Web search - limited returns

Hello everyone!

I was recently experimenting with the Web Search - Google Search.

The results returned seem limited to 20 for Google Search. Thus, for a simple search in Scholar with the terms ‘Mars Rover’ - the 20 results returned were included in the 1989 - 2010 lapse (missing recent publication). I am not sure in the end what were the criteria for choosing this list in particular : maybe first results returned - up to the first 20? For instance, one Scholar default criteria is the citation quantity (ex: Cited 32 time) which is useful to differentiate important papers in a given search from other less important.

I looked in preferences and parameters settings and did not find anything where I could change the amount of results returned, or where I could specify, similar to Google Search engine, to filter out results older than say 2010, or filter by the sum of citation.

(Maybe a field showing citation X time in the results would be nice? Or a place to configure and set preferences for the search engine)



Hi Etienne,

your observations are correct. The search results for Google Scholar are limited to 20 hits at the moment.

The problem here is that for a higher limit Google Scholar will instantly block your JabRef instance as part of its bot protection. Even with the limit to 20 hits, this might happen to you if you search frequently. Unfortuntately, we haven’t found a better workaround so far.

As far as I know, you’ll get the first 20 hits in JabRef.

Since we are trying to provide the same search interface for many database, it is a bit hard to offer options such as “older than 2010”. Some databases simply do not support this. Therefore, the search interface of JabRef is relatively simplistic.


@joerg.lenhard thank you for explaining / expanding on this! It makes sense for the 20 limit.

Meanwhile, refining the search/filter would help narrow down the amount or results returned and help keeping the traffic low.

As an end user, I did not investigate (yet) the possibilities of adding/writing external addons or plugins for JabRef - like, let’s say, an advanced G.Scholar module. If I have time (and the capabilities obviously!) I would look into it, is there a resource/decent links somewhere if I want to write such an addon (templates, or overall contribution rules etc)

I will keep tinkering with the JabRef search to get the best of it and understanding it better, considering its features and limitations.



Hi Etienne,

thanks for your reply. Contributions to JabRef would be very very very welcome! We have a contribution guide here: https://github.com/JabRef/jabref/wiki#development-information

To contribute, you will at least need to know git and Java. You need our main repository on Github, implement something, and create a pull request. Then, we will look over the code and test it and help you to get it ready for the master branche. For Google Scholar, the starting point would be the following class: https://github.com/JabRef/jabref/blob/master/src/main/java/net/sf/jabref/logic/importer/fetcher/GoogleScholar.java

Don’t hesitate to ask if you have further questions!