Overview of the 2015 JabRef survey


In November 2015, the community was asked to fill a survey about JabRef usages and potential developments About 400 responses were collected. This page presents an overview of the results. A detailed analysis is provided at Analysis.

Current use of JabRef

  • JabRef is the primary bibliographic software of responders. If not, Zotero, a plain text editor and Mendeley are the most popular.
  • JafRef is mostly used in relation with TeX-world softwares.
  • English is the primary language for the user interface.
  • Stability of the software is a key requirement.
  • JabRef should be compatible with Windows, Linux and Mac.
  • While hand edition of BibTeX files is common, feature improvements will reduce this practice.
  • While the default key pattern is ok, the ability to alter it is a required feature.
  • Both types of special characters (i.e. ΓΌ and "{u}) need to be supported.
  • UTF-8 is widely-used for encoding the databases, so available choices of encoding could be simplified.
  • Add-ons should be better advertised (import filters, export filters, plugins, journal abbreviation lists, external fetchers and external tools).

Improvements should mainly target:

  • Importation of entry
  • The graphic user interface
  • Entry editing

New features?

The most desirable features are at the top of the graph, the least desirable at the bottom.


Who are the JabRef users?

  • Most are German and English speakers.
  • They mostly use JabRef for their work (mainly in natural sciences, formal sciences and professions).

JabRef users are willing to:

  • attend JabCon 2016, and a webinar will boost the attendance.
  • contribute code
  • to contribute money

So, calls for event, code and financial contributions should be sent.