# Using \nocite in large documents

I am having some issues regarding the bibliography.

When I am citing more than 2 references at the same time, for example 3 ctations I usually cite it as: (\cite{a}-\nocite{b}\cite{c})

"as shown in [1]-[3]"

The problem is that I am writing a very long document (thesis) and the references are sometimes cited in different chapters and with different order.

And for example if I want to cite three references at the end of the thesis but one of them has been cited at the begining, the nocite will look as

"as shown in [1]-[128]".

The quick answer would be to not use nocite and cite all of them separately, but when there are too many together it does not look very smart.

Any idea or comment?

Ignacio

• \cite{a,b,c} may be an acceptable solution, depending on the style this will be [1,2,3] or [1-3]. – Marijn Feb 25 '16 at 11:30
• To make clear what @Marijn’s comment suggests: You’re using \nocite wrong! \nociteis to be used if you want to include an item from the .bib file to the bibliography list, that is not cited in the document. The correct solution would be to give all keys to one \cite command, as said by Marijn. – Tobi Feb 25 '16 at 13:15
• @Marijn Do you want to write up an answer? (I believe your solution is not only acceptable, but the proper solution here.) – moewe Feb 27 '16 at 7:23

You can cite multiple references at once using the \cite{a,b,c} syntax, in the plain bibliography style (and derivatives) this creates a reference like [1,2,3]. If you want a range then you can use the cite package. This also handles non-consecutive references. MWE for Bibtex:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{cite}
\begin{filecontents}{sample.bib}
@article{a,
author = "John Day",
title = "Life",
journal = "Journal of Life",
year = {1979}
}
@article{b,
author = "Jane Dice",
title = "The Universe",
journal = "Journal of the Universe",
year = {1980}
}

@article{c,
author = "Jack Doe",
title = "Everything",
journal = "Journal of Everything",
year = {1981}
}

@article{d,
author = "Jack Doe",
title = "Everything reconsidered",
journal = "Journal of Everything",
year = {1982}
}

@article{e,
author = "Jill Duhr",
title = "Nothing",
journal = "Journal of Nothing",
year = {1983}
}
\end{filecontents}

\begin{document}
All you need to know is described in \cite{a,b,c,d,e}. Some things you need to know are mentioned in \cite{a,b,c,e}.
\bibliographystyle{plain}
\bibliography{sample}
\end{document}


Result:

All you need to know is described in [1–5]. Some things you need to know are mentioned in [1–3, 5].

For Biblatex you can use \usepackage[style=numeric-comp]{biblatex}, then the cite package is not needed. See also Citing a range of papers (using numeric keys)?.