Override built-in journal list


is there a way in JabRef 5.2 to override the entries in the built-in journal list? For instance, there is the unabbreviated journal name

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

Using this in a LaTeX file, the compilation halts with:

! Misplaced alignment tab character &.
ACS Applied Materials &
l.130 …\emph{ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces}

I do have an own csv file in which I escaped the ampersand with \&. However, the unabbreviate function of JabRef will not unabbreviate to the title with the escaped ampersand because the built-in list is obviously treated with higher priority.

Is there a way to mitigate this issue? And, in general, is there a way to have the journal titles treated according to only my personal csv list?


To make the question a little shorter: Is there a way to disable/remove the entries of the built-in journal list? This seems like the only way to mitigate the issue.

[And it’s a kind of a nuissance to enforce unabbreviated journal names that will necessarily cause errors in LaTeX… :|]



you can try the latest development version There have been some fixes regarding the handling. Normally, the custom list is prioritized over the builtin list.


Remember to make a backup of your library before trying out the new version

Hi Christoph,

Thank you! I usually don’t use pre-release versions, but I will happily wait for the release of JabRef 5.3.

What do you mean by saying “normally, the custom list is prioritized over the builtin list”? I can provide the following “steps to reproduce”.

In addition to the built-in list, prepare a csv file with the following entry

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces ; ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces

and add it to the lists of journal abbreviations.

“ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces” will then be abbreviated to “ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces”. But every instance of "“ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces” will be unabbreviated to “ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces” from the built-in list. The latter will produce an error during LaTeX compilation. I am using the portable version of

JabRef 5.0–2020-03-06–2e6f433
Windows 10 10.0 amd64
Java 13.0.2

I would be really glad to be told what I am doing wrong. So far, however, I don’t so any possibility to change this behavior of JabRef.

Thank you again,

Hi Christoph,

Thanks to copying the version number for the last post, I realized that something was messed up during the update to v5.2, which I thought I managed successfully yesterday.

It seems to work with v5.2, which is great.

Is there a way to take over the preferences regarding table layout and which fields to display where for the detailed view of the entry from one portable version to the next portable version?


Hi Christoph,

And even that worked automatically after I closed and restarted the new version once more. Now, it’s really time for a donation.



Thanks for the feedback. Glad that it works. Preferences are always migrated to the new version (You can also export/import them manually)

Even though it’s not yet released, 5.3 is based on 5.2 + bug fixes/new features.

Since last year JabRef is now managed by JabRef e.V. and therefore donations are tax-deductible (at least in Germany)