Suppose I have a rather large BibTeX bibliography file that contains both works cited in a paper as well as works I saved to my bibliography without actually citing them in my paper.

Is there a way to only print those entries that are not yet cited in the paper, say, as a reminder that I wanted to include them at some point in my thesis?

This might seem somewhat counter-intuitive, but it has to do with the fact that I use an external tool for library management that creates a BibTeX file with all the saved entries, regardless of whether they are actually cited in my paper.

I'm using biblatex and the biber backend to create my bibliography.

  • 2
    You can use bibtool to extract the entries that have been cited, and use bibcut to compare that to your main library.
    – darthbith
    Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 18:26
  • You may also like this entry: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/212515/…
    – JPi
    Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 23:10
  • @darthbith Thanks for the input. Bibcut seems to have some trouble with entries containing a "shorttitle" tag or similar, however, apparently confusing the two entries and marking them as different.
    – barghest
    Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 8:53
  • @barghest Hmm too bad it didn't work... I have never tried it myself, but I think you have a pretty good answer already! :-)
    – darthbith
    Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 12:35
  • Another approach linked for completeness' sake: see this answer.
    – barghest
    Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 13:56

1 Answer 1


To print a list of references that have not been cited you can create a check that filters out the cited one (you have to enable the citetracker feature, e.g., \usepackage[citetracker=true]{biblatex}).

The check can be created as follows


and then put a \nocite{*} in the document, and use


PS I think this has been asked before, but I was not able to locate it.

  • 1
    A similar technique has been used in \nocite{*} for single bibdatasources with biblatex/biber.
    – moewe
    Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 12:51
  • 1
    somehow I can't get this to work, the printbibliography[check=uncited] still picks up many that are actually cited somewhere; I have enabled citetracker; I have cleared the intermediate files; what else could I be doing wrong?
    – codeling
    Commented Feb 5, 2021 at 13:01

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