I have the following directory:


In main.tex, I have a reference \bibliography{reference} that should display the reference section from the bib file. I have also used \cite{something} in main.tex. All in all, the reference section should be displayed, as I have tested it on Overleaf, and it displays correctly with main.tex and reference.bib in the same level of directory.

Now I am trying to compile the .tex file on my computer with Python. Inside run.py, I have the code subprocess.call(["pdflatex", "./doc/main.tex"]), and I am running that code in the run.py directory. But that code produces errors that the reference cited is not found:

LaTeX Warning: Citation `something' on page 1 undefined on input line 104.

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

See the LaTeX manual or LaTeX Companion for explanation.
Type  H <return>  for immediate help.

l.117 \end{mcsection}

and the compiled PDF file does not show the reference section.

I have tried \bibliography{reference.bib}, \bibliography{doc/reference}, \bibliography{./doc/reference.bib}, they all generate the same error. I have done some research where it says that I should compile using bibtex, so I tried the following code:

    subprocess.call(["pdflatex", "./doc/card.tex"])
    subprocess.call(["bibtex", "./doc/reference.bib"])
    subprocess.call(["pdflatex", "./doc/card.tex"])
    subprocess.call(["pdflatex", "./doc/card.tex"])

That still produces the same error.

  • Please try to provide a MWEB (minimal working example with bibliography) reproducing the problem. The bibliography part in your log just is a warning and does not seem to be the problem - instead there seems to be some syntax error with your other code. – epR8GaYuh Mar 9 at 6:27

I was calling bibtex on the wrong file. It should have been

    subprocess.call(["pdflatex", "./doc/card.tex"])
    subprocess.call(["bibtex", "card"])
    subprocess.call(["pdflatex", "./doc/card.tex"])
    subprocess.call(["pdflatex", "./doc/card.tex"])

So it runs bibtex on the generated pdf file.

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