How to use Bibtex

This document shows how to use Bibtex to create a bibliography in a LaTeX document by providing a simple example.

To use bibtex you must

  1. Create a database (.bib) file that describes the articles that you want to reference.
  2. Specify the style and location of the bibliography in your LaTeX document.
  3. Run latex and bibtex.

Why should you use Bibtex?

Example Bibliography Database

Suppose we want to refer to two papers by Klitzing. Save the following as qhe.bib

 
@STRING(PRL="Phys. Rev. Lett.")
@STRING(RMP="Rev. Mod. Phys.")
 
@ARTICLE{klitzing:qhe,
   AUTHOR="K. von Klitzing and G. Dorda and M. Pepper",
   TITLE="New method for high accuracy determination of fine structure
            constant based on quantised hall resistance",
   JOURNAL=PRL,
   VOLUME=45,
   PAGES=494,
   YEAR=1980
}
 
@ARTICLE{klitzing:nobel,
   AUTHOR="Klaus von Klitzing",
   TITLE="The Quantised Hall Effect",
   JOURNAL=RMP,
   VOLUME=58,
   PAGES=519,
   YEAR=1986
}

Notice that each article has a key (like klitzing:qhe) which is used to cite the article.

Example Latex file

Now the text of the paper goes in the file example.tex

 
\documentstyle{article}
\begin{document}
 
\bibliographystyle{prsty} % Choose Phys. Rev. style for bibliography
 
\section{Introduction}
The discovery of the Quantised Hall Effect was made by
Klitzing~\cite{klitzing:qhe} for which he was awarded the 1985 Nobel
prize for physics~\cite{klitzing:nobel}.
 
\bibliography{qhe}        % qhe.bib is the name of our database
 
\end{document}

Compiling the Example

Now use the following commands

  1. latex example
  2. bibtex example
  3. latex example
  4. latex example

(Note that as usual in LaTeX you do not need all these repetitions very time and that you only need to run bibtex if the references change).

Example Output

The result looks like this in dvi form. An approximation follows...


1. Introduction

The discovery of the Quantised Hall Effect was made by Klitzing [1] for which he was awarded the 1985 Nobel prize for physics [2].

References

[1] K. von Klitzing, G. Dorde, and M. Pepper, Phys. Rev. Lett. 45. 494 (1980)

[2] K. von Klitzing, Rev. Mod. Phys 58, 519 (1986).


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Last modified: Fri Mar 11 19:16:59 1994