I need to make my (BibTeX) references section appear in the table of contents of my LaTeX document (documentclass: article), with section numbering too.

My approach until now has been making a new section and including the bibliography (references.bib) at that point:


However, the final document shows both the section title that I have written and the section title that BibTeX writes, which is quite redundant and I definitely dislike.

How can I either remove BibTeX's section title, or make the BibTeX bibliography appear in the table of contents without making a new section?

If I were to make the BibTeX bibliography appear in the table of contents without making a new section, how could I assure that the section title that BibTeX writes looks exactly like sections typeset with \section?

  • 3
    The information on this related question might be useful. Commented Jan 7, 2011 at 15:46
  • 1
    @Juan: The related question was actually more tricky because it included "downgrading" the bibliography from a chapter to a section.
    – lockstep
    Commented Jan 7, 2011 at 15:50

8 Answers 8


As Herbert has hinted, your document class may include options to control the inclusion of the bibliography in the table of contents. For standard classes (article, book, report), adding \usepackage[nottoc,numbib]{tocbibind} to your document preamble should work. See the tocbibind documentation for more details.

EDIT: Herbert's suggestion (adding \addcontentsline{toc}{section}{References}) may result in an incorrect ToC entry unless the Reference section is forced on a separate page with \clearpage:



  author = {Author, A.},
  year = {2001},
  title = {Alpha},







% \clearpage


  • 1
    @hsigrist: This is the default behaviour in many classes.
    – lockstep
    Commented Nov 2, 2011 at 22:55
  • 3
    this: \settocbibname{References}
    – naught101
    Commented Apr 26, 2012 at 6:46
  • 2
    This doesn't work for me. I use report. Check out the complete source and the result document. Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 2:06
  • 6
    This work but my bibliography is prefixed by "Chapter 7". How can I remove this ?
    – Overdrivr
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 8:03
  • 5
    To avoid numbering the bibliography chapter remove numbib i.e \usepackage[nottoc]{tocbibind} Commented Apr 12, 2021 at 16:26

Using hyperref, one should say:




  • 3
    By far the cleanest solution
    – Chris
    Commented Jul 14, 2021 at 8:10

Another simple solution with Biblatex is found at https://fr.sharelatex.com/learn/Bibliography_management_with_biblatex

title={Whole bibliography}

\printbibliography[heading=subbibintoc,type=article,title={Articles only}]

The following should help, I think:


If you don't want the bibliography to have a chapter number, use the following instead:

  • 12
    This works indeed, but forces you to use the KOMA classes. Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 19:24
  • 1
    Actually, it shouldn't be numbered. Use bibliography=totoc instead.
    – usr1234567
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 21:58

Here a simple solution for biblatex. Then you can omit the heading and just add a sections as you like.

  • 2
    This great solution (for biblatex) also helps when using the nameref package to do something like \section{References}\label{sec:references}, which is then pointed to from the text with "See \nameref{sec:references}". Commented May 17, 2016 at 11:31
  • 8
    \printbibliography[ heading=bibintoc, title={Whole bibliography}] is neater. See Making the bibliography appear in the table of contents
    – Ooker
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 11:54


\nocite{*}% only for demo to get all entries from the bib data file



It is easier with a class which supports a bib entry in the table of contents, eg. the KOMA-Script classes.

  • 1
    @Herbert: This will always place the Reference section on a separate page, which may not be appropriate for the article class.
    – lockstep
    Commented Jan 7, 2011 at 16:17
  • @lockstep: sure, this is what I prefer. If one want it not start at an own page then deleting of clearpage maybe a good idea ... :-)
    – user2478
    Commented Jan 7, 2011 at 16:19
  • 1
    @Herbert: Assuming one deletes clearpage, could it happen that \addcontentsline will point to the wrong page if the Reference section by chance starts a new page? (I dimly remember that I stumbled upon such behaviour once, but I'm not sure about it.)
    – lockstep
    Commented Jan 7, 2011 at 16:25
  • @Herbert: I reproduced the problematic behaviour - see my edited answer.
    – lockstep
    Commented Jan 7, 2011 at 20:23
  • 2
    @lockstep: ah, a competition, I like it :-) No extra answer by me, because it didn't help the one who ask a question ... However: \let\Section\section \def\section*#1{\Section*{#1} \addcontentsline{toc}{section}{References}} \bibliography{\jobname}
    – user2478
    Commented Jan 7, 2011 at 20:50

I do not like the previous answers because it does not provides you a full control on how the Reference section appears in the table of contents.

If you use natbib (that I recommend), simple add one line after the import of the package:


of course you can replace \section bu whatever you want: chapter, subsection, etc.

I found this in this answer to a similar question on the LaTeX.org forum.

  • Downvoted for an over ten years old link. bibtex vs. biber and biblatex vs. natbib addresses issues related to natlib.biblatex adds an option to use natlib-like macros for easy switch. Finally in biblatex, the heading options heading=bibintoc or heading=bibnumbered adds a title in ToC. The former is a non-numbered while the latter is a numbered title. Whether the added title is chapter-like or section-like depends on the document class.
    – Celdor
    Commented Aug 6, 2022 at 10:37
  • 1
    thank you for the link @Celdor, nevertheless I do not see any information related to how to do this with natbib. The link is old because natbib is an old package.
    – lehalle
    Commented Aug 12, 2022 at 16:06

This is the only thing that worked for me after much trial and error.

    \addcontentsline{toc}{chapter}{Table of Contents}


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