I am working on a document, which I build, using TeXstudio (default compiler is pdflatex). For the automatic inclusion of bibliography, I am using natbib (have to use it, as there is a dependency on a foreign template). For this document, I store and manage references, using JabRef.

I was experiencing a problem with a particular publication's reference (in-text citation is fine), which was displayed with a garbage symbols. I found that at that place there should be apostrophe and I corrected the title. After that I saved the references database in JabRef, then autogenerated BibTeX key for that record and saved again. Hoowever, when I recompile the document, that reference remains incorrect, exactly as it was before the update. I would appreciate your help in fixing this issue.

Here's the misbehaving BibTeX entry:

  Title                    = {Firms' contribution to open-source software and the dominant user's skill},
  Author                   = {Jullien, Nicolas and Zimmermann, Jean-Beno{\^{\i}}t},
  Journal                  = {European Management Review},
  Year                     = {2009},
  Number                   = {2},
  Pages                    = {130--139},
  Volume                   = {6},
  Doi                      = {10.1057/emr.2009.8},
  ISSN                     = {1740-4762},
  Keywords                 = {open source software, competition, firms, involvement, variety},
  Publisher                = {Blackwell Publishing Ltd}

Here's how it looks after my correction:

enter image description here

Note. Most references behave correctly after my updates, so, from that I conclude that it could not be an issue of using a wrong file or something like that.

  • Did you use the sequence `pdflatex bibtex pdflatex pdflatex' and then view? Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 16:25
  • @R.Schumacher: I'm relying on TeXstudio for that. I think that, if the sequence wouldn't be executing, I wouldn't see all updated references rebuilt correctly. Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 16:36
  • On the menu go to Tools-Commands and try running the commands individually as above. Do you still have the same problem? Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 16:40
  • 1
    @R.Schumacher: Amazing - it fixed the problem. Thank you so much - please convert your comments into an answer, so I could upvote and accept it. However, I'm curious about what does it mean - a problem in my configuration, environment or something else. Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 16:54

1 Answer 1


When you edit the source bibtex files (i.e. the *.bib) then you must rerun the complete bibtex sequence. This must be done because pdflatex does not read the *.bib file directly, but the supporting input file *.bbl is constructed by bibtex, etal. However, in a more general sense, if you are using bibtex or biber you should always run the full sequence `pdflatex bibtex pdflatex pdflatex' and then view. This will ensure that you do not forget about a change in the *.bib file.

This is especially important if you are using LaTeX to import the bibliography from the internet, as any updates there will not show in your final document unless the full sequence has been run.

So, the workflow is:

  • Build the *.bib file using an appropriate tool or with your favorite editor.
  • Create your *.tex file with the required calls for the bibliography.
  • Run pdflatex on the *.tex file. This will create information in the *.aux file about the citations used.
  • Run bibtex, biblates, or biber, as appropriate to create the *.bbl file which contains the references for your document.
  • Now run pdflatex again to load reference information.
  • Now run pdflatex again to resolve the citations to the references.

Note: If you have done something convoluted in your paper, there may be a requirement for additional runs of pdflatex to resolve everything. You can watch the log unresolved items.

  • Now use your favorite viewer to verify all is as you want it.
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    ...or, if your compiler tries to do things automatically, then merely deleting the .bbl file and recompiling will force a rebuild, to correct the problem. Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 19:39
  • As I already thanked R. Schumacher, I'd like to thank @StevenB.Segletes for his advice - I find using this nice trick much easier than using the general comprehensive approach. I just hope that the trick is supposed to work under all circumstances. Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 13:17

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