I am using Biblatex for bibliography. This works fine with builtin styles like ieee. But when I gave a custom bst file I got it gives me not found error.

My command was


I put the file splncs.bst in the same folder containing the tex and bib file.

Biblatex works fine when inbuilt styles are used

  • 5
    You cannot use .bst files with biblatex. biblatex styles are .bbx and .cbx files.
    – moewe
    May 1, 2014 at 14:18
  • 1
    Can convert between these two? What should be done if i get a bst file?
    – tex
    May 1, 2014 at 14:41
  • 2
    There is no standard conversion way from .bst to .bbx/.cbx. If you have to use a .bst file, better use BibTeX. If there is just a general style you have to follow, you might be able to cook that style up with biblatex.
    – moewe
    May 1, 2014 at 14:43
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    @moewe -- Until the unlikely event that someone actually creates a bst-->bbx/cbx converter, your comments are the answer.... To the OP: while it is a lot of work to create a fully correct and complete bibliography/citation style, if your needs are personal and (somewhat) circumscribed, it is possible to implement a style for use with biblatex without too much work. There are many serious biblatex hackers who frequent this site if you have questions.
    – jon
    May 1, 2014 at 18:28

1 Answer 1


biblatex uses a different style format (.bbx, .cbx, .lbx) than BibTeX (.bst). That means you cannot use your .bst files (BibTeX styles/\bibliographystyles) together with biblatex (or Biber, for that matter).

Note also that you can't use your .bst files with Biber. While Biber is a replacement for BibTeX when used for biblatex, it can not deal with .bst files at all and so would be of no use as a replacement for BibTeX in the classic BibTeX bibliography set-up.

As far as I'm aware there is no "converter" for .bst to .bbx/.cbx, and it is very unlikely that someone will actually create such a converter. Joseph suggests in the comment that this is impossible.

As a general rule: If you have to use a certain .bst file (because you institution requires you to do so, your publisher insists on a certain template etc.) it is best to go with BibTeX and the exact setup recommended in the guidelines. If you just happen to like a particular .bst file, you can check first if someone has created a biblatex style for it (a list of styles can be found here), if that is not the case, you can try and create the style yourself.

To implement a bibliography style yourself, first choose an appropriate basis for your style, find the standard biblatex style that comes closest to your intended style (as a rule of thumb the standard styles are easier to modify than heavily customised styles like biblatex-chicago, biblatex-apa, these only lends themselves to be used as a basis if the changes needed are miniscule). According to this, that would probably numeric in your case.

Then you go on to modify the style to your needs. A started is Guidelines for customizing biblatex styles, but there are much more questions about all kinds of customisations on this site.

  • 1
    I'd go further than 'very unlikely' on auto-conversion: once you give this some thought it's impossible. Such a conversion would need some form of structure to be available in the input, and .bst files are entirely arbitrary.
    – Joseph Wright
    May 3, 2014 at 6:41

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