As I am switching to biblatex for some specific purpose, but the default citation style could not fulfill the need.

By natbib:

\bibliographystyle{elsarticle-harv} % author-year

is used to load special style.

By biblatex:


seems not working.

Since I had no clue to find the relevant command to load this .bst file in the extremely long package manual, so how to figure this out?

  • Perhaps this will answer your questions: What to do to switch to biblatex?
    – Alan Munn
    Feb 6, 2013 at 1:13
  • There is no information about how to load specific .bst file :(
    – KOF
    Feb 6, 2013 at 1:19
  • 1
    @AlanMunn -- Maybe the question's objective should be rephrased to: "How do I mimic the layout achieved by elsarticle-harv if I use biblatex instead of BibTeX"?
    – Mico
    Feb 6, 2013 at 1:20
  • @KOF -- Could you please be a bit more specific about the "specific purpose" that's leading you from using natbib/elsarticle-harv/BibTeX to an alternative solution based on bibLaTeX?
    – Mico
    Feb 6, 2013 at 1:22
  • 1
    @KOF Your comment about the information not being there is interesting, since it is there, but perhaps not phrased in a way that allowed you to make the right connections. This is more a comment on the answers there than on your understanding of them. The equivalent of a .bst file is a style specified in the \usepackage[style=<a-biblatex-style>]{biblatex} command. There is no one-to-one correspondence between existing natbib styles and biblatex styles, but there are a lot of harvard like styles for biblatex. A lot depends on how exactly you need to use the elsarticle-harv style.
    – Alan Munn
    Feb 6, 2013 at 1:41

1 Answer 1


As Audrey so succinctly notes in the comments, (and as Mico and I commented on your question) you simply can't use .bst files with biblatex. So the best solution would be to find existing biblatex style that comes close to the elsarticle-harv style.

Since the elsarticle-harv is a generic author-year style, the first place to start might be one of the standard author-year styles that biblatex provides. If they are not sufficient, perhaps you could try the apa style for biblatex. This produces fairly standard Author-Year citations and bibliography. Here's a simple example with references per chapter added to the table of contents.

% The next 4 lines are required for the biblatex-apa style
% adding the refsection=chapter option makes allows each chapter to have a 
% references section
% load your bib file (.bib suffix required)
\chapter{First Chapter}
% insert some citation commands in your text
% at the end of the chapter, print the bibliography as a section, added to TOC
% now repeat for the next chapter 
\chapter{Second Chapter}
% some more citation commands
% and the next references section

  • 13
    The short answer should probably be: You can't use BST style files with biblatex.
    – Audrey
    Feb 7, 2013 at 0:15

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