I am using natbib.sty chicago.bst as my bibtex style sheets.

My natbib call looks like


when I try to change the hanging indent in my bibliography nothing happens:

\setlength \bibhang{1in}

However, if I remove the numbers and super options from the natbib options, the hanging indent happens? It appears that bibhang doesn't work with the numbers and super options? Any clue whats going on here? I'm stumped and have spent the better part of the afternoon searching for an answer.

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    Which document class are you using? Aug 12, 2011 at 0:21

1 Answer 1


According to the natbib documentation,

The list of references for author–year styles uses a hanging indentation format: the first line of each reference is flush left, the following lines are set with an indentation from the left margin. This indentation is 1em by default but may be changed by redefining (with \setlength) the length parameter \bibhang.

This suggests that \bibhang will have effect with author-year schemes, but you are using the numbers option, so \bibhang won't have any effect.

One possible workaround would be to redefine the thebibliography environment as implemented in report.cls. Here's what you would have to add to your preamble (change the value of \mybibindent according to your needs):

            \advance\leftmargin\dimexpr\labelsep+\mybibindent\relax\itemindent-\mybibindent% new
      \@clubpenalty \clubpenalty
       {\@latex@warning{Empty `thebibliography' environment}}%

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