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8.24.4.1 BibTeX error messages

If you forget to use \bibliography or \bibliographystyle in your document (or, less likely, any \cite or \nocite command), BibTeX will issue an error message. Because BibTeX can be used with any program, not just LaTeX, the error messages refer to the internal commands read by BibTeX (from the .aux file), rather than the user-level commands described above.

Here is a table showing internal commands mentioned in the BibTeX errors, and the corresponding user-level commands.

\bibdata

\bibliography

\bibstyle

\bibliographystyle

\citation

\cite, \nocite

For example, if your document has no \bibliographystyle command, BibTeX complains as follows:

I found no \bibstyle command---while reading file document.aux

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