LaTeX – how to add a new reference to the BibTeX

Last updated on August 17th, 2013

How to add a BibTeX entry to LaTeX

This assumes,

  1. you already have a BibTeX file linked to your .tex file
  2. you are using Texmaker (if you’re not, you probably should be)

It seems to me you must go through a series of arcane steps to be able to add a reference to your BibTeX bibliography and get it to work in your \LaTeX file.

Here’s the steps and their order that have worked for me. I have included my a few comments that hopefully help to give you a sense what is going on.

  1. Add your new reference to your bibtex file
  2. Save your bibtex file
  3. Go back to your latex file
  4. Build your BibTeX
    (Let’s BibTeX know that there is a new entry in it)
  5. Edit -> refresh bibliography
  6. Add citation to .tex file
    (You can now see the new reference when you start typeing \cite{kawahara2013myAwesomePaper} )
  7. Quick Build
    (adds the [?])
  8. BibTeX build
    (No visible change. But compiles something.)
  9. Quick Build
    (No visible change again.)
  10. Quick Build

Yeah! It’s there (hopefully)!

I used to just angerly build things randomly until I came across this post here, where the author “Ted” did a great job explaining what is going on. His explanation was the inspiration behind this post. Thanks Ted! You saved me from many more frustrated hours.

2 thoughts on “LaTeX – how to add a new reference to the BibTeX”

  1. no se por que no especificas que programa usas para correr todo el proyecto (.tex .bib. png), ya que dices que deberiamos descargar el texmaker, vendria ser solo un editor de latex y yo queriendo correr el proyecto latex completo por las puras, dime que programa usas para tus proyectos completos.

    > Google translate:
    I do not know why you do not specify what program you use to run the whole project (.tex .bib.png), since you say that we should download the texmaker, it would only be a latex editor and I want to run the full latex project for the pure ones , tell me what program you use for your complete projects.

    1. Right – you have to download the entire LaTeX package first. Sorry, I don’t remember the specific instructions to do this.

Questions/comments? If you just want to say thanks, consider sharing this article or following me on Twitter!