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BibTeX is used to create citations and reference lists in LaTeX, a typesetting system. BibTeX is a tool and a file format which are used to describe and process lists of references, mostly in conjunction with LaTeX documents.

  • —BibTeX stores all references in a plain text database external to a LaTex document.
  • —References in a BibTeX database can be cited in a LaTex document
  • Bibliography can be created in many styles
  • —BibTeX files have a file extension .bib

Learn more about BibTeX at


Instructions to Create BibTeX Database

Referencing with BibTeX Workshop


  • JabRef is an open source bibliography reference manager for BibTeX
  • Runs on Java VM
  • Works on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X
  • Has graphical interface, making it easy to manage your BibTeXdatabase
  • Ability to link to PDF files and web sources
  • Available from

Watch this video to find out how to use JabRef to create BibTeXentries.  


Link BibTeXEntry to PDF document in JabRef

JabRef allows you to link your BibTeXentries to PDF file stored in your computer.

Note: the name of your PDF file must be identical to or start with the BibTeX key (citation key) in order for JabRef to link to your PDF file.

To link BibTeXentries to PDF fiels:

1. Open JabRef, click Options -- Preferences -- File

2. Under External file links group, in Main file directory, browse to find the directory where you save your PDF files, e. g. C:\LaTex\PDF;

Select Autolink files with names starting with the citation key; Click Save.

3. On your BibTeX library in JabRef, a file icon will appear beside the article. Click the file icon to open the PDF file.

4. If the file icon does not show up, click Quality - Automatically set file links. The file icon will appear.

Note: If you are using a different version of JabRef, the steps will be slightly different. More information about file links in jabRef can be found here

Adapted from Li Zhang's BibTex guide, available at