Is it possible to tell bibtex to use a file with a specific extension?

If you do \bibliography{mybib.org}, then bibtex simply looks for a file called mybib.org.bib. Is there any way to avoid the .bib extension?

Using texlive 2011-1.

  • TeX has no interest in the file *.bib -- The compiler bibtex uses the file to create your bibliography file with the extension bbl. Commented Mar 1, 2013 at 14:46
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    Not with BibTeX; it requires the .bib extension.
    – egreg
    Commented Mar 1, 2013 at 14:51
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    If you're managing your bib files in Emacs org-mode, you can give the file a .bib ending and add a local variable to the file to tell Emacs to consider it to be an org file.
    – Tyler
    Commented Mar 1, 2013 at 14:59
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    @Tyler I rarely need to edit the actual entries, which is why bibtex-mode isn't that useful for me. The actual bibtex entry goes on a sub-headline (called ** Bibtex) inside each paper's headline. That way it is nicely hidden away from view, and I can focus on the title and notes I've made about the paper. Since the entry never starts with a * it doesn't bother org-mode in any way. And since bibtex just completely ignores everything outside the bib-entries, they both play nice with each other.
    – Malabarba
    Commented Mar 1, 2013 at 15:38
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    That sounds interesting. I keep an enormous single .bib file, with my notes embedded in a comments field within the entry. It's easily searched using bibtex-mode, but is becoming unwieldy. Could you post an example of your bib.org layout somewhere? I'd be very interested in seeing it.
    – Tyler
    Commented Mar 1, 2013 at 15:52

1 Answer 1


The compilation by bibtex doesn't allow such a combintion. The help function of the compiler demonstrates it:

localhost:~ marco$ bibtex --help
Usage: bibtex [OPTION]... AUXFILE[.aux]
  Write bibliography for entries in AUXFILE to AUXFILE.bbl,
  along with a log file AUXFILE.blg.
-min-crossrefs=NUMBER  include item after NUMBER cross-refs; default 2
-terse                 do not print progress reports
-help                  display this help and exit
-version               output version information and exit

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