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· 2 min read

In the realm of academic writing, correctly managing and citing literature is critical. When using Overleaf, an online LaTeX editor, three popular packages can help you with literature management: Natbib, Bibtex, and Biblatex. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, and understanding them can help you determine which is best for you.

Natbib: For Traditional and Flexible Citation Styles

Natbib is a package designed for flexibility in citation style. It supports both author-year and numerical citations, and allows customization to match a variety of citation formats. It's simple to use and is compatible with most LaTeX documents. However, its functionality is relatively basic, so for more complex citation requirements, you might need to look elsewhere.

Bibtex: For Ease and Compatibility

Bibtex is another package designed to handle bibliographic data in LaTeX. Bibtex's main strength lies in its compatibility and ease of use. Many academic journals accept Bibtex format, making it a popular choice. Bibtex also has extensive online documentation, making it easier for beginners to learn. However, it doesn't handle Unicode well, making it less ideal for non-English languages.

Biblatex: For Advanced and Multilingual Needs

Biblatex is a modern package for bibliographic data that provides more advanced features than Natbib or Bibtex. It handles Unicode well, supports a wider range of citation styles, and allows for more customization. However, this package requires the use of Biber as the backend for sorting and processing bibliographic data, which can increase the learning curve.

Making Your Choice

Choosing between Natbib, Bibtex, and Biblatex depends on your specific needs:

  1. Natbib is great for simple documents requiring traditional citation styles.
  2. Bibtex is an excellent choice for compatibility and ease of use, especially when writing for journals that support Bibtex format.
  3. Biblatex is the best choice for complex documents, multilingual documents, or if you need more customization in your citations.

Remember, your choice is not permanent; you can always switch between these packages as your needs change.


In the end, the best literature management system for Overleaf will depend on your specific project requirements and personal preferences. Take the time to understand the strengths and limitations of Natbib, Bibtex, and Biblatex, and pick the one that best suits your needs. Happy writing!

· 4 min read

Overleaf is a popular online platform for writing academic papers and research articles, offering a collaborative and easy-to-use interface for creating, editing, and sharing documents with others. One of the most important elements of an academic paper is proper citation, and Overleaf offers a number of tools to help you format and manage your references.

In this guide, we'll look at how to use Biblatex, a powerful citation management system, to create and format citations in your Overleaf documents.

Step 1: Set Up Biblatex

To get started with Biblatex, you'll need to add a few lines of code to your Overleaf document to load the package and configure it to your needs. Here's an example of what the preamble of your document might look like:

`\usepackage[style=authoryear,backend=biber]{biblatex} \addbibresource{references.bib}`

This code loads the Biblatex package and sets the citation style to authoryear, which is a common citation style used in many academic fields. It also sets the backend to biber, which is a robust bibliography processor that can handle complex citation requirements.

Finally, the \addbibresource command tells Biblatex where to find your bibliographic references, which we'll discuss in the next step.

Step 2: Create Your Bibliography

Before you start using Biblatex in Overleaf, you'll need to have a bibliographic reference database, commonly known as a bib-file, that contains all the details of your sources. Creating a bib-file can be a time-consuming and tedious task, but with the help of CiteDrive, a collaborative web-based research management tool, you can easily create, manage, and share your bibliographic references.

CiteDrive is built on BibTeX and fully supports Biblatex, making it a great choice for researchers and academics who want to take advantage of the power and flexibility of these tools. Additionally, CiteDrive connects seamlessly with Overleaf, so you can easily access and edit your bibliographic references right from within your Overleaf documents.

To get started with CiteDrive, simply sign up for a free account and start adding your references. You can import references from popular databases like PubMed, Google Scholar, and more, or manually add references to your library. Once you've created your library, you can export it as a BibTeX or Biblatex file, which you can then use in your Overleaf documents.

For more information on how to use CiteDrive with Overleaf, you can refer to the blog post at

Here's an example of a simple reference in Biblatex* format:

author = {John Doe},
title = {An Example Article},
journal = {Journal of Examples},
year = {2021},
volume = {1},
pages = {1-10},

You can add as many references as you need to this file, and Biblatex will automatically format them according to the citation style you've chosen.

Step 3: Insert Citations in Your Document

With your bibliographic references in place, you can now insert citations into your Overleaf document. To do this, use the \cite command followed by the key of your reference. For example:

As demonstrated by Doe (2021), it is possible to use Biblatex with Overleaf.

The citation will appear in your document as a parenthetical reference, with the author and year of publication, and Biblatex will format it according to the citation style you've chosen.

Step 4: Generate the Bibliography

Finally, to generate the bibliography for your document, you'll need to add a \printbibliography command to the end of your document. This will tell Biblatex to compile the bibliography from your references and format it according to the citation style you've chosen.

And that's it! You're now ready to use Biblatex to create and format citations in your Overleaf documents. With its powerful features and flexible configuration options, Biblatex is a great choice for anyone looking for a comprehensive and easy-to-use citation management system.

