the problem that I have is that some references appears as numbers and some of them appears as author names. The problem is that I only want numbers. The .tex compiles without any error. I tried to edit the bib file but still the reference appears in names and numbers. I tried deleting the .blb file and compile again but nothing was changed. I tried to delete the .aux file and compile again but still it didn't correct anything. The bibliography file was created using BibDesk. I have upload an image to check it out.



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  • What if you add style=numeric to your biblatex options? – Alenanno Jan 16 '16 at 18:55
  • isn't it biblatex's way of saying that it cannot find the reference. Instead of printing [??] it prints [key]. – ArTourter Jan 16 '16 at 19:00
  • Just did, \usepackage[sorting=none,numeric]{bib latex}, and I got an error Package keyval error:numeric undefined. I have also checked the reference in the bib file and it appears there. – Petros Mourouzis Jan 16 '16 at 19:01
  • No, add style=numeric. But if you still have problems after that, then @ArTourter may be right. Are you sure you're using the right key to call the citation? Check for wrong spellings. – Alenanno Jan 16 '16 at 19:02
  • 1
    The bold-listed entries could not be found. You need to rerun biber, and there should be a warning message to that effect at the end of your .log. – Werner Jan 16 '16 at 19:35

Biblatex, unlike bibtex, will use the key in bold in the document, intead of the bold question marks, to show that the reference is not found.

Consider the following example:


    author = {foo, h.},
    title = {some random title},
    journaltitle = {a journal},
    year = {2014},



some text \cite{foo} but also \cite{bar}.


It will produce the output

some text [1] but also [bar].

and in the logs, you should see something like:

Package biblatex Warning: The following entry could not be found
(biblatex) in the database:
(biblatex) bar
(biblatex) Please verify the spelling and rerun
(biblatex) LaTeX afterwards.

  • Yes, I understand. I mis-believe that if the references are in the .bib file there will be no problem, how do i rerun Biber? – Petros Mourouzis Jan 16 '16 at 19:58
  • I open a terminal window i type biber filename.tex i got ERROR: did you pass the "backend=biber" option to BibLaTeX? @ArTourter – Petros Mourouzis Jan 16 '16 at 20:48
  • biber should be run on the .aux file not the .tex file. you can leave the extension out altogether and it will pick the correct file – ArTourter Jan 16 '16 at 20:52
  • Still the same error: Cannot find control file 'phd.aux.bcf'! - did you pass the "backend=biber" option to BibLaTeX? – @ArTourner... (sorry for the mentions) – Petros Mourouzis Jan 16 '16 at 21:29
  • I put \usepackage[sorting=none, backend=biber]{bib latex} in the code but still nothing – Petros Mourouzis Jan 16 '16 at 22:25

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