I am using document class article, and using the following to refer to references:


An example of the article entry is like this:

     author = "{Ratnesh Kumar and Vijay K. Garg}",
     title = "{some Title}",
     journal = "{IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control}",
     year = {2001},
     volume = {46},
     number = {4},
     month = "",
     pages = {593--606},
     publisher = "",
     address = "" 

An example of the techreport entry is like this:

        author  = "{Sameh Elnikety and Erich Nahum and John Tracey and Willy Zwaenepoel}",
        title   = "{Some Title}",
        type ="",
        institution = "",
        year  = "2003",
        month = "", 
        number = ""

An example of the in proceedings entry is like this:

        author = "Kau Hun and Diana Glanen",
        title = "{Some title}",
        booktitle = "{Proceedings of the First International Workshop}",
        series = "Lecture Notes in Computer Science",
        volume = "1",
        pages = "304--305",
        year = "2001",
        editor = "",
        publisher = "Springer-Verlag",
        address = "London, UK" 

The file name that contains the entries is MyRef.bib

For some reason, the references are ordered by first name and not last. As I have many bib entries, could you tell me what is the fastest way I could fix this?

  • 3
    Try biblatex. Its default style is numeric which is about the same as plain style. Besides it's easier to customise than bst files.
    – Bernard
    Aug 28, 2014 at 1:33
  • Welcome to TeX.SX! With just one bib entry it's impossible to diagnose the problem.
    – egreg
    Aug 28, 2014 at 9:46
  • @Bernard: Thanks for the suggestion. How can I change my current file to biblatex? Is this option available in TeXNic Center?
    – Vajra V.P.
    Aug 28, 2014 at 10:06
  • @egreg: Thanks. I added more examples. I tend to copy one entry and then change its contents, so they should be the same in each category.
    – Vajra V.P.
    Aug 28, 2014 at 10:07
  • Either author="<names>" or author={<names>}; the braces around the author names are the problem.
    – egreg
    Aug 28, 2014 at 10:11

2 Answers 2


You need to format your bibliography file correctly. Writing

author = "{xxx yyy and aaa bbb}"

will be interpreted as a one single author whose name is simply a surname. You should write

author = {xxx yyy and aaa bbb}

or better

author = {yyy, xxx and bbb, aaa}

with each name as Last, First:

Sample output

  author =   {Elnikety, Sameh and Nahum, Erich and Tracey, John
                  and Zwaenepoel, Willy},
  title =    {Some Title},
  institution =  {Some Inst.},
  year =     2003

  author =   {Hun, Kau and Glanen, Diana},
  title =    {Some title},
  booktitle =    {Proceedings of the First International Workshop},
  series =   {Lecture Notes in Computer Science},
  volume =   1,
  pages =    {304--305},
  year =     2001,
  publisher =    {Springer-Verlag},
  address =  {London, UK}

  author =   {Kumar Ratnesh and Garg, Vijay K.},
  title =    {Some Title},
  journal =  {IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control},
  year =     2001,
  volume =   46,
  number =   4,
  pages =    {593--606}

created with the latex file



A very good explanation of the syntax of bib files may be found in Part 3 of Tame the BeaST. As Jospeh Wright points out you can use "..." instead of {...} but using both as "{...}" will double quote the contents and lead to the unwanted interpretation of your input.


First, you need to make sure your input follows the format. I found google scholar always can give a good format. So I always copy and paste the bibtex entry from google scholar to my *.bib file.

Second, you need to pick up a certain package to read *.bib and work with latex. I used "biblatex". As far as biblatex speaking, you can control the output format when you include this package in the main file. Say:


The "style" control how it looks like in the context: here I chose authoryear; and the "sorting" control how literatures are sorted in the final bibliography part: here I chose nyt, which stands for "author name - year - date".

There is more useful information available at:


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