I need to submit my TeX file to journal but they request

Do not include a separate .bib file or .bbl file with your submission


please run BibTeX before submitting your paper, and include (read-in) the resulting .bbl file within the reference section of your paper

If I upload a TeX file but not the .pdf file including the .bib results. How should I merge my .bib file with my TeX file ?

  • 1
    Welcome to TeX.sx!. You might start by checking the folder of your compiled TeX file to find a file with the .bbl extension. That is your processed .bib file. Then you can include the contents of that file in your bibliography and citations will work. I would really consider issuing a complaint to the journal as this is a ridiculous requirement.
    – percusse
    Oct 22, 2012 at 13:24
  • 1
    See Herbert's answer to essentially the same question. Oct 22, 2012 at 13:26
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    @percusse They just want a single document. Just substituting the \bibliographystyle-\bibliography pair with the contents of the .bbl file is what's needed.
    – egreg
    Oct 22, 2012 at 13:28
  • @AndrewSwann That is good if biblatex is used. For "old style" bibliography with BibTeX that's meaningless.
    – egreg
    Oct 22, 2012 at 13:29
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    @AndrewSwann Oh, I see the point. Now it's kerr's turn to be more precise about this.
    – egreg
    Oct 22, 2012 at 13:33

2 Answers 2


As long as bibtex is used, you should be able to copy the contents of the .bbl file directly into the content of your paper in the appropriate spot. If you're using biblatex, see Herbert's answer here: https://tex.stackexchange.com/a/12185/18628 for a workaround.

Additionally, if you're using biblatex, you should note, as Joseph Wright points out here, that:

"[...] you cannot be sure of the package or engine availability on journal systems."

The implication is that while the biblatex workaround mentioned by Herbert will work in some cases, it isn't an ideal substitute for bibtex in journals with this requirement.

  • Thanks all , I did successfully in both bibtex and biblatex
    – kerr
    Oct 22, 2012 at 14:10


(with TexLive distributed)

You can try

$ latexpand --expand-bbl mytexfile.bbl mytexfile.tex
  • This is a good way to see what actually happened in compiling.
    – qweruiop
    Aug 8, 2016 at 16:32

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