Allen J. Hall

Materials Science & Engineering, Productivity, and Life

Quick One: UIUC Thesis Class Breaks ChapterBib (LaTeX)

I could not decide exactly how to post this… searching high and low, I couldn’t find the answer to my problem. I felt, in the very least, it needed to be posted here. So, I’ve decided to focus on the problem only. Then, in a future post, I’ll describe in more detail how I go about doing my research writing using LaTeX [wikipedia]. So, my basic comment is: I write in LaTeX, BibTeX, etc., and the following will help only a few people doing the same, and doesn’t actually offer a solution right now. :) [Boy, aren't I helpful?]  (click through to read more…)

It appears as though the UIUCThesis class (uiucthesis07.cls and it’s predecessor, uiucthesis) breaks the package ChapterBib (chapterbib.sty). [Official home of the UIUCThesis Class.]  Searching high and low for answers on the network news group comp.text.tex, I found a few discussion of bibliographies which live at the end of each chapter within a larger work. It appears that most discussed the chapterbib package, and a few discussed bibunits. I have both installed of course, but the implementation of chapterbib looks nice and simple. So, I’ve attempted to implement it numerous times, only to fail.

How does it fail? It produces the bibliographies for the \include{} files just fine. However, when using the uiucthesis class, it causes the bibliographies to be placed inside a new chapter heading. So, Appendix A which should include a subsection with references becomes Appendix A: body, Appendix B: references. Not good! ugh.

Interestingly, it turns out that chapterbib works perfectly with the Memoir Class document. This suggests to me that the alterations of the Chapter commands in the uiucthesis class damages the normal chapter calls, preventing chapterbib and [sectionbib]{natbib} to work properly. So, the question is- do I learn how to alter uiucthesis07 to fix this (double ugh), or do I try bibunits?

So, I’ll now turn to bibunits.

[I know this didn't make a lot of sense to most of you out there, but to the few who are wondering about this, perhaps you'll find this page and hours and hours of banging your head against the desk asking: "Why, why, - why don't you work chapterbib?!?" will be prevented. I shall now leave you, my kind reader, to go put a salve on my forehead-bump...]


  1. Posted June 19, 2008 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Well, I just spent a bit of time updating my code for bibunits… and it turns out that it doesn’t work with bibunits either. Both end up failing in the same manner (supporting my belief that it’s the uiucthesis class that is the problem). So, the bibunits package does not solve this problem.


  2. Jens
    Posted December 13, 2008 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Hi Allen,
    did you ever get chapterbib to work? If you did, I’d be curious to learn how.

    I don’t want to count the hours I have tried so far to get chapterbib to work. I have read many posts that make it sound simple, but I didn’t get it to work.


  3. Posted January 19, 2009 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jens!

    Unfortunately I haven’t devoted time to it- it’s also a bit of an unknown to me- I’m having a hard time trying to grasp the problem, as I’m not a TeX expert. I’ll probably pursue it soon from the “how to make a style that uses chapterbib” type approach instead of the opposite (trying to figure out what breaks chapterbib). :)

    Please let me know if you hear of any fixes. I also worry that the latest ’07 Thesis style isn’t up to date- the Thesis office never releases a “diff” of the latest style changes. I often wonder if they just make things up for fun each year. :)

    [And why oh why can't we get rid of the absolutely horrendous micro-fiche double spaced Thesis requirements? Completely absurd. I haven't even really seriously started writing and I am already over 58 pages long.]

  4. ShengQuan
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Hi Allen,

    I had a pleasure reading your post and realized what’s happening in UIUC Thesis Class.

    If you open the the Latex class file, you will find the following lines:


    In particular, the line


    issues a “\chapter” command. If this line is deleted, the problem you mentioned disappeared.

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A Quick Introduction...

I'm a graduate student (PhD Candidate) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

I've studied and researched in two fields of Materials Science and Engineering (Polymers and Semiconductors). My interests are as diverse as my musical tastes and I usually have my hand in some crazy project during my free time.

I'm available for consulting and have access to a world-renown materials research user-facility supported by the D.O.E. If you would like to know more, please contact me.

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