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How can I customize the bibliography commands, so that the bibliography header would be \chapter*{Bibliography}? The document class is report, and I am using BibTeX with a plain style. The current commands are

\bibliographystyle{plain}
\bibliography{mybibfile}

I prefer not to use a method that will force me to inline the entire bibliography environment inside the document - It is rather lengthy.

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    Isn't that the default? A test file with the report class using natbib (and running plain bibtex) resulted in the bibliography being written in the same size and style of a chapter heading, but without the bibliography showing up in the table of contents. You might need to explain what you're after a little more clearly, ideally with a full-but-minimal example.
    – jon
    Mar 2, 2012 at 15:54
  • 4
    If you show the difficulties by a concrete example, it will be much easier to recognize the problem. Mar 2, 2012 at 16:32

2 Answers 2

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Here are some snippets from report.cls.

\newenvironment{thebibliography}[1]
     {\chapter*{\bibname}%

...

\newcommand\bibname{Bibliography}

So, \chapter*{Bibliography} is the default, and you can change the heading by redefining \bibname, e.g. \renewcommand\bibname{References}. If you want to make more substantial changes, you could use the etoolbox package.

\documentclass{report}
\usepackage{etoolbox}
\patchcmd{\thebibliography}{\chapter*{\bibname}}{\section*{\bibname}}{}{}
\begin{document}
\chapter{A chapter}
\section{A section}
\begin{thebibliography}{}
\bibitem{a}
A nice book.
\end{thebibliography}
\end{document}
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If you are using one of the KOMA classes, there is a nice little option you can use to move your bibliography down one step in the chapter/section hierarchy:

\KOMAoption{bibliography}{leveldown}

If the class typesets the bibliography as a \chapter* in standard usage, adding this KOMA option will make it a \section*.

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