After updating Biber and Biblatex to the latest versions with Tex Live Utility (Mac OS) LaTEX no longer produced any bibliography output. This was likely due to the name formatting changes in Biblatex 3.3. I tried changing all mentions of 'last name' to 'family' and 'first name' to 'given', which then produced an incomplete bibliography that ignored my previous formatting.

@moewe correctly identified that problems in the bib file may be causing trouble in addition to the Biber & BibLatex updates.

Running Biber alone (not PdfLatex) on a limited selection of references produces the following:

Process started

INFO - This is Biber 2.4 INFO - Logfile is 'test1.blg' INFO - Reading 'test1.bcf' INFO - Found 5 citekeys in bib section 0 INFO - Processing section 0 INFO - Looking for bibtex format file '/Users/Sam/Dropbox/PhD/Thesis/Texfiles/LaTexbibliography.bib' for section 0 INFO - Decoding LaTeX character macros into UTF-8 INFO - Found BibTeX data source '/Users/Sam/Dropbox/PhD/Thesis/Texfiles/LaTexbibliography.bib' WARN - BibTeX subsystem: /var/folders/rj/pf22n46x3nj57jynk3h3j66m0000gn/T/YfVI4j5Rr2/LaTexbibliography.bib_2277.utf8, line 17, warning: 457 characters of junk seen at toplevel INFO - Overriding locale 'en-US' defaults 'variable = shifted' with 'variable = non-ignorable' INFO - Overriding locale 'en-US' defaults 'normalization = NFD' with 'normalization = prenormalized' INFO - Sorting list 'nyt/global' of type 'entry' with scheme 'nyt' and locale 'en-US' INFO - No sort tailoring available for locale 'en-US' INFO - Writing 'test1.bbl' with encoding 'UTF-8' INFO - Output to test1.bbl INFO - WARNINGS: 1

Process exited normally

I have two questions:

  1. Are these warnings important? The true .bib file is much larger. Is there a way to troubleshoot it to identify which other references within it will cause problems?

  2. Despite these warnings, I can produce a functional part document with the bibliography formatted as I'd like. Problems arise when I incorporate a subfile into the main document, despite trying to use code suggested in Bibliographies when using subfiles.

Error messages are

"File ended while scanning use of \field" (compiling the subfile)


"File ended while scanning use of \subfile" (compiling the main document)

Have the changes to Biber and BibLatex required changes to the subfile commands, when the subfiles contain references to go in the bibliography of the main file? If so, what should those changes be?



% other packages

% Reconcile bibliography processing for subfiles


%Example for the MWE
% \begin{filecontents}{Chapter1.tex}
% \documentclass[Mainthesis.tex]{subfiles}
% \begin{document}
% Chapter 1 text, citing \parencite{Areference2015}.
% \end{document}
% \end{filecontents}




  • 1
    The next one. Check tex.stackexchange.com/questions/299036/… Mar 15, 2016 at 12:42
  • You definitely have some of the problems explained in Ulrike's link above (namely \mkbibnamelast etc. and \DeclareNameAlias{default}{last-first}). But the Biber error you get should not have to do with that I don't think. I can, however, not reproduce the problem with the (admittedly messy) entry you posted, so there is something else going on in your .bib file (at line 1?).
    – moewe
    Mar 15, 2016 at 13:24
  • Mhhh, the entry Hurst2008 has some garbage 2006/11/14 09:00 in the middle of the entry. If I get rid of that and cobble the rest together to an MWE I get the expected output with citations and all.
    – moewe
    Mar 15, 2016 at 13:57
  • Some of the references may have this problem. My issue now is that when I try to build the document from scratch (using the components that were in the subfiles) it ultimately reverts to the same problem with a garbage bibliography and loss of formatting. Bibliographies often start with this: blx@hook@bibinit - does that lead anywhere?
    – leumsa
    Mar 15, 2016 at 15:25
  • 1
    Ultimately the problem seemed due to those 2 problems - the biber update, and a rogue reference in the .bib file. Please mark it solved with the comments from @UlrikeFischer
    – leumsa
    Mar 17, 2016 at 7:23


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