New entry from plain text --> How to restore the old (manual) behavior?

Is there a preference that would allow me to restore the old manual importing of references from text instead of letting JabRef do the parsing?

I am not really sure how the parser is supposed to operate but it never works for my refs. I’m in the Humanities, European philosophy. It may work for the more standardizes formats in the sciences (i’m just speculating), but not for mine. I was quite happy with the old method: paste a text, select the bits of relevant content, and click the corresponding tag. It worked for me at least.

Is there any way to recover it?

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I have the same problem with my non standard refs. What would be the accepted reference string?

I have never used JabRef older than 5.x, so I am not exactly sure what you mean with “[…], select the bits of relevant content, and click the corresponding tag.”

Current state of parsing metadata from plain text is imperfect. I personally would advise to only use this method in order to prepare a further more detailed metadata search on the web. In particular, metadata from DOI is very accurate and fetched from (which queries a lot from Crossref right now).

To add non-standard refs to JabRef, I cannot think of another way than to import by text and then to manually add the fields that were not imported by hand. JabRef is bibtex/biblatex conform by default, so you would need to format in according to this standard.

In practice this could look something like this:

  1. Create a .bib file
  2. add your custom entry:
  custom1    = {test1},
  custom2    = {test2},
  1. Make JabRef show custom fields in the entry editor and entry table. (There are preferences for that)

In short: If you can manage to format you non-standard entries to conform to bibtex/biblatex/ris standard (maybe with help of a text-editor and find and replace, JabRef will be able to import them easily.