But I can run bibtex manually with :! bibtex texfile and then compile with the \ll shortcut twice to get labels and citations correct in the body of the paper.

I'm on a MacBook Pro running 10.6.6 and MacVim 7.3(53) and an up-to-date TeXLive-2010-64.

It used to be that \ll would run bibtex and compile as necessary to get things right. I typically use my Win7 laptop with the equivalent software so I can't say for sure when this broke.

Thanks! FWIW, I'll paste my .vimrc and tex.vim files below.

My .vimrc file has

" general
set columns=80
set lines=40
set nu
set expandtab
set smartindent
set tabstop=4
set shiftwidth=4

" for vim-R-plugin2
set nocompatible 
syntax enable 

" for vimlatexsuite (and Vim-R-plugin)
" REQUIRED. This makes vim invoke Latex-Suite when you open a tex file.
filetype plugin on

" IMPORTANT: grep will sometimes skip displaying the file name if you
" search in a singe file. This will confuse Latex-Suite. Set your grep
" program to always generate a file-name.
set grepprg=grep\ -nH\ $*

" OPTIONAL: This enables automatic indentation as you type.
filetype indent on

" OPTIONAL: Starting with Vim 7, the filetype of empty .tex files defaults to
" 'plaintex' instead of 'tex', which results in vim-latex not being loaded.
" The following changes the default filetype back to 'tex':
let g:tex_flavor='latex'

And tex.vim has

let g:Tex_DefaultTargetFormat = 'pdf'

let g:Tex_CompileRule_dvi = 'latex --interaction=nonstopmode $*'
let g:Tex_CompileRule_ps = 'dvips -Pwww -o $*.ps $*.dvi'
let g:Tex_CompileRule_pspdf = 'ps2pdf $*.ps'
let g:Tex_CompileRule_dvipdf = 'dvipdfm $*.dvi'
let g:Tex_CompileRule_pdf = 'pdflatex -synctex=1 --interaction=nonstopmode $*'

let g:Tex_ViewRule_dvi = 'texniscope'
let g:Tex_ViewRule_ps = 'Preview'
let g:Tex_ViewRule_pdf = 'Skim'

let g:Tex_FormatDependency_ps  = 'dvi,ps'
let g:Tex_FormatDependency_pspdf = 'dvi,ps,pspdf'
let g:Tex_FormatDependency_dvipdf = 'dvi,dvipdf'

" let g:Tex_IgnoredWarnings ='
"       \"Underfull\n".
"       \"Overfull\n".
"       \"specifier changed to\n".
"       \"You have requested\n".
"       \"Missing number, treated as zero.\n".
"       \"There were undefined references\n".
"       \"Citation %.%# undefined\n".
"       \"\oval, \circle, or \line size unavailable\n"' 

By default latex-suite only compiles multiple times for the dvi format.

As stated in the latex-suite manual you have to add 'pdf' to g:Tex_MultipleCompileFormats if you want this behaviour.

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