How to format refs to APA xx style in Jabref 5.6 when using OpenOffice/LibreOffice?


Yesterday I was trying to update my publications list in my resume, tried to figure out how to get a new ref exported or formatted to APA style so that I could paste it into the document . . . could not find a way to do that.

I had Bookends in my old Mac laptop and there I could right click on a reference and in the drop-down menu there would be “copy formatted” and at the bottom of the BE window I could select the formatting style, and when pasting, viola, APA formatted . . . .

Yesterday all I could find was >File >exported selected entries and when I did that I got what looked like a “V-card” type of data . . . with { and " all over the place. I had to cut and paste the data to match the previous items in the biblio . . . .

Anyway to get Jabref 5.6 to format the citations in APA style??? I’m running Pop!_OS 22.04 and that comes with LO, the doc was originally created in OSX as .rtf . . . . I wasn’t trying to “create a whole bibliography” . . . just trying to add one item . . . into an APA formatted list of publications.

Hey, you can choose the APA style in the preferences under entry preview:

You can see your selected entry previewed in APA style. Copy and paste is possible from there.

Of course, the preview can be accessed in other locations:
The preview tab (if you have activated that one), or just enter any tab and the preview style should show at the right side.

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Furthermore, if you want to export your entry to OpenOffice/LibreOffice and make use of automatic creation of your bibliography you would have to use of JabRef’s JStyles. See here: Unfortunately there is no APA style available and you would need to create your own customized jstyle for APA first. Since you only want to add a single entry “copy and paste” should be sufficient though.

Thanks for the help on it . . . much appreciated. Interesting that I could do a single item in APA, but it’s not available in LO “generate biblio”???

Isn’t APA “the kind” these days??? Seems like in the venues where I have published articles or Letters to Editor they want APA formatting???

APA is indeed a very popular citation style in the humanities, but of course there are other popular styles out there.

JabRef not (yet) offering a vast range of citation styles for LibreOffice/OpenOffice is mainly for historic reasons, I guess. If you or somebody else who reads this feel motivated to work on this, feel free and kindly invited to do so :slight_smile:

JabRef has been around for a long time and has emerged from being a very specialized tool to manage bibliographic data formated in bibtex (now also its successor biblatex) towards aspiring to be a more general tool to manage bibliographic data. If you were to use LaTeX and other tools from its surrounding ecosystem, you would have no problem formatting your bibliography in APA. The biblatex package offers the APA style (and others). Since JabRef is (sometimes more, sometimes less) integrated and has emerged from within this ecosystem it may have limited the speed of people to work on offering citation styles for OpenOffice/LibreOffice or Microsoft Word, because maybe they just did not see a reason to work on something they already had solved for LaTeX? Why would they need other programs like LO/OO or MSOffice, when they already had LaTeX and its ecosystem? Other reasons would be the size of the community, the freedom for maintainers and involved programmers to choose what they personally like to work on and what NOT to work on (this is inherent to open source projects), as well as the vast amount of other open issues. I personally think this is a very important issue as well, because i feel like LaTeX is truly something for specialized professionals and IT nerds hahaha :smiley: (In certain circumstances, LaTeX can be better than other tools, but it takes a while to learn how to do it all and of course it also has issues, seemingly like most other computer programs :confused: )

There is already an open issue that would implement APA and other citationstyles for the LibreOffice and OpenOffice integration. See here: Support CSL Styles in LO/OO · Issue #2146 · JabRef/jabref · GitHub

Thanks for the thorough reply, I see that that conversation goes back to '17 . . . .

I am what is essentially an “end user” . . . back in '04 I was pursuing a clinical doctorate and I was doing a lot of writing that required references . . . . I was one of the only people in the group at that time using a Mac, and I was looking for “cheap” . . . aka “free” apps that would help me store my references. At that time I did see “BibTex” and probably “LaTex” apps, but they clearly required actual skills to be able to use them . . . I gave up on “free” and went with Bookends. And BE served me well until a year or two back when I thought “maybe my '09 MBP was getting ‘old.’” So I went with a Sys76 Pop!_OS laptop, and of course BE doesn’t work w/o OSX . . . .

So I found Jabref in their “store” and got the BE owner to help me get the refs exported and imported into JR . . . there were some “issues” that @Siedlerchr helped me out with, trying to get the newest release of JR, etc. And generally it meets my needs, which is just like a place to store refs. Up until the day or so back I haven’t had to do anything “professional” with it . . . and then didn’t know how to get that done to get it to APA format.

But, what are you suggesting with that “BibLatex package”?? Is that something added into LO, or something that I would install using apt . . . like “apt install biblatex”?? And that would get the packages that then LO would be able to use to format the Biblio in APA???

Or, this is something that would get me into a console app . . . and like somebody in that thread mentioned, “you need two screens” to get this done???

Like the other guy said, “I’m down for testing, but have nothing, nothing to offer via programming . . . .” : - 0

So, today is my Pubmed digest review day, wherein refs of interest get added to Jabref database . . . . In checking the suggestions provided, looking in “entry preview” I see that I can select “APA” and I can check the box for “show preview as tab in entry editor” . . . and that seemed to add a tab in the line item for “preview” . . . .

But, that doesn’t seem to work to show the line item formatted as APA?? It just shows a generic sample of APA, which would then have to be used as a “template” . . . and the details of the selected entry would have to be copy/pasted for each part of the APA formatting???

If you select an entry in your database, and you go to the tab in the entry-editor, there it will show in APA style. It will NOT be a generic sample.

The only time a generic sample is shown in JabRef is, when you have not selected an entry yet.

You will not need to copy paste anything, I think.

About the issue with biblatex: It is not compatible with LibreOffice.

It is a package you use via calling it in your LaTeX document. The following command would need to be in your preamble for you to call the package: \usepackage{biblatex}

As I said, it is a little bit complicated. If you are interested, I would suggest to read some introduction guides to LaTeX.

e.g.: Introduction to LaTeX

But there are a lot around. Just use your web-search engine of choice and type “Introduction to LaTeX” or “Introduction to BibLaTeX”.

Videos can help too. E.g.

And if you want to know how to use JabRef in combination with LaTeX (of course also with LibreOffice), you will find a lot of info in our help section. Getting started - JabRef

OK, I think maybe I figured out what to do . . . it wasn’t mentioned to drag the specific selection over to the “Selected” box in the Preferences >entry preview box . . . .

I just did that and it seems like now in the >preview tab it is showing the APA style . . . .

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ooooh, yes. Sorry I misunderstood you then. Glad it now works for you!

I guess we can close this now?

Yes. I believe it is safe to close the thread. Thanks kindly for the assist on it.