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LaTeX Guide : Citing with BibTeX

LaTeX Guide

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BibTeX Managers

Jabref is agreat stand alone reference manager that uses BibTeX. It is freely available and is competitive with EndNote in capabilities including abbreviations lists. Highly recommended.

BebTex4Word is a plug-in for most versions of Microsoft Word that allow you to use BibTeX references directly in Word. You then do not need LaTeX.


In order to cite works in LaTeX documents, you should use the file format of BibTeX . Most databases and even current citation managers such as RefWorks, Endnote and Zotero can export citations in the BebTeX format. BibTeX files get exported as simple text files with a .bib extension. Reed College has a good guide at:

Once you have BibTeX files, you then establish the type of style you want to use in your document. Here is a good guide from Reed College:

You can get many styles from CTAN (the archive for all things TeX), but many of them are out of date so a simple Google search may be better.

BibTex with Zotero, RefWorks, EndNote, & Mendeley

Transferring citations from a different citation manager into a BibTeX file is quite easy.  The process varies depending on the type of citation manager.

1.  Zotero: Left-click on the folder of citations you would like to transfer into a BibTex file. Select export collection, then "BibTeX."  Save the .bib file to your computer.

2.  RefWorks: Go into the RefWorks "output style manager" and add the BibTeX format to your favorites.  Next, click on "bibliography," select a folder of citations, and select "BibTeX" as the output style.  A new tab will open up in your browser with each citation in BibTeX form.  Copy and paste the information into a text document and save the .bib file to your computer.  

3.  EndNote:In the toolbar, click on the citation management dropdown menu.  Select BibTeX export.  The BibTeX format will appear in the preview box for each citation.  Copy and paste into a .bib file.

4.  Mendeley: once in Mendeley desktop, select "tools," then options.  Next, select "enable BibTeX syncing."  Select the type of BibTeX file (whole library, collection, or document) and a path will be created to a .bib file of your Mendeley citations.