{biblatex} is a complete reimplementation of the bibliographic facilities provided by LaTeX. It has its own backend {biber} which can be used instead of {bibtex} and which supports, e.g., full {unicode}, highly customisable sorting, data source filtering, and customisable field inheritance.

biblatex provides advanced bibliographic typesetting features for LaTeX. It can be used as a replacement for packages like natbib. It is used either within a normal latex bibtex latex compile cycle, or with biber replacing bibtex.

Related tags

If your question concerns bibliography formatting generally you might want to use the tag in addition to this tag. If your question is about a specific .bst style, or natbib you should use the and/or tags instead.

Should I use biblatex or natbib?

Humanities style citations

biblatex is almost required if you need any of the following:

  • humanities style citations (author-title type schemes; citations using ibid etc.)
  • a much wider array of BibTeX database fields (again, especially suited for the humanities)
  • Unicode encoded .bib files (usable with the biber replacement for bibtex)
  • fine control over your own bibliography styles using regular latex methods

Author-year and numeric citations

biblatex provides the same functionality as natbib for author-year and numeric citations common in the natural and social sciences. It can therefore be used as a replacement for natbib.

You might want to use natbib if:

  • there is a .bst file already created for the specific journal you submitting a paper to;
  • a journal accepts latex submissions and requires or expects natbib. Such journal may not accept biblatex for the bibliography.

However, many new journal styles are being created for biblatex, so this may become less of a problem. Given the flexibility of adapting biblatex styles, in many cases it may be quite easy to modify an existing style to accommodate a particular journal's style.

Available biblatex styles

In addition to the standard styles that are documented in the biblatex manual, CTAN currently lists the following extra style packages for biblatex: