I am having a problem citing some of my references in a chapter of my dissertation.I get two error messages when I try to compile the Reference.bib file namely Warning--empty journal for a research paper found on google scholar here and the error Warning--empty institution for a report found here.

Due to these warnings my references appear wrongly e.g if I put references before the reference giving a warning, the order of referencing changes when I compile the document. Thus the citation reference number 1 becomes reference 2 and so on.

I am using TeXShop version 3.77 on a Mac.

I have tried suggestions from the following posts with no luck :Stop bibtex from complaining about an empty note, BibTeX is not parsing my entries correctly and How to suppress Warning--empty author Message?

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    Welcome to TeX.SE! Please add the both bib entrys you have problems with to your question! – Mensch Nov 10 '17 at 2:43

What you have discovered is that bibliographic information obtained from Google Scholar can contain serious mistakes -- both semantic and factual. For instance, the first link you provided leads to the following bibliographic entry:

  title={Multisensor concealed weapon detection using the image fusion approach},
  author={Xu, Tuzhi and Wu, QM Jonathan},

In a narrow sense, BibTeX -- actually, the plain bibliography style -- is throwing a warning message (not an error message) because entries of type @article require a non-empty journal field. For the plain bibliography style, the four required fields for entries of type @article are author, title, journal, and year; the four optional fields are volume, number, pages, and note. Note that for the @article entry type, the publisher field is neither required nor optional; therefore, it is ignored entirely.

In a broader sense, though, the BibTeX/plain warning arises because the entry in question should not have been classified as being of type @article to begin with, as it wasn't published in an academic journal. A quick glance suggests that the entry type @inproceedings may be correct. You will have to perform the research to find out which entry type is actually appropriate here. (I assume you have access to the published piece -- I don't.)

Moral of the story: Do not place blind faith in the correctness of any bibliographic information obtained from Google Scholar. You read correctly: All information obtained from Google Scholar is potentially suspect and must be verified. This caution applies not only to those entries for which BibTeX throws outright errors or warnings. "Passing the BibTeX test" indicates merely that no semantic issues -- such as missing journal fields -- are present. You still have to be concerned about possible factual errors in all entries.

  • thank you that explanation is just what the doctor ordered. It solved the problem for me. – DvixExtract Nov 10 '17 at 4:02

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