I have created a document called "myfile.tex" with the following code.



As we can see in \cite{goossens93}...


This compiles fine in PDFLatex however when I try to run bibtex to create the references I get the following error.

I couldn't open file name `myfile.bib.aux'

Does anyone have any idea what Im doing wrong?

Edit to respond to comments:

I am running bibtex on myfile. There is no myfile.bib the bib file is called testbib

  • 1
    How exactly are you running BibTeX? It sounds as if you are trying to run it on the .bib file rather than the .tex file.
    – Joseph Wright
    Jan 26, 2013 at 16:08
  • 2
    bibtex myfile not bibtex myfile.bib Jan 26, 2013 at 16:08
  • 3
    Your given MWE must be a .tex file to be compiled. The bib file contains the entrys for your bibliography ... So rename myfile.bib to myfile.tex ...
    – Mensch
    Jan 26, 2013 at 16:10
  • no, i am running bibtex on the .tex file. Jan 26, 2013 at 16:12
  • 1
    well bibtex thinks that your tex file was called mytex.bib and it is looking for the aux file. So it and/or latex are confused, delete all the files except myfile.tex and testbib.bib and run pdflatex myfile;bibtex myfile; pdflatex myfile and things should get back in sync Jan 26, 2013 at 16:24

1 Answer 1


Store the following complete MWE as file mb-bibtex.tex. Then compile: pdflatex mb-bibtex.tex. It creates a file mb-bibtex.bib (package filecontents). Compile two more times and you will get a result as expected ...

%File mb-bibtex.tex, then \jobname = mb-bibtex
\RequirePackage{filecontents}        % loading package filecontents
% writing file \jobname.bib, for example mb-bibtex.bib.
  author    = {Goossens, Michel and Mittelbach, Frank and Samarin, Alexander},
  title     = {The LaTeX Companion},
  edition   = {1},
  publisher = {Addison-Wesley},
  location  = {Reading, Mass.},
  year      = {1994},
  title     = {The Restaurant at the End of the Universe},
  author    = {Douglas Adams},
  series    = {The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy},
  publisher = {Pan Macmillan},
  year      = {1980},


Test of bibliography: 
The \LaTeX{} companion~\cite{companion}, the funny book of Adams~\cite{adams}.

\bibliography{\jobname}       % uses \jobname.bib, according to \jobname.tex

Your error was to name a .tex file (containing TeX code) as .bib file.

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