I'm a doctoral candidate in the humanities who can claim only the osmotic tech savy that comes from living with people who know what they're doing. I'm just beginning my dissertation and hoping to set up BibDesk as a reference management system that integrates with TexShop. So far, I've not been successful in typesetting references or in producing a bibliography. My field requires formatting according to the Chicago Manual of Style, for which I am trying to use Biblatex-Chicago.

I have a file which begins:


\usepackage[top=1in, bottom=1in, inner=0.25in, outer=2.75in, marginparwidth=2.50in]{geometry}



\author{Dissertation Chapter 2}
\date{6 November, 2013}                % Activate to display a given date or no date


When typeset, I still see only a cite key in the footnote. I see no error when typesetting in LaTeX. When I switch to BibTex (to do the Latex+Bibtex+Latex+Latex typesetting sequence I've seen recommended) I get the following error:

INFO - This is Biber 1.6
INFO - Logfile is '20131021-Hist934-SeminarPaper-SFD-HalfDraft.blg'
INFO - Reading '20131021-Hist934-SeminarPaper-SFD-HalfDraft.bcf'
INFO - Found 1 citekeys in bib section 0
INFO - Processing section 0
INFO - Looking for bibtex format file 'DissCh2-Bibliography' for section 0
ERROR - Cannot find 'DissCh2-Bibliography'!

I have the .bib file stored in the same folder as the .tex and other files for this document.

I also tried adding a bibliography using:



This produced errors when trying to typeset in LaTeX:

Package bib latex Warning: Missing 'hyperref' package.
(biblatex)                 Setting hyperref=false

*geometry* drive: auto-detecting
*geometry* detected driver: pdftex
No file 20131021-Hist934-SeminarPaper-SFD-HalfDraft.bbl.
(/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/omscmr.fd) [1{/usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-var/fonts/map/pdftex/updmap/pdftex.map}] [2]

LaTeX Warning: Citation 'Logan:1677fk' on page 3 undefined on input line 114.

[3] [4] [5] 

! Package biblatex Error: '\bibliographystyle' invalid.

See the biblatex package documentation for explanation. 
Type H <return> for immediate help
. . . 

l.152 \bibliographystyle{plain}


When I type H <return> as prompted, it tells me Your command was ignored. Can anyone help?

EDIT*** Thank you to everyone for the insight. It does appear that I was confused about the differences between \bibliography{} and addbibresource{}. Adding .bib when using the latter has fixed the problem, and I discovered that the former will work too when I handle it correctly. Thank you all!

  • 5
    Have you tried \addbibresource{DissCh2-Bibliography.bib}? Biblatex needs the file extension. – DG' Oct 24 '13 at 14:54
  • 2
    you say you are using (the older) bibtex program to generate the bibliography but your log says INFO - This is Biber 1.6 which suggests you are using the (newer, and default for biblatex) biber system. That confusion is part of the problem (and for example why biblatex is complaining about \bibliographystyle which is a command for controlling bibtex) – David Carlisle Oct 24 '13 at 14:55

As others have remarked, biber cannot find your .bib file because you didn't tell it its full name, namely DissCh2-Bibliography.bib. Giving the full name and getting rid of the \bibliographystyle and \bibliography commands should get you up and running again.

... However, a few remarks are in order given that you are just getting your dissertation up and running (too long for a comment). Trust me, it is better to make the change(s) now rather than part-way through or right before the end.

First, although it may be tempting to typeset an individual thesis chapter in the documentclass article, this is not really recommended. Eventually, you will have a whole thesis composed of several chapters (and perhaps appendices and other things), and the article class is completely unsuitable for it. You should switch your workflow ASAP to either the report or book class, or (my recommendation) one of the more feature-rich classes like memoir or the KOMA-script classes (scrreprt or scrbook), or perhaps classicthesis. These feature-rich classes give you a lot of functionality 'out of the box'.

Let's pretend, however, that you are using the simple report class (nothing wrong with it, after all: it just means you'll need to load more packages to do the tweaking you want/need/desire).


% \usepackage{fullpage}  % <-- probably not needed; use geometry
% \usepackage{nameref}   % <-- just load hyperref instead (see below)
\usepackage[top=1in, bottom=1in, inner=0.25in, outer=2.75in, marginparwidth=2.50in]{geometry}

So far so good. I'd recommend loading fontenc and inputenc is you plan on using pdflatex to compile your documents (or fontspec if using xelatex or lualatex):

\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}    % strongly recommended
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} % if the in the humanities, you probably will need more than just ASCII

Now the real issue, biblatex; I strongly recommend you load babel and csquotes for quotations and multi-lingual support. For now, we'll keep it simple (only English):

\usepackage[american]{babel} % or option 'british'
\usepackage{csquotes}        % many options skipped for now
    hyperref=true  % <-- note how you are asking for hyperref integration

\addbibresource{DissCh2-Bibliography.bib} % biber can do more than just `.bib` files, so you need to specify the extension.

Normally, you should load hyperref as the last package (or nearly last: see this question. We'll keep it simple again:

\usepackage{xcolor} % <-- for coloured links
\usepackage[colorlinks, allcolors=blue, breaklinks]{hyperref} % <-- many more options...

And that should be enough to get you started. Putting it all together, you could do the following:

% the following filecontents is just 
% for the sake of getting a self-contained example file
  author = {Smith, John},
  title =  {Article Title},
  journal = {Journal Title},
  date =    2000,
  volume =  30,
  number =  2,
  pages =   {100--120},


\usepackage[top=1in, bottom=1in, inner=0.25in, outer=2.75in, marginparwidth=2.50in]{geometry}


% \addbibresource{DissCh2-Bibliography.bib}
\addbibresource{\jobname.bib} % <-- 'name' of bibliography above

\usepackage[colorlinks, allcolors=blue, breaklinks]{hyperref}



A citation.\autocite{aaa}


Now, the reason this structure makes sense is because it will allow you to break up your chapters and then include them in this master file via \include{DissCh2} (say). This will make editing your chapters a little easier since things are more compartmentalized:

% greatly simplified masterfile
... preamble stuff goes here
... other front matter
... back matter stuff
  • Jon, thank you so much! I am very aware that the structure and formatting I choose now will be crucial throughout the process. I really appreciate your insight about better document formats for the humanities and for the ability to compile a dissertation out of component parts. I'll definitely look into all of these options, thank you for the guidance! – user38869 Oct 25 '13 at 15:20
  • @user38869 -- well, I hope the advice proves useful! – jon Oct 25 '13 at 15:24

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