How do you generate your keys?

This question isn’t about technical details. My goal is to know and learn more about how other JabRef users use the software.

When starting JabRef telling me there are entries with missing bibtex-keys. I nearly understand why it is important for JabRef to have a key for each entrie. This entries are websites importat from a RIS-file (exported from Zotero). The import dialog wasn’t able to generate keys by default.

There is no key-generate-rule for that kind of entries. No author and no year available - no key. I understand that. But shouldn’t there be a default behaviour for this? A fallback key-generateing-rule?

Which rules do you use for your different kinds of entries?

Well, this usually depends on your citation style.
However, you can provide a key-generation style for each kind of entry. So you could define an entry which takes a part of the URL or the title as key. You can enter this in the Preferences-> BibTex key generator

Additionally, the help page for the Key-Patterns explains the possibilities:

I personally use author-year style, because I use APA style and it requires author/year also for websites.


Most of users use the default key pattern (author-year). However, using the title is not uncommon.
See , section “The default key pattern is ok, but the use of another pattern is common”.