What is the quick method to fetch bibtex into JabRef?


Hello everyone,
Usually I open the link of a paper first and then download the bibtex file, at last import it into JabRef. There are some problems make this process not very inefficient, including hard to find the place to export the bibtex on the web page, the name of the exported bibtex is not very to distinguish from the others, and so on.
So, I am wondering is there some more efficient way to fetch bibtex of the a certain article?
By the way, I can not search on Google Scholar because the internet eviroment. I am trying JabFox my firefox but still not very familiar with that.
Any suggestion would be much appreciated!

Best Regards

(Matthias Geiger ) #2

I think the fastest method is to copy the bibtex-String to the clipboard (Ctrl-C), switch to JabRef, make sure that no entry is selected in the main table (potential use “ctrl-click” to unselect an entry, and than paste the bibtexkey from the clipboard (ctrl-v) which creates a new entry which is than opened in the editor.


(Christoph) #3


an alternative fast way is to create the entry based on the DOI. If the paper has a DOI, you can use the builtin DOI2Bibtex fetcher.


(Theodore Chang) #4

Normally, I with create a new entry (cuz after all, you have to create one entry), copy the title into the corresponding field, then switch to ‘look up for doi’, then get ‘bibtex from doi’. Basically this is very accurate and efficient, better than fetching google scholar items. Most fields do not need to be further modified.


Hi! Thank you very much for your reply!
I use your method at website of some publications, including Physical Review Letters, Physical Review B et al. When I download bibtex from these website, it pops up a window containing the content of the bibtex which can be pasted into JabRef. But it seems few publication supports this, usually I have to download the bibtex as a file and import it into JabRef manually.
Do I misunderstand the way you mentioned?

Best Regards


Hi! Thanks for your reply!
I used this method a lot. It is more convenient than downloading and importing bibtex entries. However, I am a little confused that, is DOI2Bibtex fetcher gives the same bibtex information as the bibtex from the original website? It seems there is some minor difference sometimes.
And I am trying to find a ‘one-click’ way if it exists. After posting the question, I tested JabFox on Firefox, it seems faster. However, I can not configure it successfully on my Ubuntu.

Best Regards


Hi! Thanks for your suggestion! I think it sounds smart. I will try that later.
I have one more question, does get bibtex from doi give the same bibtex content as the original source of the publication? I found it seems minor differences exist.

Best Regards

(Oliver Kopp) #8

Can you describe these steps in https://help.jabref.org/en/BestPractices? We aim for collecting all helpful ideas on our help page, but we have not enough man power to write everything on our own. Just click on “edit this page”. More information on contributing is described at https://github.com/JabRef/help.jabref.org/blob/gh-pages/CONTRIBUTING.md.


I believe JabFox is your best option for a “one-click” solution.
What do you mean by I can not configure [JabFox] successfully on my Ubuntu ? What is not working?

(Theodore Chang) #10

Ideally, it should be the same information, otherwise there is no necessary to create and use DOI.

As DOI is the new trend of indexing all publications nowadays, for my own use, most papers can be fetched easily.

If you have a massive paper database need to be indexed, I guess this is the best way to do so.

If you are collecting and building your database from all kinds of sources. Some plug-ins (JabFox, Zotero) can import corresponding information into your database within one or two clicks. Nevertheless, DOI is often written next to the paper title. Manually, you only need to ‘copy-paste-search-import’ to create one valid item.

Some needs extra fields such as author names, journal title, etc. Some may fail (very old documents, papers in collection/conference/proceedings tech reports, things like this.).

But overall, It is far more convenient than Google Scholar, not to mention the limit set by Google.

(Matthias Geiger ) #11

No you have not misunderstood me. In case only a download of a *.bib file is possible the quickest solution might be not to “download” the file but to directly “open” the file as proposed in the download popup of Firefox. If the bib-format is linked to JabRef the new file is directly opened in JabRef and you can just copy-and-paste the entry from the downloaded file to your actual database.

However, using JabFox still should be faster.


I followed the instructions in the web page of JabFox, which is given in the help page of ‘Fetching entries from Google Scholar’.
I think I have successfully installed JabFox on Win7. When I open a website containing the information of an article, if I click on the button of JabFox, after a while of loading, a window in JabRef will pop up for inserting the bibtex into JabRef. On my Win7, I have .exe instead of .jar of JabRef.
However, when I follow the steps described for JabRef.jar. After all the config, JabFox can grab the information as the same as on Win7, but, there is NO window pops up in JabRef. And when the loading of ‘Snapshot’ and ‘Full Text PDF’ is over, the little pop-up window of JabFox will soon disappear with nothing.
I uploaded my jabref.sh file, which has been renamed due to the suffix restriction.jabref.txt (64 Bytes)
Could you please have a look at that? Do I have done something wrong?
Location of JabRef.jar is at /home/wenqiang/Desktop/JabRef.jar, location of jabref.sh is at /home/wenqiang/apps/jabref.sh.
Any help would be much appreciated!


Thanks very much for your detailed answer!
I have tried a bit. I copied the name of the article to the Title field of the new entry. And click ‘Lookup DOI’ in General tag. But it fails a lot. Did I do something wrong?
Is the name of the article case-sensitive in your application? Could you please give some more information about the procedure?


Thank you very much!
I’d like to have a try.
And now I can use JabFox on Win7 successfully. The last step for me is to configure it right on my Ubuntu. Do you have some advice? You can see my process on my previous reply to mlep.
Thanks a lot in advance!

(Olan Bolan) #15

Thank you so much for responses!