# Problem with bibliography section header and font size

I am using the elsarticle document type.

 \documentclass[preprint,1p,times]{elsarticle}
\begin{document}
\begin{thebibliography}{9}
\bibitem{myref2003} 2003, my reference
\end{thebibliography}
\end{document}


I have two problems: 1) the bibliography appears without the section header "References" 2) The bibliography appears with font of the same size as footnotes

This has not always been the case. Initially things were working ok. At some point I tried to import the natbib package and the problem started. I have since removed the natbib package and deleted all temporary files, but the problem remains.

How can I fix or debug the problem? Thanks

Both "issues" seem to originate from the latest version of elsarticle. At some time, your LaTeX distribution may have updated elsarticle to the faulty version, which would explain why the issues weren't there in the beginning.

elsarticle.cls ends with

   \@ifpackageloaded{amsrefs}%
{}
{\let\bibsection\relax%
\AtBeginDocument{\def\cites@b#1#2,#3{%
\begingroup[%
\toks@{\InnerCite{#2}#1}%
\ifx\@empty#3\@xp\@gobble\fi
\cites@c#3%
}}}


This is what makes the heading disappear, since natbib redefines the thebibliography environment to start with \bibsection, which is responsible for the typesetting of the bibliography heading.

I don't know if this is a design decision or simply a mistake. To recover natbib's definition of \bibsection you may try to write

   \newcommand\bibsection{%
\section*{\bibname\markright{\MakeUppercase{\bibname}}}}



The link above also points to an updated version of elsarticle from 2011, which also fixes the issue: http://download.river-valley.com/elsarticle/elsarticle-v1.21-ELS.zip.

However, although the updated package seems to originate from the official elsarticle developers, it hasn't been uploaded to the CTAN, or MikTeX package manager for example, which still use the faulty 2009 version.

# Bibliography font size

Not sure if it's an issue. elsarticle redefines the bibliography font size for options 1p, 3p and 5p:

\global\let\bibfont=\footnotesize


\let\bibfont\small


or whatever font size you want.

# Fixed example

\documentclass[preprint,1p,times]{elsarticle}
\newcommand\bibsection{\section*{\bibname\markright{\MakeUppercase{\bibname}}}}
\let\bibfont\small
\begin{document}
\begin{thebibliography}{9}
\bibitem{myref2003} 2003, my reference
\end{thebibliography}
\end{document}


which gives:

or, with the updated elsarticle class (to make it quick, you can extract the elsarticle.cls file and add it in the same folder as your .tex file):

\documentclass[preprint,1p,times]{elsarticle}
\let\bibfont\small
\begin{document}
\begin{thebibliography}{9}
\bibitem{myref2003} 2003, my reference
\end{thebibliography}
\end{document}


• Thanks for the detailed answer. I work on different machines (windows, Linux, iPad) so fixing the elsarticle class is not practical. Plus I am not sure what version will the editor use. Fixing the file locally works just fine. Thanks. – Fabio Jun 21 '17 at 15:58