I have:

  • A file with my dissertation: /home/robottinosino/dissertation.tex

  • A directory with my references: /home/robottinosino/references/

  • A set of 9 BibTex files to reference: /home/robottinosino/references/00{1..9}.bib

The current list of 9 references is bound to grow.


  • How can I "automatically" include the BibTex files in /home/robottinosino/references/ in my Bibliography section and format these according to my Uni's guidelines? (conference proceedings, journal articles, ...)

Is there a system that does this automatically? Is there a "best practice"?

  • 1
    Is there a reason for the many different .bib-files? Why don't you put all references in one bib-file?
    – Dirk
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 19:31
  • What I could do is to write a script :( to "watch" the folder and concatenate the files upon addition of new references... I was looking for something simpler. The reference will always be separate .bib entries as they are collected from different sources (e.g. the nightly export and auto-conversion into BibTeX of RFCs from IETF, ...) Commented Jul 19, 2012 at 8:48
  • 1
    How about concatenating the bib-files automatically with the command line and using this file in tex?
    – Dirk
    Commented Jul 19, 2012 at 10:04

1 Answer 1


You can separate the BibTeX files with commas, so \bibliography{file1,file2,...} You can put the entire path into the bibliography command, but this is obviously less than desirable.

There is a $BIBINPUTS variable, the parallel of $TEXINPUTS, which you can use to set bibtex's search path.

For the formatting bit, surely you'll need to dig around for a style file that conforms to the guidelines or (gulp) write one yourself.

  • Yes, but \bibliography{file1,file2,...} would need to be updated with some sort of script, wouldn't it? That's part of what I am looking for. Commented Jul 19, 2012 at 8:49
  • Are you putting a single reference in each bib file? I can't see any other reason why you'd need to be updating the files so frequently that doing it by hand would be too much. You can put all the references in one file. Edit: Have just seen your comment above. Dirk's right, combine the files separate from tex.
    – hoyland
    Commented Jul 20, 2012 at 16:53

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