I had written a M.Sc thesis using Latex. After my oral defence, I tried to effects some of the correction but to my surprise the reference listing in the bibliography changed. I did not alter the bibliographystyle I had initially used. My preamble and bibliography style are given below:


%\bibliographystyle{plain} %% plain.bst

I want a listing that will look like this:

Ying, Q., M., Mysliwiec, and M. J. Kleeman, (2004) Source apportionment of visibility impairment using a three-dimensional source-oriented air quality model. Environmental Science &Technology, 38: 1089-1101.

Ying, Q. and Kleeman, M.J. (2006) Source contributions to the regional distribution of secondary particulate matter in California. Atmospheric Environment, 40: 736-752.

Yuanxun, Z., Yuanmao, Z., Yingsong, W., Delu, L., Aiguo, L., Yan, L., Guilin, Z., Yifei, Z. and Zuci, S. (2006) PIXE Characterization of PM10 and PM2.5 Particulate Matter Collected during the Winter Season in Shanghai City. J. Radioanal. Nucl. Chem., 267: 497–499.

But the lines after the first will be indented.

I am stucked now, please assist. Do I need to install a package for apalike or what is really happening.

  • If the apalike package is not installed, the document you posted will generate an error along the lines of: ! LaTeX Error: File apalike.sty' not found.` (Of course, I suspect it is installed on your system.) You should provide a working minimal example see here that shows the problem. If I fix your example to make it compilable, it runs fine, though the style of the bibliography might not be to your needs. You may want to consider using biblatex, or one of its many contributed styles.
    – jon
    Dec 16, 2011 at 14:35

1 Answer 1


To get rid of the hanging indentation of second and subsequent lines of bibliographic entries entirely while using the natbib package, the instruction you need to issue in your document's preamble, after loading the natbib package, is:

\setlength\bibindent{0pt}  % default value: 1em

Conversely, if you do want some hanging indentation, say by the amount of 2em, you'd type:

  • I'm pretty sure he wants a hanging indent in the bibliography (though I suppose @Segun can see how easily your suggestion could be adapted to change the indent to any length he desires).
    – jon
    Dec 16, 2011 at 14:26
  • Thanks, @jon. I'll revise my answer to indicate this explicitly.
    – Mico
    Dec 16, 2011 at 14:44

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