I made a .tex file and a .bib file and try the commands as the following order.

1.pdflatex 2.BibTex 3.pdflatex 4.pdflatex

However, in the second command, BibTex has the following error. What should I do for this error?

TeX file


% \bibliography{\Users\81909\Desktop\2020AprilTop\aaa}


Bib file (aaa.bib)

   author={Maskin, Eric S.},
   title={The theory of implementation in {N}ash equilibrium: a survey},
   booktitle={Social Goals and Social Organization},
   editor={Leonid Hurwicz and David Schmeidler and Hugo Sonnenschein},
   publisher={Cambridge University Press},

Error in the command, BibTex

This is BibTeX, Version 0.99d (TeX Live 2013/W32TeX)
The top-level auxiliary file: aaa.aux
The style file: plain.bst
I couldn't open database file aaa.bib
---line 4 of file aaa.aux
 : \bibdata{aaa
 :             }
I'm skipping whatever remains of this command
I found no database files---while reading file aaa.aux
Warning--I didn't find a database entry for "bbb"
(There were 2 error messages)
  • In which directory did you save the file aaa.bib?
    – Mico
    May 19, 2020 at 10:36
  • I put the bib file (aaa.bib) in the same directory in which the above tex file is. May 19, 2020 at 10:39
  • Off-topic: Might you have an opportunity to update your TeX distribution? TeXLive2013 is 7 [!] years old by now.
    – Mico
    May 19, 2020 at 10:47
  • 1
    OK, I will do up-date. May 19, 2020 at 10:50

1 Answer 1


The correct codes is the following.


% \bibliography{aaa}                                  % Now correct...why?
% \bibliography{\Users\81909\Desktop\fileName\aaa}     % Wrong
% \bibliography{\Users\81909\Desktop\fileName\aaa.bib} % Wrong
  \bibliography{C:/Users/81909/Desktop/fileName/aaa}   % correct

where aaa.bib is in the same directory of the tex file.

Note that the following three codes are wrong.

  1. \bibliography{aaa} Now correct ...why
  2. \bibliography{\Users\81909\Desktop\fileName\aaa}
  3. \bibliography{\Users\81909\Desktop\fileName\aaa.bib}

I took a long time to notice that I should use / instead of \ to specify the PATH of bib file.

  1. run pdflatex with the full path \bibliography{C:/Users/81909/Desktop/fileName/aaa}

  2. run Bibtex with the result of 1.

  3. run pdflatex twice

Then with the resulting files of the procedures 1.2.3., the codes \bibliography{aaa} is now available for pdflatex.

When we submit article to a journal, then I guess we should not use the full path code \bibliography{C:/Users/81909/Desktop/fileName/aaa}.

  • erh, plain is not compatible with natbib, you need plainnat
    – daleif
    Jun 15, 2021 at 13:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.