So I realize I'm asking for trouble with this question because of its unknown document class, but...

I'm using my university's document class for my dissertation (a requirement), and thus it's not a standard class, such as article (it's pittetd).

I'm using the package natbib and the command thebibliography for my references, and I've been told I need to get rid of the section number (it reads "4.0 Bibliography" currently, but should read "Bibliography" only).

I've seen work-arounds that use \chapter* (or \section*) to suppress the numbering, but it doesn't work with this document class. It just ignores the asterisk, and the number remains. Two thoughts:

1) Is there a way to figure out the inner workings of the pittetd document class so as to find out how to suppress the numbering?

2) Should I use something other than thebibliography to be able to achieve this without having to worry about the document class? (Although I wouldn't want to use this option if it meant I had to go through my whole document and change the citation and reference styles.)

  • 1) Yes. Read it. Class files are just text files. If you have access to the class file, you already have its inner workings. On the other hand, there is no way for somebody to know without access to the relevant parts of the file. 2) You don't actually post what you've tried. If you are using bibtex, you have to use that command as far as I know. But you can change the kind of section it uses. But you need to provide an MWE and, if necessary, a link to the class. (That is, if you cannot reproduce the issue using a standard class.) Otherwise it is just guesses and they are likely to be poor.
    – cfr
    Apr 15, 2014 at 3:19
  • Wait. You are using thebibliography environment and natbib? Surely that is problematic? Note that you need to use \safebibliography with natbib. See page 24-25 of the user manual for your thesis class.
    – cfr
    Apr 15, 2014 at 3:23
  • This is probably my lack of true understanding of LaTeX coming through. All I do is specify \documentclass{pittetd} at the beginning of my file. How do I actually read it? That's what I meant by (1). As far as I know, anyone could specify that class at the beginning of their document. I have no actual text file. I don't understand your response to (2) - I stated I'm using natbib and thebibliography - nothing about bibtex.
    – Meg
    Apr 15, 2014 at 3:26
  • @cfr I don't why using both of them would create a problem (because I don't know enough about the package and the environment). Throughout the years (literally), it's been a patchwork of various packages to try to achieve all of the formatting I need. Why do these conflict?
    – Meg
    Apr 15, 2014 at 3:27
  • Yes, I used safebib at one point, and then changed it, but could not tell you why at this stage. I'll look at those pages...
    – Meg
    Apr 15, 2014 at 3:28

1 Answer 1


One way would is to save the definition of the environment thebibliography after loading natbib and let it be preceeded by the macro \@safebibliography as it normally has to be in pittetd class:









\expandafter\ifx\csname urlstyle\endcsname\relax
  \providecommand{\doi}[1]{doi: #1}\else
  \providecommand{\doi}{doi: \begingroup \urlstyle{rm}\Url}\fi

First Last.
\newblock A fictitious long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long journal article.
\newblock \emph{Journal of nothingness}, 2:\penalty0 1--2, 1900.

Respectable Writer.
\newblock \emph{A silly book}.
\newblock PublishCo, Somewhere, 2000.




enter image description here

In this way the formatting of the bibliography is the right one.

  • Would it be possible to use whatever environment \safebibliography uses with natbib? Or would that amount to the same thing?
    – cfr
    Apr 15, 2014 at 14:31
  • 1
    @cfr I wrote this answer thinking the OP didn't want to use \safebibliography. That would be the right way to go. Apr 15, 2014 at 14:33
  • I think that's right. I was just thinking that the command must set up thebibliography environment internally so that using that definition would (hopefully) ensure that whatever fixes the class uses for natbib get used in the OP's thesis. But I'm not sure if this would actually give different results from your approach or not.
    – cfr
    Apr 15, 2014 at 14:35
  • Thank you! It worked. I have a subsequent question regarding the formatting of the references: Is there a way to increase the space between lines for references that take up multiple lines (to, say, 1.5 instead of 1)? Also (I'm already regretting asking this...), hanging indents for references with more than one line (i.e. all lines after the first should be indented slightly)? These happen automatically when I use thebibliography environment.
    – Meg
    Apr 15, 2014 at 15:52
  • @Meg I've completely rewritten the answer to meet your needs. Apr 15, 2014 at 17:44

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .