What is a BibTeX Key

A BibTeX Key is a unique identifier for a bibliographic entry in a BibTeX file.

When you create a TeX document and cite a source, you can enter the appropriate BibTeX key in the appropriate location in the TeX file. When your document is later converted, your TeX editor can then find the reference information you need for the correct citation in the BibTeX file. For example:

Your BibTeX file has the following entry:

author = {Andretta, Susie},
year = {2005},
title = {Information literacy},
publisher = {Chandos},
address = {Oxford},

You cite the book in your TeX document:


After your TeX document is converted, the entry appears in your bibliography, formatted properly: Andretta, Susie (2005): Information literacy. Oxford: Chandos.