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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 create a .bib file storing your bibliography database from scratch, how to upload an existing one, how to import your references from Mendeley or Zotero to an Overleaf .bib file, and how to create a .bib file starting from a template.

Creating your bibliography database

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


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 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.


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 Uploadicon.png on top of the the left panel.


A dialogue box will appear, you can either drag and drop the .bib file or click Select file(s) to navigate to the location of your file.


Once the upload process is finished you can include the .bib file in your main .tex document. See the last example in the previous section.

Using a template

Overleaf provides a vast set of templates for almost all kind of LaTeX documents, they include several bibliography-related ones.

If you are in the editor view, click the "Back to projects" icon Backtoprojectsicon.png to go to the Projects view.


In the the Project Management view click the button New Project, then in the drop-down menu that will appear click Bibliographies.


You will be redirected to a list of bibliography templates


click the one you prefer, in the next page click Open as Template:


The template will open in the Overleaf editor so you can start working on it.


Quick guides

  • Creating a bibliography file from scratch. In editor, on the upper left corner click the New file icon Newfileicon.png then enter the name for your new file with extension .bib and click Create. You can now start editing you file.
  • Uploading your bibliography database. To upload an existing .bib file click the Upload icon Uploadicon.png. Drag and drop your file in the dialogue box and wait for your file(s) to be uploaded. After that you can use your .bib within the document.
  • Using a template. In the Project Management page click New Project => Bibliographies you will be redirected to the Templates page, select the one you need and then click Open as Template

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