This is my very first post and I'm hoping that this won't break any rule. I've done previous research with nothing similar found on forum.

I'm currently working with natbib, BibTex and a .bst file obtained from de Geological Society of America. The .bst file can be obtained here.

The style is pretty fine for my purposes, but I keep obtaining this:

Instead of getting something like (Ducea et al., 2004).

The command \citep would be generating the proper citation call-out, as the gsa.bst file says:

enter image description here

Also, the references appear in the bibliography with the hateful square brackets, and I have no clue from where delete them (don't mind the wrong number, just for illustrate purposes):


Also, I've noticed that my .blg file contains some errors:

This is BibTeX, Version 0.99dThe top-level auxiliary file: reftex.aux I found no \citation commands---while reading file reftex.aux I found no \bibdata command---while reading file reftex.aux I found no \bibstyle command---while reading file reftex.aux (There were 3 error messages)

I'm not sure where the reftex.aux file came from, but it contains the following:

\relax \catcode "\active \catcode<\active \catcode `>\active \@nameuse{es@quoting} \babel@aux{spanish}{}

Aaaand my .bbl file is, well, empty.

I think that I correctly declared the natbib package and the reference style:

enter image description here enter image description here

I'm stuck at this point. I've tried of running pdflatex>Bibtex>pdflatex>pdflatex in order to make BibTex work well, with no luck. Any help will be so welcomed!

  • bibliography styles may use numbered of author names keys for citation, if a publisher provided style for a journal is immplementing numbered bibliography then that is presumably what they want and not normally an author option to change (changing it would simply be a matter of choosing a different bibliography style rather than the one you link to Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 0:03
  • Well, understood. Maybe I can live with that. But anyway, the root problem is that reference is not proper displayed at the text. It must be appear as showed upwards.
    – Hermes
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 0:06
  • 1
    Try without option numbers for natbib ...
    – Mensch
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 3:29

1 Answer 1


The natbib package helps manage the "look" of citation call-outs, assuming a bibliography style is used that is compatible with the natbib package.

Fortunately, the JCKS bibliography style is fully compatible with natbib, as may be verified by the following passage, which starts at about line 20 of the style file:

 % This bibliography style file is intended for texts in ENGLISH
 % This is an author-year citation style bibliography. As such, it is
 % non-standard LaTeX, and requires a special package file to function properly.
 % Such a package is    natbib.sty   by Patrick W. Daly

All you need to do, then, is change the instruction




and re-run LaTeX, BibTeX, and LaTeX twice more to fully propagate all changes.

You can probably guess by now that "numbers" means "numeric-style citation call-outs and that "square" means "surround the numbers by square brackets". Conversely, "authoryear" means "authoryear-style citation call-outs" and that "round" means "use round parentheses in the outputs of \citet and \citep.

About the other error messages you report (errors in reftex.blg, empty reftex.bbl): Are you running BibTeX on the appropriate file? Assuming your main tex file is called myfile.tex and that that the bibliography file is called reftex.bib, you should be running bibtex myfile, not bibtex reftex.

  • 1
    Thanks Mico. Seen that way the error was more than obvious. Extreme facepalm here. And nope, I was running LaTeX>BibTeX>LaTeX>LaTeX on my main .tex file. Quite strange, as now my references is working like a charm but the .bbl file keeps empty. I owe you a lot. Please don't freeze me on carbonite.
    – Hermes
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 17:50
  • @Hermes - I love the Star Wars reference! OK, I'll won't freeze you in carbonite, but I might throw you into the Pit of Rancor... :-)
    – Mico
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 18:09
  • 1
    Deal! Just realized that I have two .bbl files. My info was in Thesis.bbl and not in reftex.bbl. Spoiling is the way to learn.
    – Hermes
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 18:11
  • Sorry to keep asking Mico, but you are now like a Latex guru. I don't know if is proper to ask here, but, how can I change the “AND” between authors' names in citations in this gsa.bst file? I've tried to change the citation conjuntion "and" for "y" on line 221 in the gsa.bst file (renaming de new file obtained), but I obtain and error here. Sorry for maybe asking in a wrong place.
    – Hermes
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 19:27
  • 1
    Done! After few tries it finally works well! Thanks a lot Mico!
    – Hermes
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 21:38

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