# Creating a Bibliography

# Basic bibliography with biber

To start a bibliography you need to define your sources. Create a database file (like sources.bib) and include some content:

@book{Doe1993,
    Author = {John Doe},
    Publisher = {Earth University},
    Title = {Creating a bibliography with biber},
    Year = {1993}}

You can then include your database file in your main document and cite the new source (Doe1993).

\documentclass{article}

% Include the biblatex package and tell it to use biber as a backend.
% Without specifying the backend, it assumes biber.
\usepackage[backend=biber]{biblatex}

% Define where biber can find your sources
\addbibresource{sources.bib}

\begin{document}
"Biber isn't that difficult." \cite{Doe1993}
% Use \cite{source-ID} to generate a citation

% Print the bibliography
\printbibliography

\end{document}

To compile the document, you will need to run 3 commands in sequence:

  1. pdflatex to create an auxiliary file which tells biber what sources are needed
  2. biber to create an auxiliary file with all the sources which can be used by pdflatex
  3. pdflatex to include the auxiliary file and create the PDF

Result

Find many more options and additional fields for bib files in the package documentation on CTAN.

# Basic bibliography without packages (manual formatting)

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\documentclass{article}% or book, report, ...

\begin{document}

See \cite{citeA} or \cite{citeB} or \cite{citeA, citeB}.

\begin{thebibliography}{x}
  % \bibitem{<biblabel>} <citation>
  \bibitem{citeA}
    {\scshape Author, A}, {\itshape A title}, Journal of So-and-So, 2000.
  \bibitem{citeB}
    {\scshape Someone, B}, {\itshape Another title}, Book of books, 1900.
\end{thebibliography}

\end{document}

Note that unless you really know why, you should probably not do this. Using designated packages (see other examples) is preferable.

# Syntax

  • For a manually-formatted bibliography, there is no need to have citations - \cite - within the document.

# Parameters

Parameter Detail
thebibliography This environment sets the scope for the actual bibliography. It defines a list-like environment within which you can use \bibitem to set a bibliography item.
{x} The thebibliography environment takes a single argument that represents the widest element to be expected in the enumeration of the \bibitems. For less than 10 entries, use a single character/digit; for less than 100 entries, use two characters/digits, ...
\bibitem{<a>} <b> Set the bibliography item <b> and make it available to \cite within the document using the label <a>.