I'm aware of a previous question about changing bibliography starting number, but my problem is that I'm not using \begin{thebibliography} to build the bibliography, but directly reading it from a bibtex file. Is there any method of changing the default numbering, e.g. starting from 10 instead of 1 when compiling? The end of my file is as follows:


  • Try \setcounter{enumiv}{9}, at least enumiv is the counter used by the article.cls version of \thebibliography for the numbering
    – user31729
    Jan 26, 2016 at 11:46
  • Thanks but it doesn't work in my case. How can I check my counter type? Jan 26, 2016 at 12:53

1 Answer 1


\setcounter{enumiv}{9} would work if the the \thebibliography wouldn't apply \usecounter{enumiv} which in turn resets the enumiv counter.

From article.cls

            \usecounter{enumiv}%   This is the 'culprit'!!!!!
      \@clubpenalty \clubpenalty
       {\@latex@warning{Empty `thebibliography' environment}}%

and from latex.ltx


i.e. \setcounter{#1}{0} effectively.

The following code uses a dummy counter mybibstartvalue and sets the enumiv counter after \usecounter{enumiv} using a patch.

However, this code is only meant for article.cls.










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  • thanks for this elegant answer!
    – Libavius
    Oct 16, 2020 at 12:24

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