Here is a reference I am using as following

Y.~Dhanalakshmi, I.~R. Babu, “intrusion detection using data mining along fuzzy logic and genetic algorithms,” international journal of computer science & security, vol. 8, no.2, pp. 27–32, 2008.

this is in a file EUSFLAT2019_template.bbl

this is the corresponding entry in BIBeusflat2019.bib

    author={Y. Dhanalakshmi, and I. Ramesh Babu,},
    title={“Intrusion detection using data
    mining along fuzzy logic and genetic algorithms,” International Journal
    of Computer Science & Security, vol. 8, no.2, pp. 27–32, 2008}

I am doing all this in a template downloaded from here https://www.overleaf.com/latex/templates/eusflat-2019-template/jmqvcrhkqhgx the error I am getting is

Misplaced alignment tab character &. ...nternational journal of computer science &

what is the problem in above? I am using TeXStudio here is how it looks like

image for references

  • Science \& Security Mar 16, 2020 at 14:18
  • ok thanks I want to know when \ should be used in bibliographies.
    – koeradoera
    Mar 16, 2020 at 14:21
  • Apart from this, journal title, page numbers and year should not be placed within "title".
    – leandriis
    Mar 16, 2020 at 14:22
  • ok so how should a correct entry look likel
    – koeradoera
    Mar 16, 2020 at 14:24

1 Answer 1


& has a special meaning: it's an alignment tab character in tables. To typeset the character “&” you have to escape it: \&. Even in bibliography entries, special characters should always be escaped (to the exception of some fields, like url, which treat the contents as verbatim, depending on what packages you have loaded).

That said, your bib entry defeats the entire purpose of bib files. You have all the bibliography data jammed into the title field, which is plain wrong. Use the proper fields for the journal, volume, pages, and year, and your bibliography will be correctly formatted:

  author = {Y. Dhanalakshmi and I. Ramesh Babu},
  title = {Intrusion detection using data mining along fuzzy logic and genetic algorithms},
  journal = {International Journal of Computer Science \& Security},
  volume = {8},
  issue = {2},
  pages = {27--32},
  year = {2008}
  • Ok I have corrected it as per your format shown.I am currently facing a problem the reference 1 is coming listed as reference 8 and or reference 2 is listed as 1, there are two files BIBeusflat2019.bib and EUSFLAT2019_template.bbl I think I have been editing a lot of entries and added them somehow in BIBeusflat2019.bib but the order in which they are coming are from EUSFLAT2019_template.bbl the entry which is first in EUSFLAT2019_template.bbl file is coming first and so on.
    – koeradoera
    Mar 16, 2020 at 14:39
  • @koeradoera That's because the bibliography style you are using (.bst file) sorts the bibliography entries that way. To change that you need to use another bibliography style. But that's a different issue altogether (thus I suggest you mark this question as solved and ask another). Mar 16, 2020 at 14:42
  • ok but what do I ask that I am not clear
    – koeradoera
    Mar 16, 2020 at 14:48
  • 4
    @koeradoera Ask to change the sorting order of the bibliography. Make sure to include a complete compilable example (this is very important), including the document class, bibliography style, and bibliography items, as all of these can affect the outcome. Mar 16, 2020 at 14:55

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