The main questions sort of sums it up. I understand what cross-referencing is, but I don't see how one would go about it in a bibtex field. I don't know if this is something that comes up in different academic disciplines more, or if I just don't understand the purpose of the bibtex field. Perhaps some sore of minimal example would be helpful.

  • 1
    To quote from the bibtex documentation 'Using bibtex' that can be found on ctan, '[...] the special crossref field tells BibTEX that the [...] entry should inherit any fields it’s missing from the entry it cross references [...]'
    – leandriis
    Commented Nov 13, 2017 at 19:04
  • cross-referencing isn't meant for bibliographies, however
    – user31729
    Commented Nov 13, 2017 at 20:23

1 Answer 1


crossref can be used if you have multiple entries referring to the same proceeding, book or similar. The advantage is that things which are common to all entries only have to specified once, for example if Duck and Mouse both wrote proceedings for the same conference, the year or title of this conference only have to be given once.


    author = {Duck, D.},
    title = {Duck tales},
    crossref = {ICRC2015},

    author = {Mouse, M.},
    title = {Mouse stories},
    crossref = {ICRC2015},

    title = "{Proceedings of the 34\textsuperscript{th} International Cosmic Ray Conference}",
    year = "2015",
    month = aug,


  • 2
    What is mincrossrefs option doing here?
    – hola
    Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 18:12
  • 2
    @pushpen.paul It prevents that a separate 3rd entry for the parent entry is added Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 18:29
  • Personally, I know what it's for, but I can never get it to work? Does anyone really use this? Commented Oct 8, 2022 at 13:43
  • 2
    @JoannaBryson Maybe you could ask a question about what problems you face with it? Commented Oct 8, 2022 at 13:48
  • I find that the full cross reference only seems to work when used with the biber backend, rather than bibtex
    – Dai
    Commented Aug 25, 2023 at 6:57

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