# How can I change the "References" to "Reference" in the thebibliography environment?

My problem is that I have only one reference. So I would like the head of this part to appear "Reference" instead of commonly "References". More generally, could we change the title "References" to an arbitrary name?

Thank you very much for your help!

It depends on the documentclass.

\renewcommand\bibname{Reference}


works for some.

As chl points out. Others use \refname instead of \bibname.

• (+1) Ah, we posted quite at the same time, but you the first :-) I just suggested in addition to replace \refname by \bibname for a book. Feel free to add it to your answer if you like.
– chl
May 5, 2011 at 8:31
• To change ShareLatex name use \renewcommand\refname{Reference}. Oct 27, 2016 at 2:11
• You can pretty much tell whether you need refname or bibname by whether the current name is references or bibliography, respectively :-) Jul 6, 2018 at 11:04
• @JoannaBryson That's a good heuristic but sadly isn't always true. (It works for the standard document classes but a case-insensitive grep for refname.*biblio and bibname.*reference in my texmf-dist/tex/latex directory show a handful that don't follow that convention. Mainly dissertation formats, it seems.)
– TH.
Jul 31, 2018 at 8:27
• To my experience, some packages like babel may interfere with this command. Jan 2, 2019 at 20:44

In my case, I added the following option to \printbibliography:

\printbibliography[title={Reference}]


For more details, see the BibLaTeX documentation, section 3.7.2 The Bibliography.

• Best and simplest answer ;) Jul 24, 2017 at 11:01

It seems \refname works fine for me while \bibname not.

For TOC, in case you need it, use \contentsname

\documentclass[10pt,a4paper]{article}
\renewcommand{\contentsname}{whatever}
\renewcommand{\refname}{whatever}

• Welcome to TeX.SE! To make your answer more usable for others, it would very much help if you indicated which document class you use. (Some document classes use the macro \bibname, while others use \refname.)
– Mico
Jun 29, 2014 at 10:45
• You can pretty much tell whether you need refname or bibname by whether the current name is references or bibliography, respectively :-) Jul 6, 2018 at 11:04

In my case, I needed to add the following lines:

\usepackage[english,portuguese]{babel}
\renewcommand{\figurename}{Fig.}
\renewcommand{\refname}{Reference}


I hope this helps to complete this topic.

• Welcome. When you type some code you can select it and press ctrl+k to format as code. May 9, 2015 at 16:22
• Thank you. This helped me too! In my case I had to replace portuguese with german. :)
– ryu
Oct 14, 2020 at 20:55

Renew the \bibsection-command. For example:

\renewcommand{\bibsection}{\subsection*{Reference, typeset as un-numbered subsection.}}

(Credits to http://latex.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4089, where I found the solution which worked for me.)

For cyrillic OT1 I found out this solution. hope it'll help. add this to preamble:  \addto\captionsrussian{\def\refname{Список литературы}} 

What worked for me is an un-numbered chapter:

\renewcommand{\bibsection}{\chapter*{Publications and presentations}}

\renewcommand\bibname{Reference}

make sure to write this line at the beginning after you define your document class if you wanna change the default bibliography name to "Reference":
For example:
\documentclass[12pt]{report}

\renewcommand\bibname{Reference}

\begin{document}

...