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It's possible to include references in Overleaf using all of LaTeX's major bibliography management programs: biblatex, natbib and bibtex. This article explains how to:

  • manually create a new .bib file for storing your bibliography database
  • upload an existing .bib file into your Overleaf project
  • create a .bib file starting from an Overleaf template.

Note: If you have a paid Overleaf account, the article How to link your Overleaf account to Mendeley and Zotero shows how to create a .bib file by importing references from Mendeley or Zotero.

Creating your bibliography database

To create a new bibliography file in your Overleaf project, in the editor, click New File icon:


An input box will appear for you to set the name of the new file. The file should have the .bib extension, in this example it is called mybibliography.bib. Now click on Create.


A new file will be listed in the left panel, click it to edit its contents. Add your bibliography entries there. Biblio3OLV2.png

Now you can import this .bib file in the main .tex file. See the next example.




\title{Bibliography management: \texttt{biblatex} package}
\date{ }



\section{First section}

Using \texttt{biblatex} you can display bibliography divided into sections,
depending of citation type. 
Let's cite! The Einstein's journal paper \cite{einstein} and the Dirac's 
book \cite{dirac} are physics related items. 
Next, \textit{The \LaTeX\ Companion} book \cite{latexcompanion}, the 
Donald Knuth's website \cite{knuthwebsite}, \textit{The Comprehensive 
Tex Archive Network} (CTAN) \cite{ctan} are \LaTeX\ related items; but 
the others Donald Knuth's items \cite{knuth-fa,knuth-acp} are dedicated 
to programming. 





The command \addbibresource{mybibliography.bib} adds the created bibliography file to the document so you can use those references. See Bibliography management in LaTeX for more information about bibliography management.

Uploading your bibliography database

If you already have a bibliography file that you need to use in a Overleaf project, you can upload it. Click the Upload icon located on top of the left panel.


A dialog box will appear, you can either drag and drop the .bib file(s), or choose select from your computer to upload file(s) from your device.


Once the upload process is finished you can include the .bib file in your main .tex document.

Using a template

The Overleaf Gallery provides a large collection of templates, including several bibliography-related templates:


For example, a Gallery search lists the entry Multiple bibliographies with bibunits which shows how to create multiple bibliographies/reference lists in the same document:


If you select "Open as Template" Overleaf will create a new project which you can modify and use as a basis for your work:


Supported bibliography packages

For more information about bibliography management in LaTeX see.

Overleaf guides

LaTeX Basics


Figures and tables

References and Citations


Document structure





Field specific

Class files

Advanced TeX/LaTeX