I'm brand new to Latex and BibTex and am having more trouble than I should generating a bibliography. Just using the example from the ShareLatex website won't work.

I used their text of



Let's cite! The Einstein's journal paper \cite{einstein} and the Dirac's 
book \cite{dirac} are physics related items. 



and made a separate file called sample2.bib wherein I put

    author =       "Albert Einstein",
    title =        "{Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter K{\"o}rper}. ({German})
        [{On} the electrodynamics of moving bodies]",
    journal =      "Annalen der Physik",
    volume =       "322",
    number =       "10",
    pages =        "891--921",
    year =         "1905",
    DOI =          "http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/andp.19053221004"

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

    author    = "Donald Knuth",
    title     = "Knuth: Computers and Typesetting",
    url       = "http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/\~{}uno/abcde.html"

Then, from TexWorks I run pdflatex -> bibtex -> pdflatex -> pdflatex, and just end up with a one page pdf with all the citation names in bold. But NO bibliography.

How can I get this working? What am I doing wrong?

Thanks for the help,

  • What do your logs say ? Was the bbl file generated ?
    – Elad Den
    Jan 2, 2017 at 4:50
  • It says The top-level auxiliary file: untitled-5.aux I found no \citation commands---while reading file untitled-5.aux I found no \bibdata command---while reading file untitled-5.aux I found no \bibstyle command---while reading file untitled-5.aux (There were 3 error messages). So...I guess not. What am I doing wrong though? Jan 2, 2017 at 5:00

1 Answer 1


There are three problems with your setup:

  • First, since you're loading the biblatex package without any special options, you must use biber rather than bibtex. If biblatex is loaded without the option backend=bibtex, nothing BibTeX-specific is written to the aux file. The error message you've posted indicates that you've tried to use BibTeX. Given your setup, BibTeX rightly complains that essential meta information (e.g., \bibdata) is missing. Either provide the option backend=bibtex and use BibTeX or (better) use biber.

  • Next, assuming your sample bibliography file is called sample2.bib, the instruction should be \addbibresource{sample2.bib} rather than \addbibresource{sample2}. The filename extension is required for use with biber.

  • Finally, since there's no entry with key dirac in the sample bib file, you should be getting a warning about an unresolved citation even if you run biber and fix the \addbibresource instruction.

You must log in to answer this question.

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