· One min read

To cite music in BibTeX, you can use the @misc entry type and include the following fields:

  • author: The composer or artist who created the music.
  • title: The title of the piece of music.
  • howpublished: The format in which the music was accessed (e.g. CD, vinyl, online streaming service).
  • year: The year the music was published or recorded.

Here is an example of how you might cite a piece of music in BibTeX:

title = {Symphony No. 5 in C Minor},
author = {Beethoven, Ludwig van},
year = 2018,
howpublished = {CD}

If you are citing a specific recording of a piece of music, you may want to use the @music entry type instead of @misc. This entry type includes additional fields such as performer and publisher that you can use to provide more specific information about the recording.

I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions.

· 4 min read

When writing a research paper, it's important to use references to support your claims. Citing your sources correctly is key to creating a solid argument and avoiding plagiarism. This guide will show you how to cite references on Overleaf using CiteDrive. We'll also give you tips for finding reliable sources online. Let's get started!

Step 1: Connecting CiteDrive with Overleaf

If you're not already signed in to Overleaf, you'll need to do so now. Then, go to CiteDrive, create an Overleaf project, and add references to your new project. Your project could look like this:

CiteDrive - Example

After that, click on "bib" on the top left of your project. This will open a new tab to the dynamic BibTeX file that you can use for your Overleaf, which will auto-update whenever you or your teammates add, update, or deletes references from your project.

Finally, go to Overleaf, create a new file, select "From External URL", and paste the URL from the dynamic BibTeX to "URL to fetch the file from" name it here references.bib. Your CiteDrive project is now connected to Overleaf! Remember that you need to click on refresh when you make changes in our CiteDrive project so that Overleaf gets the latest state.

Add files to Overleaf

Step 2: Create a TeX document in Overleaf

Now let's create a new tex-file for Overleaf, which we could call "document.tex" we can define the bibliography, the BibTeX file from CiteDrive with \bibliography{references}. But what bibliography tools should we use? For Bibliography management in LaTeX/Overleaf, there are many options: most likely, natbib, bibtex, and biblatex. For the management of bibliographies in LaTeX, BibTeX is the mainstay that forms the basis for the format. With natbib, BibTeX is provided with an extension that offers more design freedom for in-text citations, and biblatex is a complete revision of BibTeX that offers more reference types, sorting, and filtering options for bibliographies and localization options. While BibteX is the best-known program, BibLaTex is not only just as robust but also the most recommended program for newcomers. The citation and bibliographical data for references and listings are kept in the so-called .bib-file, just as you see in the BibTeX file from CiteDrive. It's always in the same format:

title = {An interesting article},
author = {John Smith},
year = {201X},
journal = {Journal of Interesting Articles}

Here @article is the source type, title, author, year and journal, the attributes used to display in your references lists and citations and lastly, smith201X, a unique identifier you can use to reference in your document, mainly with cite(key). CiteDrive is not picky about the format; any field and entry type making it work for the bibliographic package of your choice is acceptable. Because CiteDrive's fundamental goal is to separate bibliographic data from the document and citation styles, all alternatives are supported by CiteDrive.

As a result, we provide three templates below to get you started.

Getting started with BibTeX:

If you want to start with BibTeX, use the following template or open directly to Overleaf. For more information on BibTeX, see the documentation.


\title{BibTeX references in \LaTeX}
\author{John Smith}



Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Praesent enim urna, dapibus et bibendum vel, consectetur et turpis. Cras a molestie nulla. \cite{Hemingway1952}



Getting started with natbib:

\title{A Short Guide to Reference Management using natbib with BibTeX}
\date {January 1988}


\textbf{Narrative citation:} \citet{Doe:1966} investigated the risks of incorrectly \\
recorded [...], which results in distortion.
\textbf{Parenthetical citation:} The risks of incorrect recording of [...] could lead to distortion




For more on natbib, please click here.

Getting started with BibLaTeX:​


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Praesent enim urna, dapibus et bibendum vel, consectetur et turpis. Cras a molestie nulla. \cite{Hemingway1952}



For more on BibLaTeX, please click here.

Step 3: In-Text citations

If you have the browser extension installed, you can create citations by selecting the text and clicking on the CiteDrive icon in your toolbar.

You can also cite references manually using the cite command. For example, if you wanted to cite Smith (201X), you would use \cite{smith201X}. Or use the reference search in overleaf.

Bibliography styles are preinstalled on Overleaf and depending which package you used references on the following pages:

That's it! You should now have everything you need to start using references in Overleaf. Please let us know by e-mail at if you have any questions or feedback.

Happy TeXing!

Are you in search of a simple and cost-free online BibTeX manager?

CiteDrive is a bibtex-based collaborative reference manager that integrates seamlessly with Overleaf and RStudio.

Online BibTeX Manager →