# Cannot add .bib file to my main .text file

I am trying to add a biblio.bib file in my main.tex file

I am doing it like this

% This is the segment in my main.tex file %

\section*{References}

\bibliographystyle{IEEEtran}
\bibliography{biblio}

% This is the biblio.bib file %

@article{
b1,
author={Him and Him and Her and This Guy},
journal={ This is the Journal },
title={ Super Awesome Title },
year={2001},
volume={55},
number={5},
pages={123-456}
doi={10.1001/QS.1234.56}
ISSN={1234-4567},
month={August},
}



I am getting the following error (in Overleaf):

LaTeX Error: Something's wrong--perhaps a missing \item.

There are no entries found in a list you have created. Make sure you label list entries using the \item command, and that you have not used a list inside a table.

## EDIT: AN EXAMPLE

main.tex file:

\documentclass[conference]{IEEEtran}
\IEEEoverridecommandlockouts

\usepackage{tabularx}
\usepackage{cite}
\usepackage{amsmath,amssymb,amsfonts}
\usepackage{algorithmic}
\usepackage{graphicx}
\usepackage{tabularx}

\begin{document}

\author
{
\IEEEauthorblockN{ Broxigar }

}

\title{Trying to spot this Error}
\maketitle

\section*{References}

\bibliographystyle{IEEEtran}
\bibliography{biblio}

\end{document}


Once again, biblio.bib file:

@article{b1,
author={Him and Him and Her and This Guy},
journal={ This is the Journal },
title={ Super Awesome Title },
year={2001},
volume={55},
number={5},
pages={123-456},
doi={10.1001/QS.1234.56},
ISSN={1234-4567},
month={August},
}


## THE ERROR

• the error appears unrelated to the code posted, please make a small complete document that shows the error. Also you have tagged this biblatex but you appear to be using the classic bibtex form not biblatex and biber. But it is hard to tell as you have not posted a testable example document. Feb 29, 2020 at 16:29
• do you have \cite{b1} somewhere in your document? Feb 29, 2020 at 16:35
• Quick (curiosity) question: Overleaf doesn't show the lines where it found errors?
– FHZ
Feb 29, 2020 at 16:57
• bibtex gives the error I was expecting a ,' or a }'---line 10 of file biblio.bib as you are missing commas after the pages and doi entries Feb 29, 2020 at 20:43
• add \cite{b1} and re-run latex-bibtex-latex and the error goes Mar 1, 2020 at 13:43

You have no \cite commands so bibtex generates an empty bibliography

You would have had a warning

This is BibTeX, Version 0.99d (TeX Live 2019)
The top-level auxiliary file: ....aux
The style file: IEEEtran.bst
I found no \citation commands---while reading file .....aux
Database file #1: biblio.bib


In the standard styles the empty bibliography just generates a weird looking empty section but the IEEE setup not unreasonably makes it the error that you show

If you add a \cite and re-run latex and bibtex then the error will go.

\documentclass[conference]{IEEEtran}
\IEEEoverridecommandlockouts

\usepackage{tabularx}
\usepackage{cite}
\usepackage{amsmath,amssymb,amsfonts}
\usepackage{algorithmic}
\usepackage{graphicx}
\usepackage{tabularx}

\begin{document}

\author
{
\IEEEauthorblockN{ Broxigar }

}

\title{Trying to spot this Error}
\maketitle

\section*{References}

\bibliographystyle{IEEEtran}
\bibliography{biblio}

\end{document}


If you really want this entry to appear in the bibliography without citing it, use \nocite{b1} Or (but usually only for testing a bib file not in real documents, list the entire bib file dataabase with \nocite{*})

Note as with \label it is usually best to avoid numeric labels in the bib file, they work but can be confusing as any number used in the label is unrelated to a number allocated to that reference in a specific document.

• The misleading I had, happened because the class. The MWE I wrote before OP's has completed his/her question was with article. Reproducing OP's exactly MWE (IEEEtran) on my TeXstudio shows the same missing \item message. I totally agree with the "dangers of guessing". I tried my best with the knowledge I had. Now I have new knowledge. Thanks. Btw: I removed my old answer.
– FHZ
Mar 1, 2020 at 14:49