JabRef is an open source bibliography reference manager. The native file format used by JabRef is BibTeX, the standard LaTeX bibliography format. JabRef runs on the Java VM (version 1.8 or newer), and works equally well on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.

BibTeX is an application and a bibliography file format written by Oren Patashnik and Leslie Lamport for the LaTeX document preparation system. General information can be found on the CTAN BibTeX package information page. JabRef also supports BibLaTeX.

Bibliographies generated by LaTeX and BibTeX from a BibTeX file can be formatted to suit any reference list specifications through the use of different BibTeX and BibLaTeX style files.


Search the Web

Entries can be searched in external databases and BibTeX entries can be fetched from there. Example sources: arXiv, CiteseerX, Google Scholar, Medline, GVK, IEEEXplore, and Springer.

Import of various formats

RIS, Medline/Pubmed (xml), Refer/Endnote, INSPEC, BibTeXML, CSA, ISI Web of Science, SilverPlatter, Scifinder, OVID, Biblioscape, Sixpack, JStor, and RIS.

Moreover, the FireFox add-on JabFox makes importing new bibliographic information directly from the browser very easy.

Automatic download of full texts

JabRef can be instructed to search for the full text of a reference, download it, and directly link it to the BibTeX entry.

Search the bibliography

Search a pattern in the whole bibliography.

Classification of entries

You can group entries explicitly, by keywords or any other fields.

Integrates to your environment

Launch external applications: PDF viewers, web browser

Insert citations into TeXstudio, LyX, Kile, LatexEditor, Emacs, Vim, and WinEdt

Automatic Key generation

BibTeX keys can be automatically generated in a customizable way from document data, e.g. using author names, title and year.

Support for XMP Metadata in PDFs

Improve the workflow of sharing PDFs and bibliography information

Built-in and custom export formats

HTML, Docbook, BibTeXML, MODS, RTF, Refer/Endnote, and OpenOffice.org as well as LibreOffice

Customization of the JabRef interface

Fonts, displayed fields, etc.

Customization of BibTeX fields

You can add your own fields to any BibTeX entry type.


JabRef menus and dialog boxes are translated into Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese (simplified), Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Persian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Vietnamese.

See our translation page on github for more information and the status of each translation.


download development snapshot

We use install4j, the multi-platform installer builder.



Documentation is available at https://help.jabref.org. There was a huge effort to generate a German user manual. You find it at https://manuals.jabref.org.


Frequently asked questions are available at https://help.jabref.org/en/#faq.

General Support

Use our discourse forum at http://discourse.jabref.org to get help or to provide feedback.

You can also propose new features there.

Bug and error reports are managed at GitHub.

Development Information

The development of JabRef is managed at GitHub.

You can find the source code and a contribution guide at our github project page at https://github.com/JabRef/jabref.


See https://github.com/JabRef/jabref/blob/master/CHANGELOG.md

Donations keep us going.

Support via Gratipay    PayPal Donation

Please visit our wiki for more information such as donating via bank transfer.

JabRef development is powered by Baola and Neuronade.

If you need books, please order them at your local bookstore.
In case you stick with Amazon, please use this link. You can use Amazing Affiliate Link to ensure that the affiliate link always works. Enter jabref-21 as code. This seems to work in Germany only.

Image of Baola



JabRef-compatible text editors

JabRef can push entries, i.e. insert \cite{key} commands, to the following text editors:

Additionally, JabRef can natively insert citations and format a bibliography in:

See OpenOffice/LibreOffice integration for details.

External tools


by Daniel Mendler

BibSync is a tool to synchronize your paper database with a BibTeX file which might be most useful for Physicists and Mathematicians since it supports synchronization with DOI and arXiv.

Homepage: https://github.com/minad/bibsync


by Mike Brookes

Bibtex4Word is an add-in for Microsoft Word that allows the citation of references and the insertion of a bibliography into your document using your choice of formatting style. It is lightweight, transparent and does not mess up your documents.

Homepage: http://www.ee.ic.ac.uk/hp/staff/dmb/perl/index.html

Endnote filter set

This improves author recognitzion and adds support for more fileds to EndNote.

Homepage: https://github.com/JabRef/EndNode-JabRef-filters

Eratosthenes Reference Manager

by Matthew Matlock

Eratosthenes Reference Manager is a BibTeX-based bibliography manager for Android. It integrates with JabRef, supporting top-level groups and attached files/external links.

Available for Android 4.0 and up.

App store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mm.eratos

Export-Filter Editor

by Felix Wilke

Using this tool you can easily create a custom export filter for JabRef to build you own bibliography style. Styles files are available at https://layouts.jabref.org and for LibeOffice at https://jstyles.jabref.org. The tool itself supports:

  • HTML Export Filter
  • RTF Export Filter
  • OpenOffice/ LibreOffice Style File
  • Saving the filter for later refinements

Download the Export-Filter Editor


by Niklas Alt

Feinerleiser is a tool for improving the JabRef-LibreOffice integration when writing for the humanities. This tool can be run to finalize a document, providing citation features that are not supported by JabRef itself.

Homepage: http://www.sourceforge.net/projects/feinerleiser/


This site offers to generate .gitignore files using common patterns for applications. For instance, you can use the keywords JabRef, Windows, Linux, macos, latex to generate a .gitignore for your daily tex work.


by Tobias Diez

JabFox is a Firefox add-on for users of the bibliographic reference manager JabRef. It automatically identifies and extracts bibliographic information on websites and sends them to JabRef in one click. A wide range of publisher sites, library catalogs and databases are supported.

  • Homepage: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/jabfox/
  • Source: https://github.com/JabRef/JabFox/


by Graham Dennis

PocketBib is a BibTeX library reader for academics on the go. With PocketBib you can search, browse and read the papers in your BibTeX library, and sync them with BibDesk or JabRef on your computer.

Available for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

Homepage: http://www.grahamdennis.me/pocketbib/

WinEdt’s JabRef launcher

by Karl Koeller

This WinEdt’s package allows to launch the JabRef program from within WinEdt.

Download the WinEdt’s JabRef launcher

Export filters

JabRef allows you to create custom export filters. This functionality and the installation procedure are described in the help file on Custom export filters. Some users have created export filters that can be useful to many others. They are collected at https://layouts.jabref.org.

JabRef journal abbreviation lists

JabRef can help you refactor your reference list by automatically abbreviating or unabbreviating journal names, as explained in the dedicated help.

Although JabRef comes with a build-in list of journals, additional lists are available at https://abbrv.jabref.org.

Plugins and additional entry fetchers

Until version 2.11 JabRef offered a plugin framework. Support for that has been removed. See issue #152 for the current status of integration of the plugins into JabRef.

The current way to add a new entry fetcher or additional functionality is to directly contribute the code to JabRef.


Please head over to our contributing FAQ.