Wondering why the reference


does not appear in my pdf when I compile it?

Any help appreciated.

  • 2
    You've provided no useful details in your post. How do you expect anyone to be able to answer without them? Mind-reading? Throwing out wild guesses hoping one sticks? If you want help here, you need to provide details. See How to Ask and [mcve].
    – Ken White
    Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 16:29
  • you need to run bibtex to generate a bibliography Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 19:49

2 Answers 2


To discuss the situation we need a minimal working example (MWE) you did not add to your question. Let us start with the following one, copy it to your computer and name it mwe.tex:

  author    = {Goossens, Michel and Mittelbach, Frank and 
               Samarin, Alexander},
  title     = {The LaTeX Companion},
  edition   = {1},
  publisher = {Addison-Wesley},
  location  = {Reading, Mass.},
  year      = {1994},
  title     = {The Restaurant at the End of the Universe},
  author    = {Douglas Adams},
  series    = {The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy},
  publisher = {Pan Macmillan},
  year      = {1980},




Text~\cite{adams} % citing one bib entry % <============================
\nocite{*}   % all not cited bib entrys are shown in bibliography ...
\bibliographystyle{plain} % <===========================================
\bibliography{\jobname} % to use file created by filecontents ...


Package filecontents is only used to have a bib file and the TeX code together in one compilable MWE.

To get a printed bibliography you need \cite{key} to cite the bib entry key, like:

Text~\cite{adams} % citing one bib entry % <============================

or use \nocite{*} to get all not cited bib entrys printed in your bibliography.

The bibliography style plain defines the layout of the printed bibliography. \nocite{*} % all not cited bib entrys are shown in bibliography ...

To get the MWE compiled you need to follow the compiling chain (open your terminal/console and type the following commands):

pdflatex mwe.tex

to compile mwe.tex and get file mwe.aux we need for the next step:

bibtex mwe.aux

which results in a file mwe.bbl containing the bibliography. Now type

pdflatex mwe.tex
pdflatex mwe.tex

to get the final document like this:


Check the documentation of your used editor how to start pdflatex and bibtex with it.

  • Why are you answering the same unclear questions again and again and again? Before it is even clear where tge provlem is?
    – Johannes_B
    Commented Oct 28, 2017 at 6:09

How does your Reference.bib looks like?

Imports the BibTeX file "Reference.bib" to display the bibliography.
To import several .bib files just write them comma-separated inside
the braces, the file extension is not necessary.


    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"

run bibtex:

pdflatex document.tex
bibtex Reference
pdflatex document.tex
pdflatex document.tex


https://www.sharelatex.com/learn/Bibliography_management_with_bibtex https://www.latex-tutorial.com/tutorials/bibtex

  • I've copied that code and pasted it into a TeX document but there is still no reference
    – TheSimpliFire
    Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 16:31
  • 2
    @TheSimpliFire -- that code isn't meant to be pasted into a tex document. it consists of four commands to be processed from the command line. Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 21:18

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