This is my first time posting here a question and I'm also like a beginner using Latex. Here is my problem: I can't compile my references, and always give me this mistake:

I couldn't open file name `reference.aux'

Probably I have to install a extra .lib but I don't know which of them.

I'll appreciate a lot if someone could give me some advices...

closed as unclear what you're asking by lockstep, Svend Tveskæg, barbara beeton, moewe, user13907 Mar 22 '15 at 13:28

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  • Hi and welcome here! What exactly are you doing when you are "compiling your references"? – pst Mar 21 '14 at 9:50
  • 1
    Welcome to TeX.SX! Please help us to help you and add a minimal working example (MWE) that illustrates your problem. It will be much easier for us to reproduce your situation and find out what the issue is when we see compilable code, starting with \documentclass{...} and ending with \end{document}. – jubobs Mar 21 '14 at 9:52
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    If your LaTeX document is called, say, main.tex, you have to call BibTeX (or Biber) like bibtex main, not with the name of the .bib file. – egreg Mar 21 '14 at 11:17

Let's suppose your references are written in a file called 'ref.bib' with entries like:

@article{latex1977,
    title={How to use latex},
    author={John Smith},
    journal={Journal of Latex},
    pages={1--50},
    volume={39},
    year={1977}
}

Now in your main file say 'main.tex' you have to have something like:

\documentclass{article}
\begin {document}

...
\cite{latex1977}
...

\bibliography{ref}
\bibliographystyle{plain}

\end{document}

To compile your document do this steps:

  1. compile 'main.tex' using latex or pdflatex => this step will generate main.aux file
  2. compile 'main.aux' (NOT 'ref.bib') using bibtex
  3. compile twice 'main.tex' using latex or pdflatex
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    The compilation sequence you had written was not correct, so I changed it. You could also say that it is sufficient to use bibtex main, the .aux file ending is not needed. – Torbjørn T. Mar 22 '15 at 12:59
  • Thanks for the help; I have a bash script for compiling my LaTeX files and was running bibtex on bibfile.bib instead of bibfile. – Luke Davis Oct 26 '17 at 20:09

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