I'm using Jabref to manage my bibliography while writing my tech. paper in WinEdt . Jabref creates a .bib file where items look like this:

  Title                    = {A comparison of filter configurations for freeway traffic state estimation},
  Author                   = {A. Hegyi
D. Girimonte
R. Babuska
B. De Schutter ·},
  Publisher                = {Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference, 2006. ITSC '06. IEEE; 10/2006},

  Owner                    = {scc},
  Timestamp                = {2015.12.28}

I'm attempting to publish in Elsevier and they use an elsarticle.cls class where the bibliography is in \bibitem format compiled by natbib. I searched the net and forums to convert the bibtex to bibitem. I reached a result where a minimum working example as follows


  Author                   = {Traffic England government website},
  Note                     = {Page Visited 15-May-2015},
  Url                      = {http://www.trafficengland.com},

  Owner                    = {scc},
  Timestamp                = {2015.05.18}



Some text \autocite{Hegyi2006_KF}.


should produce a .bbl file where I should copy its contents and replace the \printbibliography command in my original .tex file. ...that should work!!!

However, the example states that the .bbl file will have the \bibitem stuff. Mine doesn't .... mine comes out in this format .... and has no \bibitem at all

% $ biblatex auxiliary file $
% $ biblatex bbl format version 2.5 $
% Do not modify the above lines!
% This is an auxiliary file used by the 'biblatex' package.
% This file may safely be deleted. It will be recreated by
% biber as required.
\@ifundefined{[email protected]}
     {Missing 'biblatex' package}
     {The bibliography requires the 'biblatex' package.}

        {{hash=3ccb259afa5edafde7862b7ab6ee125a}{��}{�\bibinitperiod {A.\bibnamedelimi Hegyi\bibnamedelimb D.\bibnamedelimi Girimonte\bibnamedelimb R.\bibnamedelimi Babuska\bibnamedelimb B.\bibnamedelimi De\bibnamedelima Schutter}{A\bibinitperiod\bibinitdelim H\bibinitperiod\bibinitdelim D\bibinitperiod\bibinitdelim G\bibinitperiod\bibinitdelim R\bibinitperiod\bibinitdelim B\bibinitperiod\bibinitdelim B\bibinitperiod\bibinitdelim D\bibinitperiod\bibinitdelim S\bibinitperiod}{}{}{}{}}%
        {Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference, 2006. ITSC '06. IEEE; 10/2006}%
      \field{title}{A comparison of filter configurations for freeway traffic state estimation}

any suggestions??? to reach the \bibitem thing....

  • Try with backend=bibtex and then compile with bibtex rather than biber. What does the output bibliography look like then?
    – Werner
    Jan 6, 2016 at 17:30
  • it is giving an error trying to use bibtex instead of biber and somehow it looks for biber somewhere in the background..it says can't find control file "test.bcf" - did you pass the backend=biber option to biblatex. This happens when I change the backend to bibtex.
    – Jzee
    Jan 8, 2016 at 10:16
  • 1
    You need to remove the auxiliary files and start the compile chain again.
    – Johannes_B
    Jan 27, 2016 at 8:14
  • 4
    biblatex does not produce \bibitem's as BibTeX with .bst styles did (neither with Biber, nor with BibTeX). If you want to publish with Elsevier you should follow their workflow and use the packages they recommend (probably not biblatex, your question makes me think maybe natbib). See also Biblatex: submitting to a journal
    – moewe
    Feb 1, 2016 at 12:30
  • If nothing happens here in due time, I'm going to vote to close as a duplicate of Biblatex: submitting to a journal.
    – moewe
    Feb 4, 2016 at 7:32


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