I am writing a thesis and I am organizing the contents in the way described on this page.

In my project folder, the main document is thesis.tex. It looks like this:

% Write the thesis in report format (thesis.tex)

% Insert packages

% Insert preamble

% Begin the thesis

% Insert title

% Insert table of contents, figures, and tables

% Insert the introduction

% Insert the conclusion

% Insert the bibliography


As you can see, all the chapters are located in the tex subdirectory. In particular, the tex subdirectory contains a bib file tex/references.bib and a file tex/bibliography.tex that looks like this:

% Bibliography (tex/bibliography.tex)

% Make the bibliography

Now when I compile thesis.tex, the bibliography doesn't appear and I get

Warning: Citation 'aslam2013' undefined on page 4 on input line 4

However, if I instead put the following directly in thesis.tex:


then I get no warning and the bibliography appears.

It's not such a big deal, but I would have liked my bibliography to be organized in a tex file just like the others. Why can't I include the bibliography the way I do? It must be quite obvious for some of you but I really can't see what's wrong...

I'm using Texnic Center on Windows 10.

1 Answer 1


Your paths always have to be relative to the main document - i.e. thesis.tex. This applies to \bibliography, as well as to \inputs and \includegraphics. Thus, you have to call


inside your file ./tex/bibliography.tex - even though both files are located in the same directory.

The same applies e.g. to images: in your file ./tex/introduction.tex, you'll have to include an example image located at ./tex/images/intro_image.jpg with


and not with ./images/intro_image.jpg.

  • UGH. It was so simple lol. It works now, thanks very much for the help. It's a good general principle to be aware of.
    – Ben
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 13:55

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