of your post. – Claudio Fiandrino Dec 28 '12 at 15:45
As Ulrike said, you might want to change your choice, so I'd recommend reading this post. – polyfunc Dec 28 '12 at 15:46
Yes, natbib is still pretty standard despite the newer alternatives. The ctan page for natbib indicates that it is contained in both TeXLive and MiKTeX. – cyberSingularity Dec 28 '12 at 16:24

The natbib package has been around for many years on CTAN and has a 'free' license, so like many other such packages is available as part of TeX Live. Many 'academic' bibliography styles are also available for natbib, which is therefore required for submission using some journal/publisher templates. As such, it's widely available and supported.

As is mentioned in comments, the biblatex package offers a more 'complete' approach to bibliographies, and if you have a 'free hand' you should consider using it rather than natbib. However, this will depend on your academic discipline and likely work-flow, which we'd need details of to give a more accurate answer on this part.

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