I am having difficulty using BibLaTeX within the Springer document class SVJour3. Following the video on this Overleaf page, I've written the .tex file below. However, compiling it returns a warning that "foo" is undefined, and indeed the citation is unrecognized in the output. I have consulted the SVJour3 user guide without success. (There appears to be a natbib class option, but I don't invoke it.) Have I missed something or is BibLaTeX incompatible with SVJour3?



  author =       {Frank Foo},
  address =      {London},
  title =        {A guide to all practical matters},
  publisher =    {Wiley},
  year =         {2020}

Previous authors have reached a similar conclusion \parencite{foo}.

I'm assuming you are using the version of svjour3 that can be downloaded from http://static.springer.com/sgw/documents/468198/application/zip/LaTeX_DL_468198_240419.zip via https://www.springer.com/journal/440/submission-guidelines. According to the history file that .zip was last changed in April 2019.

The class itself purports to be version v3.2 from 2007/05/08.

With those files, the MWE from the question compiles perfectly fine if you run pdfLaTeX, Biber, pdfLaTeX, pdfLaTeX. The important thing is that you compile your document with Biber and not with BibTeX. See Biblatex with Biber: Configuring my editor to avoid undefined citations for help with setting your editor up to run Biber for you and Question mark or bold citation key instead of citation number for an excellent explanation of what BibTeX and Biber are doing.

So from a TeXnical perspective, the class svjour3 is not incompatible with biblatex. There is, however, another dimension to this than the purely TeXnical side. Usually you only use publisher/journal classes if you intend to submit your work to the publisher. In that case it is not only important that you use code that is TeXnically compatible with the code in the class, you also need to make sure your document is compatible with the publisher's workflow. As explained in Biblatex: submitting to a journal, biblatex requires a very different workflow from publishers, so unless the publishers explicitly ask you to use biblatex, it is probably safer to assume that they cannot process biblatex submissions.

In this particular case the .zip file contains several BibTeX styles and template.tex contains the following hints

% BibTeX users please use one of
%\bibliographystyle{spbasic}      % basic style, author-year citations
%\bibliographystyle{spmpsci}      % mathematics and physical sciences
%\bibliographystyle{spphys}       % APS-like style for physics
%\bibliography{}   % name your BibTeX data base

% Non-BibTeX users please use
% and use \bibitem to create references. Consult the Instructions
% for authors for reference list style.
% Format for Journal Reference
Author, Article title, Journal, Volume, page numbers (year)
% Format for books
Author, Book title, page numbers. Publisher, place (year)
% etc

furthermore, readme.txt has

Bibliographic references in author-year form can be made using the
"natbib" package of Patrick W. Daly. You can find it on CTAN, e.g. at

This makes me think that the following would be closer to what Springer expect


  author    = {Frank Foo},
  address   = {London},
  title     = {A guide to all practical matters},
  publisher = {Wiley},
  year      = {2020},

Previous authors have reached a similar conclusion \citep{foo}.


which should be compiled with pdfLaTeX, BibTeX, pdfLaTeX, pdfLaTeX (so with BibTeX and not with Biber).

Previous authors have reached a similar conclusion (Foo, 2020).

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