I am writing a document in LyX which involves citations only. There is no text or anything else that could cause trouble.

My problem: LyX does not generate either the citations or the bibliography. In the PDF, I see only question marks and no References section.

I have been using LyX for a couple of years and it is only in the new versions that I face this problem.

What I have done:

  • Insert>List/TOC>Bibtex Bibliography>Add database, change the style to chicago (or any other, this has no influence.)
  • In the text itself: Insert>Citation>Added a citation from the left column to the right column>Ok.
  • clear biber cache.
  • Selected alternatively "Default", "Natbib" and "Jurabib" in the citation style and selected "biber","bibtex","bibtex8"

I can see both the BibTeX generated bibliography and the citation. When I put the pointer on the first, I see the name of the database and the options, which leads me to believe that LyX is capable of "reading" the file from BibTeX. For the citation, when I put the pointer on it I can see the content of the key.

I am using LyX 2.1.4 (latest version), JabRef 2.8.1 and Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. I have updated through the MiKTeX Package Manager the packages that could be updated.

I have seen in several threads here on stackexchange that this could be due to the LyX pipe. I do not know what this is nor what it does. In the Tools>Preferences>Paths, the LyXServer pipe field is empty. Is this a problem? If so, where is this "pipe" ?

Thank you very much !

  • Did you try adding to the code \nocite{*}? Comments aside, the present version of JabRef is 3.2, and you should use aTex-friendlier pdf viewer, such as SumatraPDF, which doe not lock pdf files.
    – Bernard
    Jan 27, 2016 at 15:24
  • Thank you. I have tried the 'nocite' option and it works. Before that, I exported from LyX to Latex(plain), opened it in Scientific Workplace where the citation became encapsulated "citet" objects. I opened that file in LyX and then it worked. Could you post your comment as an answer so that I can accept it ? Jan 27, 2016 at 16:21
  • However, as I understand it, the nocite lists all elements in the database, even those who are not referenced. This is not what I would like. Jan 27, 2016 at 16:29

1 Answer 1


If the references are not explicitly cited in the text, they won't be printed. So you can try adding nocite{*} to your code, so that the whole .bib file will appear.

Also note that, with biblatex, you can filter what will be printed, e.g. by type (\printbibliography[type=book]).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .