EDIT #3: The code below has been updated to what I'm currently using, from the post at https://tex.stackexchange.com/a/91381/24264; note that I've added a field to my bibentry (annote) as part of this fix. I've decided to forgo adding the numbering, since it seems to be more trouble than it's worth, and my prof may end up seeing it as against APA style, anyway :)

EDIT #2: I arrived at a satisfactory fix for the issue from EDIT #1 (reflected in the code below), but I would still like the annotation(s) to line up with the numbered references—"Howlin" and the word "Annotations" in my example. Can anyone tell me how to accomplish this?

EDIT #1: @Guido was very helpful with my main question. At this point, I'm trying to insert a "References" page that mimics the vertical spacing of \printbibliography in the current document—and I've, again, run into a gap in my knowledge.

Original post: My goal is to create an annotated bibliography in APA format (for a term paper due in April). Up to now, my only experience with biblatex is the simple \printbibliography command. Having done some searching, I was looking to replicate the solution here, but I get no joy, even when I stick as closely as possible to Alan's original example; \fullcitebib itself works without a hitch, as long as Alan's code—starting with \newcounter{bibnum} and ending with {\end{thebibliography}}—is not present. When I insert the code block, I get the following errors at compile time:

! Undefined control sequence.
\blx@precode ...egin {thebibliography}\thebibitem
l.91 \fullcitebib{howlin04}

! LaTeX Error: Something's wrong--perhaps a missing \item.
See the LaTeX manual or LaTeX Companion for explanation.
l.91 \fullcitebib{howlin04}

My question (if you can call it a question, rather than a "please tell me how this is done") is why my MiKTeX seems to be behaving strangely—I don't have enough LaTeX knowledge to understand how \thebibitem is properly defined, and thus fix the problem.

Here is my minimal example:

\shorttitle{Cog paper}

author = {Howlin, Patricia and Goode, Susan and Hutton, Jane and Rutter, Michael},
title = {Adult outcome for children with autism},
journal = {Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry},
volume = {45},
number = {2},
publisher = {Blackwell Publishing},
issn = {1469-7610},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2004.00215.x},
doi = {10.1111/j.1469-7610.2004.00215.x},
pages = {212--229},
keywords = {Autistic disorder, prognosis, adulthood, follow-up studies},
year = {2004},
annote = {Annotations go here.},

%% fontspec
\setmainfont[Ligatures=TeX]{Times New Roman}

%% bibliography

%% annote



  • Welcome to TeX.sx! Please add a minimal working example (MWE) that illustrates your problem. Sometimes the terms MWE is misleading: in you ca case we need the code that shows the problem, so we need the source code with your definition of the \fullcitebib.
    – Guido
    Jan 11, 2013 at 6:13

1 Answer 1


The code in https://tex.stackexchange.com/a/13655/24264 must modified as follows: \thebibitem must be replaced with \item. Here is the resulting code

     {\stepcounter{bibnum}\thebibnum.\ }
  \renewcommand{\finalnamedelim}{\ifnum\value{liststop}>2 \finalandcomma\fi\addspace\&\space}%
  • @HarryBellemare If you want to print an annotated bibliography the proposed approach is not the best one. There are several ways to add annotations using biber. See Notes after bibliography entry with Biber and biblatex
    – Guido
    Jan 11, 2013 at 16:03
  • I see what you mean, but I have a reason for trying to do it this way: my professor has asked for 1-2 sentences under each of five headings (purpose, hypotheses, measures, results, implications) for the references I use, so adding a field or something similar doesn't seem like it would suit. Thanks for your many helpful suggestions. Jan 12, 2013 at 5:26
  • 1
    @HarryBellemare If you need a few sentences for each paper using the note or annote field of biblatex and some minor customisation to the way they are printed in the file might be the best solution. See tex.stackexchange.com/q/91304/16895
    – Guido
    Jan 12, 2013 at 8:37
  • Thanks for pointing me to that thread! I'm finally getting somewhere :) I think I will forgo the numbering. Jan 13, 2013 at 18:42

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