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I'm trying to use natbib to get a bibliography, but it's not working. I tried compiling a sample tex-file, which worked fine, but in my document it's not happening. My document looks like this:

---content with citations---

My bib-file looks like this:

  author = "Michel Goossens and Frank Mittlebach and Alexander Samarin",
  title = "The Latex Companion",
  year = "1993",
  publisher = "Addison-Wesley",
  address = "Reading, Massachusetts"

It just completely ignores the bibliography, there's no headline or anything. Where I put the citations, it prints ?. I even tried stripping the document until only


remained, but it didn't help. When I created a new .tex-file in another directory with the same contents, it worked fine. Deleting everything but the *.tex-file also didn't help. Does anyone have an idea what I'm doing wrong?

marked as duplicate by user36296, Stefan Pinnow, Jesse, Mensch, moewe Aug 26 '16 at 12:04

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  • Are you using BibTeX? – Christian Jul 5 '16 at 6:18
  • I do not have your classfile, so I tried your MWE with \documentclass{article} and I did not encounter any problems. – Christian Jul 5 '16 at 7:25
  • 3
    Show the log-file and the blg-file of the compilation of the stripped down failing example. – Ulrike Fischer Jul 5 '16 at 7:33
  • Off-topic: The subfigure package is badly deprecated -- don't use it. In its stead, consider using either the subfig package or the subcaption package. – Mico Aug 5 '16 at 7:33

Simply loading the natbib citation management package does not generate a formatted bibliography. The natbib package provides various citation-related commands and provides several bibliography styles, such as plainnat.

To actually generate the bibliography and correctly-formatted citation call-outs (to entries in the bibliography), you need to run BibTeX (after having first run LaTeX, of course) and then rerun LaTeX twice more.


Found the solution in an answer to this question: BibTeX bibliography not printing

I don't know why it wouldn't work otherwise for my document, because it worked fine for a fresh document, but it worked.

  • The information content of an observation such as "it worked fine for a fresh document" is nearly impossible to evaluate. For sure, there's an unlimited number of potential "fresh" documents, and without access to a specific such document it's not meaningful to speculate as to what is going on. – Mico Aug 5 '16 at 7:31

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