I would like to achieve the functionality described in Switching from amsrefs to biblatex but with backend = bibtex (since all my .bib files are in bibtex format, most of the from Mathscinet).

I have implemented the solution suggested in Appending Data to Bibliography with Biblatex but with backend = bibtex this seems to have no effect.

Is there a way to keep backend = bibtex AND make the MRNUMBER appear in the bibliography?

  • 2
    You can use your bibtex files also with biber. Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 13:06
  • @UlrikeFischer When I switch to biber, I get lots of empty citations and no bibliography, while with backend = bibtex my file compiles fine.
    – encore
    Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 13:26
  • 1
    did you actually run biber? What does the blg-file say? Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 13:37
  • @UlrikeFischer It could be that my TexnicCenter is not set up properly. Will investigate. Thank you.
    – encore
    Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 13:39
  • Yep, created a new output profile in TexnicCenter with biber.exe and all is well. Many thanks @UlrikeFischer
    – encore
    Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 17:22

1 Answer 1


biblatex's data model is only extensible if you use Biber. If you stick to BibTeX as backend, you cannot add new fields. Sorry.

You will have to get backend=biber, running. With a not completely outdated system that should be as easy as changing backend=bibtex, into backend=biber, and telling your editor to use Biber instead of BibTeX: Biblatex with Biber: Configuring my editor to avoid undefined citations.

The versions of biblatex and Biber need to match. Normally that should be the case, but if you installed the two packages at different times and did not update your system when you installed the packages, you might get version mismatches. So running an update (if available) is recommended.

For the most part Biber parses .bib files in exactly the same way as BibTeX (there are a few small differences in how the two handle comments), so you should normally not get any issues when switching from BibTeX to Biber (unless your .bib files were very weird to begin with).

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