I am using classicthesis package version 4.1. Also I am using the bibliography style file, abbrvunsrtnat.bst, posted here.

I have a problem with using back-referencing. I have more than 70 citations in my document. Among these citations, there are three citations that don't have the Cited on page x at the end of the citation in the bibliography section of the document. The rest of the references are perfectly fine and has the back-reference correctly.

In below, please find a MWE.

                titlepage, numbers=noenddot, headinclude,%1headlines,
                footinclude=true, cleardoublepage=empty,
                BCOR=30mm, paper=letter, fontsize=11pt, % Binding correction, paper type and font size
                ngerman, american, % Languages




\usepackage{hyperref}  % backref linktocpage pagebackref

            colorlinks=true, linktocpage=true, pdfstartpage=1, pdfstartview=FitV,
            breaklinks=true, pdfpagemode=UseNone, pageanchor=true, pdfpagemode=UseOutlines,
            plainpages=false, bookmarksnumbered, bookmarksopen=true, bookmarksopenlevel=1,
            hypertexnames=true, pdfhighlight=/O, %

\usepackage{ifthen} % Allows the user of the \ifthenelse command
\newboolean{enable-backrefs} % Variable to enable backrefs in the bibliography
\setboolean{enable-backrefs}{true} % Variable value: true or false

% ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\newcommand{\backrefnotcitedstring}{\relax} % (Not cited.)
\newcommand{\backrefcitedsinglestring}[1]{(Cited on page~#1.)}
\newcommand{\backrefcitedmultistring}[1]{(Cited on pages~#1.)}
\ifthenelse{\boolean{enable-backrefs}} % If backrefs were enabled
        \usepackage{backref} % to be loaded after hyperref package 
                \renewcommand{\backreftwosep}{ and~} % separate 2 pages
                \renewcommand{\backreflastsep}{, and~} % separate last of longer list
                \renewcommand*{\backref}[1]{}  % disable standard
                \renewcommand*{\backrefalt}[4]{% detailed backref
                \ifcase #1 


This is test for back-referencing. \citep{ref1,ref2,ref3,ref4}. 




The problem is in the citation in the form of \citep{ref1,ref2,ref3,ref4}. When I separate it to \citep{ref1}, \citep{ref2}, \citep{ref3}, \citep{ref4} the backreferencing starts working properly. What would be the steps to debug and find the cause of the problem?

I found this post which is for two years ago and presented a few solutions. All my packages are up-to-date. However, it seems that the patch that was given in here has not been applied to natbib.sty. Is there any reason for not applying the patch in the latest version of natbib?

  • 1
    natbib has not seen any development since 2010, so I assume it is no longer really maintained.
    – mafp
    May 30, 2013 at 19:52
  • @mafp: Thanks. What do you recommend to use? May 31, 2013 at 0:35
  • 1
    The patch in the answer you linked to works fine, so you can use that for now. A long term solution is to switch to biblatex.
    – mafp
    May 31, 2013 at 8:31
  • I don't know whether this is still relevant to @A2009, but are you using "sort&compress" option for natbib? See "usepackage" option in this question: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/13653/…
    – Hug
    Sep 16, 2014 at 10:01

2 Answers 2


Suppose you have a reference like ahm:2013 in your bib file, that does not have the back-reference as desired.

  1. Check whether you actually cite it, i.e., whether you have \cite{ahm:2013} somewhere in your document. This may sound dull, but remember that when you issue a \nocite{*} anywhere in your document, all references will end up in your bibliography chapter, even when not cited explicitly.
  2. Check whether your aux file contains those three lines:

  3. Check whether your brf file contains


If any of these checks fail, you have to provide more details on how they fail.


Maybe you could try this...

\ifcase #1 %
    {\footnotesize Cited on page~#2.}%
    {\footnotesize Cited on pages~#2.}%

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