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September 05, 2022 – JabCon 2022

From Friday, September 2 to Monday, September 5, 2022 the annual JabCon took place in Stuttgart, Germany, where the majority of the JabRef maintainers and some members of our non-profit organization JabRef e.V. met in person and worked together to improve JabRef and discuss the roadmap for future releases 🐱💻☕.
We are happy to announce that JabRef e.V. now has 25 members who support JabRef’s development in various ways and keep us motivated.

This year we focused on smaller improvements, code quality and bug fixes. Especially we focused on fixes and improvements regarding handling of linked files. The Systematic Literature Review feature also got polished and we improved the usability. In addition, we also focused on one larger feature: the conversion of our old search to the new lucence search which will be part of the upcoming version 6 release in the near future. While code quality does not always have a visible impact on the user, it is an important aspect to improve the maintanability of JabRef.

JabRef e.V. Flag at a wall

We are excited for next year’s JabCon where we have the occasion to celebrate the 20-year jubilee. Yep, we can’t believe it that it’s already that old 😉 - it was founded in 2003 by Morten O. Alver, Nizar N. Batada.

Special Thanks

We want to thank all the users who are constantly testing the latest snapshots and providing feedback! Furthermore, we would like to thank our donators and JabRef e.V. members who made it possible for many JabRef developers to attend the conference and to support our work. In case you like to donate money on a regular basis, we would prefer via our bank account (tax-deductible and no fees) or via GitHub Sponsors as the fees are lower than PayPal.

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August 13, 2022 – GSOC22 — Implement a Three Way Merge UI for merging BibTeX entries

Hi there! This is Houssem. I’m the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) student for this year. In this article, I’ll talk about new features and functionalities that I worked on as part of my GSoC project.

Introduction

Merging duplicates and resolving conflicts is a major use case for JabRef users, according to a 2019 research conducted by JabRef developers 1.

JabRef has several dialogs that reuse the merge UI, such as the Entries Merger Dialog, the Duplicate Resolver Dialog, the Entry Importer Dialog, and the External Changes Resolver Dialog.

Notable Changes

In this section, I’ll be talking about notable changes that introduce new UI elements or can affect the current workflow of users. However, I won’t be discussing code changes even though they’re just as important. You can still check out code changes in the linked PRs below.

Editable Merged Entry

One of the core features of a three way merge, is being able to edit the merged entry from the dialog. This is obviously possible in the new merge UI. In addition, we created a binding between the merged entry fields and the selected field value, so that editing the merged entry fields will select either the left or right entry field value.

An Improved Diff Highlighting

When you’re looking at a huge list of items, it can be helpful to see which ones are different from the others. This is especially useful when merging duplicates, as most of the time, duplicates only contain one difference. By having differences highlighted, you can quickly and easily spot the different field, and resolve it.

In the new three way merge UI, we’ve decided to highlight differences by coloring the background behind the different text. This is a more common way of highlighting differences, and we think it will be easier for users to notice. We’ve also introduced Split view and Unified view to allow users to view differences split between the two entries or in one entry. Finally, we’ve fixed several bugs and pitfalls in the previous diff highlighting algorithm, such as, Spaces trimmed in Merge Entry Dialog.

Select Both Field Values (AKA Merge Fields)

When merging entries, sometimes you want to select both values for a certain field. A common use case for this would be wanting the merged entry to have both the left and right entry groups. Now, you can simply click the merge button next to the groups label and we’ll take care of the rest. We’ll merge the left and right entry groups, keeping only one copy of any common group. And this works for more than just groups - you can also merge keywords, comments and files. So go ahead and give it a try - it’ll make your life a lot easier.

Open DOIs and URLs from The Merge Dialog

We included a button on the side of field cells to open links; as of right now, only URLs and DOIs can be opened. Since the left and right field cells cannot be selected, a copy button was included for convenience. We plan to improve this design and include more actions in the future.

Future Work

We’ve made some progress, but there’s still more work to be done. We’re going to make separate improvements to each of the dialogs that use the merge UI. This has already begun with the external changes resolver dialog. We’ll also update the documentation and write tests before release.

Summary

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about some of the new changes in JabRef. The three-way merge changes are now part of the development version. You can try it out right now! https://builds.jabref.org/main/

Remember to make backup up of your library before trying out the new version. Don’t hesistate to report any issues you encounter to help improving the dialog!

Submitted PRs

References

  1. Simon, Martin K., et al. “Analyzing the Importance of JabRef Features from the User Perspective.” ZEUS. 2019. 

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August 05, 2022 – JabRef 5.7 Release

We are proud to announce the release of version 5.7 of our favorite citation manager JabRef. Several bugs have been fixed, and some improvements were made to the UI:

Notable Changes and New Features

Citations can now also be looked up in the Biodiversity Heritage Library and we also added support to import Citavi backup files. A new filter for the Unlinked Files Search has been introduced to respect file ignore patterns defined in a .gitignore file in the search directory. We also improved the automatic detection of the library’s charset and fixed a couple of issues regarding the writing of XMP Metadata to linked files.

Notable UI improvements include the feature to drag and drop entries across libraries, by dropping them on the library tab. The “Automatic Field Editor” dialog was redesigned and polished by our GSoC mentee @HoussemNasri. There may be some issues left, feel free to report them in our issue tracker.

As we updated the full-text search engine to Lucene 9.3, JabRef will recreate the search index in the background on start. Be aware that switching back and forth between the current version and any older version will make JabRef repeat this process every time, and this will take a long time for huge databases with many linked files.

For a complete list of all our changes, take a look at the Changelog.

You can get JabRef as free software from FOSShub.

In case you notice any bugs or problems, please browse through our bug tracker and consider submitting a new bug report if nobody else has been reporting the failure before.

Special Thanks

The JabRef Maintainers would like to give special thanks to all new and old contributors. We are delighted to see contributors opening pull requests and making translations or simply answering questions in our support forum. As we all work on JabRef in our leisure time, we feel honored that people share our enthusiasm for free software and work together to make research easier.

A big thanks also to all our donators! Especially we would like to thank our GSoC mentee @HoussemNasri for his extensive work on JabRef and Google for providing the scholarship for his project in GSoC. We expect to include the result of his efforts to improve the three-way-merge dialog in the next release.

We also want to thank all universities including JabRef in their academic teaching.

Finally, we would like to thank all the users who are constantly testing the latest snapshots and giving feedback!

The JabRef Maintainers wish everyone to find themselves filled with inner peace and joy, exploring the vast world of possibilities that literature management brings to you!

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April 26, 2022 – JabRef 5.6 Release

We are proud to announce the release of the next milestone of JabRef, this time JabRef 5.6. As always, this release comes with several bug fixes and also some new features.

Notable Changes and New Features

This release comes with several new fetchers for the websearch (ResearchGate, SemanticScholar and Directory of Open Access Books). Since OttoBib ceased service, we also switched to OpenLibrary to fetch citations by ISBN. We also enabled the user to customize their access key for some fetchers if they have privileged access to certain web-portals/databases.

Since our last publicly announced release we have made a lot of changes behind the scene. We have, for instance, completely switched text encoding to Unicode, more and more preferences have effect without the need to restart JabRef and we completely revised the Open-/LibreOffice connection. Feedback on this is very welcome. Of course, we also fixed many other bugs and updated some external dependencies. As a result JabRef should feel a bit faster and consume less system memory for most tasks as compared to version 5.5. We are very happy about that!

A notable change for users (with large databases) is the need to recreate the search index. Switching back and forth JabRef versions and meanwhile adding PDFs also requires rebuilding the index now and then. Having realized indexing can take a long time for huge libraries, a preference option was added to disable it entirely.

For a complete list of all our changes, take a look at the Changelog.

You can get JabRef for free from FOSShub.

In case you notice any bugs or problems, please check our bug tracker and consider submitting a new bug report if nobody else has been reporting the failure before.

Special Thanks

The JabRef Maintainers would like to give special thanks to all new and old contributors. We are delighted to see contributors opening pull requests and making translations or simply answering questions in our support forum. As we all work on JabRef in our free time, we feel honored that people share our enthusiasm for free software and work together to make research easier.

A big thanks also to all our donators!

We also want to thank all universities including JabRef in their academic teaching.

Finally, we want to thank all the users who are constantly testing the latest snapshots and giving feedback!

The JabRef Maintainers wish everyone to find themselves filled with inner peace and joy exploring the vast world of possiblities that literature management brings to you!

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March 09, 2022 – JabRef Accepted for Google Summer of Code 2022

Great news! JabRef got accepted as an open source organization for this year’s Google Summer of Code (GSoC). The goal of this annual program is to give university students and now in 2022, for the first time, other people the opportunity to learn about and get involved in open source development. People will work three months on a project for an open source organization and are mentored by members of the project. It is a great honor for JabRef to be part of this program for the third time.

From April 4, 2022 to April 19, 2022 people can apply for participation in the GSoC. Interested people are invited to have a look at our list of possible project ideas or suggest their own projects. We are looking forward to introducing people to the open source community and provide guidance while they work on a real world open source project.

In the meantime, we continue to work on fixing bugs and adding new features.

Stay tuned for further updates!

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December 20, 2021 – 🎄 JabRef 5.4 Release 🎄

We are proud to announce the release of the next milestone of JabRef, this time JabRef 5.4, just in time for the holidays! It’s been roughly half a year since the previous release of 5.3, and we are happy to announce that despite the still ongoing Covid-19 waves we were all fortunately able to continue working on JabRef.

Notable Changes and New Features

Thanks to this year’s Google Summer of Code, JabRef now has a PDF-fulltext search and improved metadata support. This allows you to search across libraries and linked files. Search results across several libraries can now also be shown again in a new window. It’s also possible to keep the search string when switching between libraries. Another major improvement is the metadata extraction and writing for PDFs. When generating an entry from a PDF, JabRef now checks different sources and provides an improved merge dialog to combine the extracted metadata.

Further work focused on improving the user experience in the GUI. For example, we added an icon picker to the Groups dialog to easily search for a suitable group icon. We also added the possibility to search all available citation styles together with a sample preview.

Additionally to these, we also fixed many bugs. For a complete list of all our changes, take a look at the Changelog since our last official release!

You can get it from FOSShub.

In case you notice any bugs or problems, please check our bug tracker and consider submitting a new bug report if nobody else has been reporting the failure before.

Special Thanks

The JabRef Maintainers would like to give special thanks to all new and old contributors. We are delighted to see so many new contributors opening pull requests and making translations or simply answering questions in our support forum. The Release 5.4 now also includes Korean (한국어) as a new language. As we all work on JabRef in our free time, we feel honored that people share our enthusiasm for free software and work together to make research easier.

A big thanks also to all our donators!

We also want to thank all universities including JabRef in their academic teaching.

Finally, we want to thank all the users who are constantly testing the latest snapshots and giving feedback!

The JabRef Maintainers wish everyone Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year! 🎉🍾🎆 Stay safe everyone!

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September 17, 2021 – JabCon 2021

From Monday, August 30 to Thursday, September 2, 2021 the annual JabCon took place in Stuttgart, Germany, where the majority of the JabRef developers and some members of our non profit organization JabRef e.V. met in person and worked together to improve JabRef and discuss the roadmap for future releases. This year’s JabCon was special as it was the first anniversary 🎂 since founding our non profit organization JabRef e.V. We are happy to announce that JabRef e.V. now has 17 members who support JabRef’s development in various ways and keep us motivated.

The most notable product of this years JabCon is certainly the global search dialog, for searching across all your libraries, and the keep-search-string feature which we brought back after migrating to our new ui framework JavaFX.

grafik

Google Summer of Code 2021

We are happy to announce that both students, Benedikt and Mohit, sucessfully passed GSOC 🍾🍾! A big thanks to the great work and the cool features they implemented. And a big thanks to Google for giving us the opportunity to be part of this great project! Check out the previous blog posts for a glimpse of the features. Especially the improved PDF-Importing and the support for full-text search in PDFs is a very handy feature that will help you with supporting your reference management!

Try the new version!

You can test the new features by downloading the latest development snapshot from https://builds.jabref.org/main/. Please remember always to make a backup of your libraries before testing a development version. In case you notice any bugs or problems, please check our bug tracker and consider submitting a new bug report if nobody else has been reporting the failure before.

Special Thanks

We want to thank all the users who are constantly testing the latest snapshots and giving feedback!

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July 05, 2021 – 💉 JabRef 5.3 Release 💉

We are proud to announce the release of the next milestone of JabRef, this time JabRef 5.3! It’s been roughly half a year since the previous release of 5.2, and we are happy to announce that despite Covid-19 we were all fortunately able to continue working on JabRef. We are also happy to have two students working as part of Google Summer of Code on some cool new features.

Notable Changes and New Features

The most notable new feature is the experimental implementation of a systematic literature review (SLR) functionality, one of our maintainers worked on for his bachelor thesis. Another major improvement is the “Find unlinked files” dialog. We improved the import performance of many files and also added options to filter the shown files by their modification date. A big thanks to the student team that worked on this feature. Additionally, we also simplified the “Select entry type” dialog to show some useful recommendations. Despite this new feature, we also fixed many bugs. Some of them were related to import/export and the handling of linked files. For a complete list of all our changes, take a look at the Changelog since our last official release!

You can get it from FOSShub.

In case you notice any bugs or problems, please check our bug tracker and consider submitting a new bug report if nobody else has been reporting the failure before.

Special Thanks

The JabRef Maintainers would like to give special thanks to all new and old contributors. We are delighted to see so many new contributors opening pull requests and making translations. As we all work on JabRef in our free time, we feel honored that people share our enthusiasm for free software and work together to make research easier. Some big news about how to be part of this project will follow soon.

We also want to thank all universities including JabRef in their academic teaching.

Finally, we want to thank all the users who are constantly testing the latest snapshots and giving feedback! We also hope that our users are all able to receive a vaccination (or two 💉💉) against Covid-19!

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July 04, 2021 – JabRef GSoC’21 Projects

Hey everyone, Today’s blog is about the projects selected for GSoC and a little sneak peek into the projects.

Microsoft Word Integration

We are working on a Word add-in that allows users to select and insert citations directly from the Word document. The JabRef Word Add-in can be used without having your reference manager open or even installed. Once you sign in to JabRef Word Addin, your JabRef library is downloaded from the cloud, and you can continue working on your document. JabRef word addin opens as a separate panel in Word alongside your document window. So your whole document remains in your view as you search, select and insert references.

For more information about the project, visit the links below.

Improved PDF Integration

The second project is all about PDFs and is split into two main goals: Fulltext search in linked PDFs and metadata extraction from new pdfs.

The people involved are:

Fulltext search

Over the duration of a scientists career, bibliographies tend to grow large in size. Currently, JabRef users can filter their bibliography by performing a search in the bib-entries. This search only looks for matches in the fields of the bibentry, but not in the linked documents. We want to change that by indexing all linked documents using Apache Lucene. Additionally to the filtering in the table of entries, users are presented with a tab in the entry-editor containing a google-esque visualization of the matched text portions in the PDFs. Progress can be tracked here.

Metadata extraction

An important aspect of a library is the ability to share items with others. The de-facto way of sharing work in the scientific community is to share PDF files. Unfortunately, most of the times, it is hard to automatically deduce metadata needed to build a JabRef entry from a PDF alone. We want to integrate with GROBID, a machine learning library for extracting metadata from raw PDF documents. GROBID is learned to deduce the metadata from the content itself, as a human would. Checkout the corresponding issue for more information.

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March 11, 2021 – JabRef Accepted for Google Summer of Code 2021

Great news! JabRef got accepted as an open source organization for this year’s Google Summer of Code (GSoC). The goal of this annual program is to give university students opportunity to learn about and get involved in open source development. Students will work three months on a project for an open source organization and are mentored by members of the project. It is a great honor for JabRef to be part of this program for the second time.

From March, 29 until April 13, 2021, students can apply for participation in the GSoC. Interested students are invited to have a look at our list of possible project ideas or suggest their own projects. We are looking forward to introducing students to the open source community and provide guidance while they work on a real world open source project during their summer break from university.

In the meantime, we continue to work hard on the upcoming 5.3 version.

Stay tuned for further updates!

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December 24, 2020 – 🎄 JabRef 5.2 Release 🎄

We are proud to announce the release of the next milestone of JabRef, and we are releasing JabRef 5.2. Just in time for the holidays! We are also happy to announce that Domninik Voigt, who worked on JabRef as part of his Bachelor thesis now joined the ranks of core developers!

Notable Changes and New Features

After the release of the previous major milestone 5.1 we focused on bug fixes and some new features!

This release brings some improvements and bug fixes for users who are using shared SQL databases for collaborative work and those that use LibreOffice. For users switching from EndNote to JabRef, we have improved the EndNote importer. We also fixed a bug where possible errors during the import were not shown to the user. In addition, we now added a YAML exporter to export your library in the YAML format.

Our new developer implemented a feature for systematic literature search in JabRef. The feature still needs some work until it’s usable for non-technical users. Therefore, it’s not yet enabled in JabRef.

Additionally, we also tweaked the user interface. In 5.0 we introduced the option to have a “Dark Theme” and with this release it is now possible to create your own theme by adjusting the CSS. The preferences dialog and some menu items were adjusted for consistency. For those who missed our Emacs/bash keybindings, we are happy to tell you that we reimplemented this feature. The feature can now be configured as part of the “Manage keybindings” dialog.

The JabRef Browser extension is now also compatible with the new version of Microsoft Edge and available for all major browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Edge, and Vivaldi)

And many more! In total, there are again many changes since our last official release!

You can get it from FOSShub.

In case you notice any bugs or problems, please check our bug tracker and consider submitting a new bug report if nobody else has been reporting the failure before.

Special Thanks

The JabRef Maintainers would like to give special thanks to all new and old contributors. We are very happy to see so many new contributors opening pull requests and making translations. As we all work on JabRef in our free time, we feel honored that people share our enthusiasm for free software and work together to make research easier. Some big news about how to be part of this project will follow soon.

We also want to thank all universities including JabRef in their academic teaching.

Finally, we want to thank all the users who are constantly testing the latest snapshots and giving feedback! We wish you all Happy Holidays 🎅 ❄️ 🎁 🦌 ⛄ 👪 🎄 and a Happy New Year! 🥂 🎉

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November 20, 2020 – JabRef Interaction with LibreOffice Explained

Today’s blog post will highlight the interaction between JabRef and LibreOffice, the open-source alternative to Microsoft Office. It is presented to you by a JabRef user, Felix Wilke, who is also a code contributor.

JabRef Interaction with LibreOffice

JabRef offers many features for inserting citations and formatting a bibliography in OpenOffice or LibreOffice Writer. This post explains the basic functionality and also how to get the most of it with the help of third-party tools.

First: Connect JabRef to LibreOffice

  • Open LibreOffice and JabRef
  • Open the LibreOffice panel in JabRef
  • Hit the “Connect” button

In case you get an error message you may have to connect manually (see: https://docs.jabref.org/cite/openofficeintegration). Especially Linux users should use the official versions of JabRef and LibreOffice in order to prevent connection issues.

Second: Cite Entries from JabRef

  • Place the cursor at the right position in your manuscript
  • Mark the entry or entries you want to cite
  • Click on “Cite” or “Cite-in-text”

You can easily change the citation style and bibliography style. Just click on “Select style”. After you have finished your manuscript, just hit the refresh button and your bibliography gets parsed.

Exchange/Save documents in Other Formats

JabRef uses special fields in LibreOffice that are not supported by other word processors. You should save your writer document in OpenDocument format (odt). However, there exists an external tool that is able to convert the citations so that they are kept when you save in another format.

  • Install the LibreOffice extension: https://github.com/teertinker/JabRef_LibreOffice_Converter
  • Hit “Convert to Cite-Key”
  • Save the document in any format you like
  • Open and modify the manuscript with any word processor
    • Note: Some word processors do not save the additional information of “Cite special” (e.g. pages)
  • Convert the citations back to JabRef fields
  • Refresh your bibliography

Additional Option: Use \cite{key} in any Word Processor to Generate References

  • The LibreOffice extension can also be used to convert manuscripts with \cite{keys} to JabRef References for LibreOffice
  • This offers the option to work on a manuscript with any word processor and generate a bibliography with LibreOffice

Fourth: Create you own Citation Style with the Export-Filter-Editor

Many journals have their own style and editing a style file to conform with those can be quite a pain. To simplify the creation of a new jstyles there is this handy GUI tool, Export-Filter-Editor, which can be used to create custom export filters.

  • Open Export-Filter-Editor
  • Create your bibliography
  • Create you citation style
  • Save the jstyle file
  • Open the jstyle in JabRef

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August 30, 2020 – 🦠 JabRef 5.1 Release 🦠

We are proud to announce the release the next milestone of JabRef. Today we are releasing Jabref 5.1. Just in time for the upcoming annual JabCon!

Notable Changes and New Features

After the release of the previous major milestone 5.0 we intensively focused on performance and bug fixes. We managed to speed up JabRef significantly, especially when used with many groups and/or larger libraries.

We didn’t just focus on performance and bug fixes, but also added a couple of new features: For users using our integrated fetchers we added the option to automatically download the associated fulltext (if available) on import. Related to that is the new support of mEDRA DOIs to retrieve metadata. We improved the integrity check which can now detect duplicated DOIs. This results in a more reliable way to check for duplicates in your library. For LaTeX users, JaRef now supports the entry types and fields of biblatex-software out of the box.

Additionally to these improvements under the hood, we also tweaked the user interface: We added tooltips for nearly all fields in the entry editor to show a description of the fields purpose. The comment field now supports markdown.

JabRef 5.1 MarkDown screen

A progress indicator in the toolbar provides an overview of running background tasks. Also the toolbar should now scale more nicely in smaller windows. The preferences dialog got some smaller visual improvements and the structure was a bit refined.

A major change affects users of Mac computers running Mac OS Catalina. You will no longer get any warning about insecure software. JabRef for Mac is now completely signed and certified. We also took the opportunity to visually adjust the installer.

JabRef 5.1 DMG screen

And many more! In total, there are over 100 changes since our last official release!

You can get it from FOSShub.

Please report any other issues that you encounter in our bug tracker (in case it was not already reported before).

Special Thanks

The JabRef Maintainers would like to give special thanks to all new and old contributors. We are very happy to see so many new contributors opening pull requests and making translations. As we all work on JabRef in our free time, we feel honored that people share our enthusiasm for free software and work together to make research easier. Some big news about how to be part of this project will follow soon.

We also want to thank all universities including JabRef in their academic teaching.

Finally, we want to thank all the users who are constantly testing the latest snapshots and giving feedback! In addition, we hope that all of our users stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic! Keep on researching 🧫🧑‍🔬!

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March 09, 2020 – JabRef 5.0 Major Release

We are proud to announce the release the next milestone of JabRef. Today we are releasing Jabref 5.0.

Notable Changes and New Features

In the User Survey 2015, the user interface was ranked as one of the most important aspects where JabRef needed improvement. We’ve heard your feedback and are excited to announce that JabRef 5.0 brings in the long-overdue user interface update.

JabRef 5

We worked closely together with user interface experts to create an intuitive environment for your literature references. The result is a completely redesigned UI, with a wealth of new features and functionalities that make your work easier and more effective. Of course, we wanted the new UI to focus on individual user customization, so you can make your JabRef truly your own and more convient to your workflow. For example, JabRef now offers a dark theme and we layed the foundation to support custom themes in future.

image: Screenshot JabRef 5.0 Alpha with Dark Theme

We didn’t stop at reworking the user interface, but also introduced a couple of new features:

  • Lost the overview of which paper belongs to which project? This is a now a problem of the past! Simply, assign a color to your group and the new colored bars in the main table show you to which group the entry belongs to.
  • The browser integration plugin (previously known as JabFox) lets you import new references directly from your browser with one simple click. Even links to accompanying PDFs are sent to JabRef, where those documents can easily be downloaded, renamed and placed in the correct folder. Besides Firefox the add-on is now also available for Chrome. Chrome extension
  • We made it easier to add new references from plain text. Just copy the text, paste it into the new “New entry from plain text…” dialog and, voilà, your references are there. new entry from plain text
  • We added a new feature that allows to (automatically) search for citations in LaTeX files. In addtion, we added the LaTeX Citations tab to the entry editor which quickly allows to show all files in which the current entries. LaTeX citations window
  • We added a new fetcher for ADS (SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System) and also changed all fetchers to use secure HTTPS instead of HTTP.
  • We optimized the performance for working with a shared SQL database.

And many more! In total, there are over 100 changes since our last offical release!

Installation

With the release of the 5.0 we switched to a new build system which bundles the Java runtime together with JabRef. This means that problems with other installed or outdated Java versions on the system are a problem of the past. For the installation we now offer self-containing .deb and .rpm files for Linux users in addtion to the usual installer for Windows. We also offer a portable zip version of JabRef which also includes all necessary files to run JabRef. No installed Java version required.

You can get it from FOSShub.

Please report any other issues that you encounter in our bug tracker (in case it was not already reported before).

Breaking Changes

Since Jabref 5.0 is a major release, you should be aware that not all features are fully compatible with older version of JabRef. We worked hard to migrate all existing features to the new version. The only currently known issue is the “global search”: The search bar doesn’t remember the search string accross all tabs. We also have some performance issues with large databases, but are working on it.

Remember that JabRef 4.0 changed the groups format. See http://blog.jabref.org/#october-04-2017-%E2%80%93-jabref-4-0 for details.

Special Thanks

The JabRef Maintainers would like to give special thanks to all new and old contributors. Since 4.0 we are very happy to see so many new contributors opening pull requests and making translations. Special thanks goes to two temporary contributors who have significantly contributed to this release. You rock!

  • Martin Simon, who wrote his Master’s Thesis about the usability of JabRef and gave us valuable advice how to improve it. [full paper]
  • David Méndez, who was our Google Summer of Code Student in 2019 and developed the search for citations in LaTeX files.

We also want to thank all universities including JabRef in their academic teaching.

Finally, we want to thank all the users who are constantly testing the latest snapshots and giving feedback!

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December 15, 2019 – 🎄 JabRef 5.0 Beta release 🎄

We are proud to announce the release of the first beta of JabRef 5.0 just in time for Christmas! 🚀 🎄

Since the alpha release of Jabref 5.0 we continued fixing bugs and addressed many usability issues.

In total, more than 40 major bugs have been fixed so that JabRef is now more stable and performs better than the previously released alpha. As usually, the Changelog contains a detailed list of all changes.

Our Linux users will surely be happy that we finally offer deb and rpm packages as well as a portable edition, and that we now completly support the X11 primary selection (typically used by the middle mouse key).

After feedback on the new integrated preview next to the entry editor on the alpha version, we added an an option to show the preview as an extra tab in the entry editor (instead of in a split view).

image: Screenshot JabRef 5.0 Alpha Entry Preview

One major feature of the upcoming 5.0 release is the “Dark Theme” which has been improved since the alpha 5.0. The “Dark Theme” can be enabled in the preferences under the tab “Appearance”.

image: Screenshot JabRef 5.0 Alpha with Dark Theme

We also would like to thank all of our various contributors, translators, testers and donors! This helps us a lot!

Installation

With the release of the 5.0-beta we switched to a new native Java build system which allows us to bundle a custom Java runtime together with JabRef. This means that problems with other installed or outdated java versions on the system are a problem of the past. This also means it’s no longer possible to start JabRef directly from the jar. For the installation we now offer self-containing .deb and .rpm files for Linux users and in addtion to the usual installer for Windows. We also offer a portable zip version of JabRef which also includes all necessary files to run JabRef. No installed Java version required.

Known Issues

Currently the following major issues are known:

  • There is a problem loading other citation styles than the default “Preview”. #5622
  • The Medline fetcher is not working. #5645
  • On Windows, a command line windows is displayed in the background. #5474

Please report any other issues that you encounter in our bug tracker (in case it was not already reported before).

Get It

You can get it from FOSShub.

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November 11, 2019 – JabRef Hacktoberfest 2019 Reflection

JabRef Hacktoberfest 2019 Reflection

In 2019, we participated at hacktoberfest again; now an own organization - one out of 29 organizations having special goodies. This attracted many persons: We had 37 different contributors from outside the current JabRef main developers, which is really cool. The most notable feature inside JabRef is the updated fetcher for the astrophysics data system (ADS). Outside the desktop application, our browser integration finally runs on Google Chrome and on Linux as well. We are currently publishing the new extensions on the app stores. Finally, the Linux snap build process has been improved.

In total, there were

  • 80 pull requests (for each contributor: min: 1, max: 22, avg: 7, med: 4),
  • 222 files changed (for each contributor: min: 1, max: 37, avg: 16, med: 11),
  • 2585 lines added (for each contributor: min: 0, max: 889, avg: 144, med: 17),
  • 3546 lines removed (for each contributor: min: 0, max: 696, avg: 169, med: 52).

We wrote a tool to gather data about the submitted pull requests: The hacktoberfest-contributor-overview-generator. It generates the above statistics and a csv file, which was manually analyzed with Excel, especially the sorting and Subtotal feature.

We enjoyed #hacktoberfest and are currently sending out gifts. Not all users have public email adresses, so we wait for them to show up.

For next year, we will probably adjust the rules, since some contributions were quite minor and probably have been done using the GitHub web interface without cloning any repository. We currently think of requiring at least 100 lines of code for a sticker and 1000 lines of code for a T-Shirt; however, focusing on the lines of code is certainly not ideal, since it could incentivize writing bloated code - which unnecessarily increases the load when reviewing PRs. “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.” - Charles Goodhart. Another idea is that only PRs count that fix a pre-existing issue and therefore directly contributes to the improvement of JabRef. In our opinion, this could increase high-quality pull requests and avoiding discussions whether changing a letter should lead to a sticker.

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October 03, 2019 – JabRef celebrates Hacktoberfest 2019

Hacktoberfest: Hacktoberfest 2019

📅 🎃 October is here and that means that it’s time for 2019’s edition of Hacktoberfest! Want to help with the improvement of JabRef and even get a free T-shirt? Start contributing now:

Get a pull request merged, receive a sticker.

Get five pull requests merged, receive a T-shirt.

Since three years, the JabRef developers aim for increasing the code quality of JabRef. Having pull requests reviewed by at least two other developers, the feedback on the code is of high quality. The benefit for the contributor is that their Java coding skills are enhanced: Not only the features are evaluated, but also the architecture of the code and the code style. Looking back, after going through that feedback, all former contributors said that they learned much during contributing to JabRef.

After a successful participation in Google’s Summer of Code 2019 and giving feedback on many pull requests, we decided to take part in Hacktoberfest 2019.

Check out our Hacktoberfest 2919 Website for details and rules!

Always remember Hacktoberfest value #2: Quantity is fun, quality is key

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August 27, 2019 – JabCon 2019 & JabRef 5.0 Alpha release

Last weekend the annual JabCon took place in Stuttgart, Germany, where the majority of the JabRef developers met in person and worked together to improve JabRef and discuss the roadmap for future releases. This year’s JabCon was special as our Google Sumemr of Code student David also was able to attend. If you regulary read our blog, you will have already seen some previews of the LaTeX-Citation-Search feature he developed. At the JabCon, we were finally able to release an alpha version of the upcoming JabRef 5.0 after more than one year of hard work! ❤️ 🎆

The major change is the new user interface, and our primary focus was on reducing the number of bugs to make JabRef 5.0 more stable. image: Screenshot JabRef 5.0 Alpha

Some highlights of the things we fixed and implemented in the new release:

  • We completed the rewrite of the old user interface to the new GUI technology JavaFX. This allows for a smoother JabRef user interface experience and enables support for high-dpi monitors.
  • We added a dark theme. It can be enabled in the Preferences in the “Appearance”-tab.
  • The preferences are now searchable.
  • We restructured the menu items to be more consistent.
  • We finished the migration to Java 11. All further versions now require a Java 11 installation. For Windows, the Java 11 version is now included in the installer.
  • We added a ‘LaTeX citations’ tab to the entry editor, to search for citations to the active entry in the LaTeX file directory. It can be disabled in the preferences dialog.
  • We improved the process of renaming and moving files in the entry editor. A new feature is the possibility to copy a single file or mutliple files of selected entries to a new folder.
  • We added the ability to use negation in export filter layouts.
  • We use https for fetching from most online bibliographic database.

For more information about new features and fixed issues we refer to the changelog.

image: Screenshot JabRef 5.0 Alpha- Preferences dialog

Moreover, during the JabCon we could successfully reduce the number of open issues. Managing, categorizing and sorting issues is a very time consuming task that takes away valuable programming time, so consolidating the list of existing issues is very important once in a while. Now, we are ready to focus on important issues and to move on with JabRef more quickly.

We also would like to thank all of our various contributors, translators and donors! This helps us a lot!

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August 06, 2019 – Google Summer of Code 2019: 'LaTeX Citations' tab

Hello! Since our last post, we have worked hard to carry out this second major update. The tool that allows you to search for citations in LaTeX files is ready, fully functional and integrated into the development version, in its latest version.

The code has been reviewed and modified to improve its performance and prevent possible errors. Regarding the user interface, we have added a tab to the entry editor, improved the aesthetics and renamed the tool to Search for Citations in LaTeX files.

Now we need your feedback! We will take it into account to keep improving this feature. Forum | GitHub | Gitter

LaTeX Citations tab

We added a new tab to the entry editor to search for citations to the active entry in the LaTeX file directory (it can be configured in the Library properties dialog). The new tab can be disabled in the preferences.

This is how it works:

'LaTeX Citations' tab

An improved back-end

  • Optimized parsing performance.
  • Non-existent nested files are skipped.
  • Better exception handling.

The new tab

  • A LaTeX Citations tab has been added to the entry editor.
  • This tab can be disabled in the Entry editor preferences.
  • A progress indicator appears while parsing.
  • Current search is cancelled if other entry is selected.
  • Parsed files are stored when the tool is run for the first time (better performance).
  • The current search path is shown at the bottom, next to a button to set the LaTeX file directory.
  • A user-friendly error logging and handling has also been implemented.

A custom user interface controller for listing citations

  • Citations list view is the same for dialog tool and tab.
  • Context of citations, instead of the whole line of text (which is shown as a tooltip).
  • Absolute file path has been changed into a relative one, from the search path.
  • New icons and styles for context, file path and position (line and column) of a citation.

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June 11, 2019 – Google Summer of Code 2019: User Interface

Hi! We keep working on the LaTeX Integration project for the Google Summer of Code.

Any feedback is more than welcome! Forum | GitHub | Gitter

Jun 03, 2019 – Jun 10, 2019 (Second week of coding)

This week we have been working on two different issues:

  1. On the one hand, improving the code from last week, thanks to the feedback we got on GitHub.
  2. On the other hand, discussing and improving prototypes, before starting to code the user interface for the TEX parser tool.

The goal has been to connect the back-end of the parser with the user interface:

  • A first dialog box will ask for a directory for scanning TEX files. Then, the user could select specific files. After that, the tool parses these files and it shows all bibliographic entries found.
  • For displaying these entries, a new dialog box will be opened. Instead of the draft view that we published last week, we have finally chosen a view that allows a comfortable reading of the citations found along all documents.

User Interface

For a better understanding, each part of the project will be available in different public pull requests so as to make the discussion about implementation details easier.

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June 03, 2019 – Google Summer of Code 2019: First Steps

Hello! My name is David Méndez, and this summer I will be working on the LaTeX Integration project for the Google Summer of Code. The goal of this project is to facilitate working with LaTeX for the end user. I will develop several tools that analyze and check LaTeX text documents:

  • A search for bibliographic entries (which are used, how many times and where).

Search

  • A counting tool for words, characters and quotes per document.

Counter

  • A validator of TEX files to solve issues.

Validator

  • A tool to import entries from TEX file.

In addition to this, if there is some time left, I would like to add a tool that supports connection to JabRef from external editors.

Any feedback is more than welcome! Forum | GitHub | Gitter

May 06, 2019 – May 26, 2019 (Community bonding period)

At first, we have spent some time improving the definition of the project. During this time I was familiarizing myself with the community and setting up the code environment, while completing the following tasks:

  • First meetings with the mentors, which included: initial introduction, code walk-through, discussion and prioritization of the use cases and thinking about the implementation.
  • Working on small GitHub issues and getting in touch with the community.
  • Creation of a forum thread in which to ask users about the project while proposing some use cases and prototypes in order to get feedback and discuss further.
  • After that, defining the design details properly with the help of mentors.

May 27, 2019 – Jun 02, 2019 (First week of coding)

After thinking about some design and implementation details, I have been coding the back-end of the TEX parser tool. The tool reads each file line by line, parses and analyzes them and detects different citation formats. On top of that, I have been preparing some tests for these classes.

Code will be as self-explanatory as possible, following the contributing guidelines. Moreover, everything related to this project will be uploaded as a public pull request so as to share code, ask and receive questions, discuss details, track the progress, etc.

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May 07, 2019 – JabRef Participates in Google Summer of Code 2019

Great news! In the last post we announced that JabRef got accepted as an open source organization for this year’s Google Summer of Code (GSoC). Now we are happy to tell that we have accepted a student, David Méndez, who will be improving JabRef this summer.

Until August he will be working on a project on establishing a tighter interplay between JabRef and your research papers. We are looking forward to start working with him. He will be mentored throughout the project by three of our developers.

We nonetheless would like to thank all other students as well who applied for GSoC and chose JabRef as organization they wanted to work with. This year is the first time JabRef is participating in GSoC and we were overwhelmed by the interest in JabRef. It was a tough choice having to reject so many developers who are motivated to contribute to scientific free and open source software!

Of course, all other interested persons are invited as well to contribute! The list of potential projects can be found here: http://www.jabref.org/GSoC2019.html

Stay tuned for further updates!

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February 26, 2019 – JabRef Accepted for Google Summer of Code 2019

Great news! JabRef got accepted as an open source organization for this year’s Google Summer of Code (GSoC). The goal of this annual program is to give university students oppurtunity to learn about and get involved in open source development. Students will work three months on a project for an open source organization and are mentored by members of the project. It is a great honor for JabRef to be part of this program for the first time (as one of 27 organizations participating in GSoC this year for the first time)!

Until April 9, 2019 students can apply for participation in the GSoC. Interested students are invited to have a look at our list of possible project ideas or suggest their own projects. We are looking forward to introduce students to the open source community and provide guidance while they work on a real world open source project during their summer break from university.

In the meantime, we continue to work hard on finishing the conversion to the new GUI technology JavaFX with the goal to streamline the user experience. The majority of dialogs is already reworked, so a first alpha version of version 5.0 is around the corner.

Stay tuned for further updates!

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October 10, 2018 – 2018 Survey on Feature Usage in JabRef

As we have mentioned in the previous post, the development of JabRef 5.0 is underway. Since this will bring substantial changes to the user interface, we want to make sure that we consider your workflow in JabRef. Therefore, we need to learn how you, the users, use JabRef!

For this we are supported by Martin Simon, a student of Ergonomics - Human Factors Engineering at the Technical University of Munich, who has developed a short questionnaire on the feature usage of JabRef. This study is conducted within the scope of Martin’s Master’s Thesis in collaboration with the JabRef Development Team. It shall provide insights to the current usage of JabRef that should guide the future development of the user interface. Of course, we will also publish the aggregated results here in the blog.

Follow this link to the anonymous online survey.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact Linus Dietz linus.dietz@tum.de, who is a JabRef Maintainer and advisor to this thesis. For any general JabRef-related issues such as bug reports please use the issue tracker on Github or ask your question in the forums.

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October 02, 2018 – Hacktoberfest and JabRef 5.0 development

📅 October is here and that means that it’s time for 2018’s edition of Hacktoberfest! Want to help with the improvement of JabRef and even get a free T-shirt? Start contributing now as part of Hacktoberfest from DigitalOcean. Check the open issues, pick one and create a Pull Request. We will review your code and once it is approved it will be merged into the development version.

Hacktoberfest: Hacktoberfest 2018

JabRef 5.0 development

Since the release of Version 4.3.1 we have been continuously working on fixing and converting the old GUI technology to the new one, JavaFX. One of the biggest new features is the redesign of the Main Entry Table with JavaFX. Other parts of the user interface have been converted as well or are currently in the process of being converted. The new table displays unicode more properly then in earlier JabRef versions, In addition, the column sort order is saved and restored when opening JabRef again. JabRef now also supports the connection to shared SQL databases over SSL using provided certificates.

MainTable: The new Maintable GeneralFields: The converted General Fields dialog SharedDatabaseDialog: The new shared database loging dialog

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April 26, 2018 – JabRef 4.2 Released

After more than four months of hard work and following our work on the JabCon, we are proud to release JabRef 4.2!

We worked to fix a lot of freezes and performance issues, for example when searching or opening the entry editor. Some other performance improvements are related to journal abbreviations.

Of course, we also implemented some cool new features, for example the PDF XMP Import/Export in DublinCore format. The DublinCore format is now the only metadata format which JabRef supports in PDFs. The previously used custom format was dropped in favor of the DublinCore format.

Additionally, based on a feature request in our forum, JabRef is now able to import files in Endnote XML format. Furthermore, we improved the export of the address and location fields to the corresponding MS Office XML fields. If the address field does not contain a comma, it is treated as single value and exported to the field city. #1750, comment For more details refer to the field mapping help page

To avoid confusion for JabRef newcomers, we renamed the Review tab in the entry editor to Comments. Existing entries having a Review field will be automatically migrated to the new field Comments.

Despite fixing some existing fetchers, e.g., the IEEE fetcher now uses the securely encrypted https, we implemented support for the oaDOI fetcher. JabRef is now able to download full text articles for more than 90 million open-access articles. Also, we fixed and extended the RIS import functionality to cover more fields.

Unfortunately, JabRef binaries are still not digitally signed. We are in the process of obtaining a new code signing certificate from Comodo. In the meantime, please check the installations instructions for your Operating System (especially MacOs), in case JabRef cannot be started.

Here is an excerpt of our full changelog.

Changed

  • We changed the default dialog option when removing a file link from an entry.
  • We improved file saving so that hard links are now preserved when a save is performed #2633 The new default removes the linked file from the entry instead of deleting the file from disk. #3679
  • We changed one default of Cleanup entries dialog: Per default, the PDF are not moved to the default file directory anymore. #3619
  • Added “.” (any file type) to the Import File Filter Dialog. #3757
  • We added the option to download linked URLs in the context menu in the entry editor.
  • We added another CLI functionality for reading and writing metadata to PDFs. (see https://github.com/JabRef/jabref/pull/3756 and see http://help.jabref.org/en/CommandLine)
  • Renamed the Review Tab into Comments Tab
  • We now show a small notification icon in the entry editor when we detect data inconsistency or other problems. #3145

Bug Fixes

  • We fixed several performance problems with the management of journal abbreviations #3323
  • We fixed an issue where changing the type of an entry did not update the label in the tool bar of the entry editor and the contents of the currently visible entry editor tab
  • We fixed an issue where pressing space caused the cursor to jump to the start of the text field. #3471
  • We fixed an issue where pressing del in the file field would trigger the delete dialog a second file, if the first file is deleted #3926
  • We fixed an issue where odd linked files could not be selected in the entry editor. #3639

Removed

Download Links

You can get the 4.2 version at Fosshub - or at the release section at GitHub.

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February 14, 2018 – JabCon 2018

Last week the annual JabCon took place in Dresden, Germany, where the majority of the JabRef developers met in person and worked together to improve JabRef and discuss the roadmap for future releases. As some of you might have already seen, we implemented some new features, fixed and closed a lot of issues. We could successfully reduce the number of open issues to 128 from previously over 190 open issues. Managing, categorizing and sorting issues is a very time consuming task that takes away valuable programming time, so consolidating the list of existing issues is very important once in a while. Now, we are ready to focus on important issues and to move on with JabRef more quickly. We are currently working on a new version containing the results of our hacking sessions.

Some highlights of the things we fixed:

  • We fixed a nasty bug with the space character in the entry editor which led the cursor to jump to the beginning of a field #3471
  • We fixed an issue where odd linked files could not be selected in the entry editor #3639
  • We made the Google Scholar fetcher work again
  • We fixed an issue where the semicolon could not be used as a keyword separator for automatic groups #3646
  • We fixed some export issues where the last used filetype was not remembered and the exporter asked twice about overriding a file #3693
  • We fixed an issue when importing the ISI fileformat #3669
  • The entry editor now supports encoded DOIs koppor#3
  • The default language (LCID) for exporting to MS-Office XML is now set to American English (0x0409) #1851
  • We improved the design of the File Annotations Tab #3109

Furthermore, we did some internal code changes to improve the code quality.

Our future plans include the migration to JavaFX of some core components. Especially the maintable and the MainFrame. Another big action point on our roadmap is getting JabRef to run on Java 9, including a modularization of the source code.

We would like to thank the organizers @koppor, @stefan-kolb, @lenhard and SAP SE Dresden, Dresden, Germany for providing us with an on site location for the conference Furthermore we would like to thank our donators who made it possible for many JabRef developers to attend the conference and to support our work. In case you like to donate money on a regularly basis, you can now support us on Liberapay.

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December 23, 2017 – JabRef 4.1 Released 🎄

After more than two months of hard work, we are proud to release JabRef 4.1. Although 4.0 was imperfect, we needed to release it anyways, since more and more features of the previous version 3.8.2 stopped working. Since then we primarily focused on performance and memory issues, but were also able to add new features. Furthermore, the release also attracted some new contributors from the community and we are proud to see 12 new contributors since the last release. We are thankful for that and enjoy seeing the JabRef community growing!

Unfortunately, JabRef binaries are not digitally signed any more. We are working in a fix, but this will take some weeks to months. Until now, we used a certificate from Certum. Certum (by @asseco) used to offer Open Source Code Signing with a file-based certificate file. This is not possible any more: One needs a code signing hardware. This is especially bad for independent FOSS projects like ours, since other certificate providers have higher burdens (e.g., notarization of several documents) to obtain a hardware-free certificate, at much higher cost. Since we still want to sign all our builds and releases using cloud infrastructure, a cryptographic smart card is no option for us. Therefore, we will use our donations for obtaining a certificate that allows code signing with an encrypted file and we are confident that we will be able to obtain a new one soon. In the meantime, please check the installations instructions for your Operating System (especially MacOs), in case JabRef cannot be started.

We wish all JabRef users Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

Changed

  • We added the possibility to copy linked files from entries to a single output folder. #2539
  • When you click the PDF icon in the file list of the entry editor, then the file is opened. #3491
  • We added bracketed expresion support for file search patterns, import file name patterns and file directory patters, in addition to bibtexkey patterns.
  • We now set the WM_CLASS of the UI to org-jabref-JabRefMain to allow certain Unix window managers to properly identify its windows
  • In the File Annotation Tab, PDF files are now monitored for new or changed annotation. A manual reload is no longer necessary. #3292

Bug Fixes

  • We fixed various reasons why JabRef would freeze.
  • We fixed an issue where dropping a pdf on the entry table and renaming it triggered an exception. #3490
  • We fixed an issue where automatically found files where not added with a relative paths when the bib file is in the same directory as the files. #3476
  • We no longer allow to add a field multiple times in customized entry types and thereby fix an issue in the entry editor that resulted from having a field multiple times. #3046
  • We fixed an issue where editing in the source tab would override content of other entries. #3352
  • We fixed an issue where timestamps were not updated for changed entries. #2810

An overview of all new features and fixes can be found as usual in the changelog at GitHub.

Download Links

You can get the 4.1 version at Fosshub - or at the release section at GitHub.

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October 04, 2017 – JabRef 4.0

Before updating, read the important notes below!

Finally, we are proud to announce JabRef 4.0! This major release comes almost two years after JabRef 3.0 and more than half a year after the latest stable release JabRef 3.8.2. Back in October 2003, when Morten Alver made the first commit (he used Subversion back then) on he surely didn’t imagine that this project would grow to such popularity and stand the test of time even 14 years later.

During the time we constantly improved not only the codebase, but most important the user experience and fixed plenty of bugs and implemented new features. We want to thank all developers, contributors, translators, and users for the work and feedback!

Out of many, we want to mention two maintainer alummns by name: Oscar Gustafsson and Simon Harrer. Both have achieved enormous contributions (totalling 1695 commits / 604,885 ++ / 616,924 –) during the last years and have immensely shaped the development of JabRef. Thank you very much and good luck with your future endeavors!

The sheer age of this piece of software required to do some technological renovations, which is our largest challenge these days: Transitioning the user interface to JavaFX. The goal is to provide a modern, platform independent User Interface which is also suited for high dpi screens. As the new technology is a major step, we change the user interface part by part, so you still might encounter some bugs from he interplay with the old and new technology.

New Features

  • The groups interface, the entry editor and some minor UI elements have been migrated to JavaFx.
  • You can view attached PDF files using an internal document viewer (accessible using: View -> Show document viewer)
  • There are new tabs in the entry editor with new functionalities:
    • File annotations: If you have attached a PDF file to an entry, annotations in the document are shown (hightlights, comments, etc.)
    • Related articles: In cooperation with the paper recommender system Mr.DLib we show (potentially) related articles (Note: upon accessing this tab the title of the currently selected entry will be submitted to the Mr.DLib service)
    • MathSciNet: The MathSciNet review website is shown if the MRNumber field is present
  • Complete new implementation of the the auto complete feature.
  • The content selector feature has been reworked: Field content can now be selected via the auto completion instead of via drop down menus
  • If fetched article is already in database, then the entry merge dialog is shown.
  • Added ‘Filter All’ and ‘Filter None’ buttons with corresponding functionality to the quality check tool (accessible via Quality -> Check integrity).
  • Finally, JabRef has a new logo! The logo was designed by “AikTheOne” - who was the winner of a design contest at 99designs.com.

IMPORTANT NOTES – Read before installing

It is ALWAYS advisable to create a backup of your BibTeX/BibLaTeX database before performing an update.

Groups format

The group storage format has been changed, which means that after opening (and saving) a *.bib library created with an older version of JabRef the format will be changed to the new one. That especially means that the groups will be no longer readable in older JabRef version.

Installation notes

We recommend the usage of the latest Oracle Java 1.8 Runtime/Development Environment. The JavaFX technology is part of the Oracle Java Runtimes since the versions 1.8.0_60.

However, in case you are using the open source variant OpenJDK, JavaFX has to be installed by a seperate package OpenJFX. More information is available on our installation help page.

Due to the usage of external libraries, JabRef cannot be run with Java 1.9. This is on the road map for the upcoming release.

An overview of all new features and fixes can be found as usual in the changelog at GitHub.

Download links

You can get the 4.0 version at Fosshub - or at the release section at GitHub.

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August 16, 2017 – JabRef 4.0 is Imminent – Third and Final Beta Version Release

The transition to the new GUI technology JavaFX is reaching a milestone where most of the entry editor is already migrated. This beta3 release should encourage you to test the new user interface, especially the new entry editor, as we feel that it can be released soon.

Since the last beta2 release we focused mainly on the interplay of the new entry editor with the rest of JabRef, especially the main table. We fixed several issues concerning keyboard shortcuts, special actions like UNDO-REDO and the overall stability of the program.

Most problems should be resolved by now, and we need your feedback for being confident that we can release JabRef 4.0. Please report any bugs and inconveniences either at the GitHub bug tracker or at the discussion forum. Thank you!

Changed

  • If fetched article is already in database, then the entry merge dialog is shown.
  • We migrated the File Annotations tab to JavaFX
  • Integrity warnings are now directly displayed in the entry editor.

Bug Fixes

  • We fixed various shortcut issues
  • We resolved performance and stability issues
  • We improved the startup time
  • We fixed the fetcher for the Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
  • We improved the auto completion so that minor changes are not added as suggestions
  • We readded the undo mechanism for changes in the entry editor
  • We fixed an issue where the preferences could not be imported without a restart of JabRef
  • We fixed several issues where Entry Editor tabs were not correctly updated

An overview of all new features and fixes can be found as usual in the changelog at GitHub.

Download Links

You can get the 4.0-beta3 version at Fosshub - or at the release section at GitHub.

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July 19, 2017 – JabRef 4.0 is Near – Second Beta Version Release

In the spirit of the last beta release, we decided to release a second beta before the full 4.0 release. We are continuing the transition of the user interface technology to JavaFX.

JavaFX provides a nice look and feel and thus we started to rewrite the entry editor. The migration process there is not fully completed yet as you can see in the open issues. However, we still think it is a good idea to offer the opportunity for a round of community feedback at this point. The main changes can be summarized as follows:

  • Homogenized size of text fields.
  • Completely new interface to add or modify linked files.
  • Complete new implementation of the the auto complete feature.
  • The content selector feature has been reworked. Field content can now be selected via the auto completion instead of via drop down menus

The groups interface was also further improved and it is reaching maturity.

Bug Fixes

As always there were plenty of nasty bugs fixed:

  • Several fetchers have been updated (DOI, CrossRef, IEEE Xplore)
  • The PDF annotations are more reliably read from a linked PDF, further annotation types are supported
  • The Brazilian Portuguese localization is correctly loaded again
  • The export functionality for CSV and MS-office was improved.

An overview of all new features and fixes can be found as usual in the changelog at GitHub.

Download Links

You can get the 4.0-beta2 version as usual at Fosshub - or at the release section at GitHub.

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April 17, 2017 – JabRef 4.0 is on the way – Beta version release 🐥

In the last months, we worked hard, with the help of students of the University of Stuttgart, on a technological improvement of JabRef. The aim is to replace the outdated user interface technology Swing step-by-step with the newer technology JavaFX. Due to the complexity of the user interface a “big bang” approach was not feasible. The main table showing all entries is still completely written in Swing. However, various dialogs already have been modified:

  • Redesigned group panel, about dialog, key bindings dialog, and journal abbreviations dialog.
  • New error console.
  • All file dialogs now use the native file selector of the OS.
  • We introduced a PDF document viewer (accessible using: View -> Show Document viewer)

We think that now it is time to release a beta version to check whether there are still any major problems.

Apart from the Java FX related changes we introduced a lot of other new features and fixed various bugs:

New features

  • JabRef has a new logo! The logo was designed by “AikTheOne” - who was the winner of a design contest at 99designs.com.
  • You can view attached PDF files using an internal document viewer (accessible using: View -> Show Document viewer)
  • There are new tabs in the entry editor with new functionalities:
    • File annotations: If you have attached a PDF file to an entry, annotations in the document are shown (hightlights, comments, etc.)
    • Related articles: In cooperation with the paper recommender system Mr.DLib we show (potentially) related articles (Note: upon accessing this tab the title of the currently selected entry will be submitted to the Mr.DLib service)
    • MathSciNet: The MathSciNet review website is shown if the MRNumber field is present
  • The UI can be better customized: It is now possible to change the size of the texts and icons. Moreover also the color of the icon set can be changed.
  • New/fixed web fetchers: CrossRef, MathSciNet, ArXiV

Bug fixes

  • In some occassions fetching from external sources introduces duplicate key - this has been fixed.
  • Various reported problems with the Latex-To-unicode conversion have been fixed by integrating an external library that supports far more special characters
  • Several import/export issues for the MS-Office and RIS format
  • Newly created libraries no longer have the executable bit set under POSIX/Linux systems. The file permissions are now set to 664 (-rw-rw-r--).
  • OpenOffice/LibreOffice connection problems and tag handling are fixed

An overview of all new features and fixes can be found as usual in the Changelog at GitHub.

Important notes - read before installing

This release is officially declared as a beta-version by us. There still might be some problems in the usage of JabRef 4.0-beta. Moreover, the group storage format has been changed, which means that after opening (and saving) a *.bib library created with an older version of JabRef the format will be changed to the new one. That especially means that the groups will be no longer readable in older JabRef version.

Thus, we highly recommend to back up your libraries before using the beta version of JabRef!

Another aspect that is new in the 4.0 version: We kindly ask you to allow us collecting some data on your usage of JabRef. Currently, we do not really have empirical insight which features really used by our users. Which (in our opinion) cool features are mostly unknown? What aspects we think are not so important are heavily used in practice? We do not have unlimited resources and we want to focus on aspects that are really relevant for you - our users. Therefore, we will be collecting the data which feature you are actually using in JabRef - but only if you agree. We will not collect any personal data, nor any details of your bibliographic data.

You’ll be asked if you want to share anonymous usage statistics of the features you use shortly after the first startup of JabRef 4.0-beta.

Installation notes

We recommend the usage of the Oracle Java Runtime/Development Environment. The JavaFX technology is part of the Oracle Java Runtimes since the versions 1.8.0_60.

However, in case you are using the open source variant OpenJDK, JavaFX has to be installed by a seperate package OpenFX.

More information is available on our installation help page.

Download Links

You can get the 4.0.0-beta version as usual at Fosshub - or at the release section at GitHub.

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April 01, 2017 – JabRef aquires Citavi

Citavi is the premier reference management software for Windows made in Switzerland. Its strong support for Microsoft Word and PDF annotations makes them a strong counterpart of JabRef.

Having collected much donations, the JabRef project was able to buy Swiss Academic Software GmbH. We have developed a direct bridge from JabRef to Citavi, which offers an outstanding experience when using JabRef together with Microsoft Word. Citavi will still be sold as a separate product. However, all JabRef users who donated more than 50€ will be able to enable the Citavi bridge for free in the new release, being available from April 1st.

Visit the detail page for more information.

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January 29, 2017 – Release of JabRef 3.8.2

As the new year is now almost one month old it’s time to replace the “Christmas Edition” of JabRef with a normal release. Thus: We have just released version 3.8.2!

The new version 3.8.2 can be downloaded as of now from FossHub or at GitHub.

Apart from the switch to standard colors version 3.8.2 contains mainly bug fixes.

The most important fixes are:

  • A problem during “find unlinked files” which might have frozen JabRef has been fixed
  • dynamic, RegEx-based groups can be edited again
  • non-ISO timestamps do no longer prevent the opening of the entry editor
  • Collapse and expand all buttons in the group assignment dialog no longer lead to a crash of JabRef.

An overview of all new features and fixes can be found as usual in the Changelog at GitHub.

A note to all Mac OS X users: There might be problems if you don’t have Java 8 installed on your machine. Moreover, you might be required to use Cmd-MouseClick to open the installer to be able to ignore a security warning. For more information checkout the Mac OSX FAQs.

For questions about the functioning or suggestions for improvements please use the discussion forum. In case you have trouble, report bugs on GitHub.


JabCon 2017

As in the last year we’ll host a small conference - or meet-up - called JabCon.

From Wednesday, February 15, 2017 (13:00) to Friday, February 17, 2017 (12:00) the core developers and users of JabRef will meet in Lugano (Switzerland) to discuss the future directions of JabRef. The conference is intended for both, users and developers of JabRef, as we want to strengthen the network between users, between users and developers, and between the developers. The result of the conference should be new ideas for JabRef, fixed bugs, and newly implemented features.

The sessions are subdivided into talks, workshops, and hacking sessions.

If you are interested in participating check out the details and the schedule on the JabCon page here.

If you can’t make it to Lugano, you could also join use via Skype or propose your ideas at the discussion forum!

We would also be pleased if you would help us to reduce our expenses by supporting us through donations.

See you in Lugano!

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December 18, 2016 – Release of JabRef 3.8

After one month of hard work, we released the next version of JabRef. The new version 3.8 can be downloaded from FossHub. Version 3.8 contains more than 15 bug fixes and 17 changes and improvements.

The most notable new aspects are:

  • Bibliographic information from web resources can now be used to complete existing entries. This functionality can be accessed via a new button in the entry editor.
  • Improved fetching of BibTeX data using the ISBN number.
  • We reworked the customized entry types and they should now be more usable.
    • Upon the first start of JabRef 3.8 old entry type customizations will be converted to custom types for the set default database mode.
  • You can now press Ctrl + Shift + C to copy the formatted preview of multiple entries. This especially helps when sending references or working together on Google Docs.
  • We worked on the shared SQL database feature and especially fixed an issue at the synchronization of metadata.
  • Files can now be moved to subfolders named by a custom format pattern, e.g., based on entrytype.
  • Fetching from dblp works again.

An overview of all new features and fixes can be found as usual in the Changelog at GitHub.

A note to all Mac OS X users: There might be problems if you don’t have Java 8 installed on your machine. Moreover, you might be required to use Cmd-MouseClick to open the installer to be able to ignore a security warning. For more information checkout the Mac OSX FAQs.

For questions about the functioning or suggestions for improvements please use the discussion forum. In case you have trouble, report bugs on GitHub.

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November 14, 2016 – Release of JabRef 3.7

After almost three month of fixing bugs and improving some features we just released the next version of JabRef.

The new version 3.7 can be downloaded as of now from FossHub or at GitHub.

Version 3.7 contains 56 bug fixes and more than 45 changes and improvements.

The most notable new aspects are:

  • We again improved the search interface: Despite having a specific search bar for each open database, there is a now a global search bar.
    • It is now possible to search either in the currently open, or all opened files (use “globe” icon to switch)
    • The window showing the global results has been improved (e.g., it now shows the database for each search hit)
  • Due to changes at the side of Medline/Pubmed the fetcher stopped working in all previous versions. This is fixed in 3.7.
  • Improved integrity checks and hints:
    • Using the short cut CTRL+F8 opens the integrity check dialog
    • improved and added some checks (e.g., ISBN, journaltitle, bibtexkey)
    • give format hints in the entry editor (grayed out date and author format)
  • The workflow to create new entries by IDs has been optimized: Creating a new entry based on DOI/ISBN/Medline/ADS information is no longer accessible using the Web Search feature, but directly integrated in the “new entry” dialog
  • Improved multi display support
  • Previews can now use citationstyles from citationstyles.org (accessible using Options-> Preferences-> Entry preview)

An overview of all new features and fixes can be found as usual in the Changelog at GitHub.

A note to all Mac OS X users: There might be problems if you don’t have Java 8 installed on your machine. Moreover, you might be required to use Cmd-MouseClick to open the installer to be able to ignore a security warning. For more information checkout the FAQs.

For questions about the functioning or suggestions for improvements please use the discussion forum. In case you have trouble, report bugs on GitHub.

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September 19, 2016 – Customize entry types in JabRef: Video tutorial

BibTeX and BibLaTeX allow users to define their own entry types and fields. As a leading reference management software using Bib(La)TeX format natively, JabRef includes this capability.

In JabRef, you can customize entry types in just a few clicks. A tutorial by the Khmer TeX Users Group illustrates this feature.

Tutorial: customizing an entry type in JabRef

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August 26, 2016 – Release of JabRef 3.6

We just released a new version of JabRef!

The new version 3.6 can be downloaded as of now from FossHub or at GitHub.

Version 3.6 contains 45 bug fixes and more than 30 changes and improvements.

The most notable new aspects are:

  • The support for using a SQL database for storage in teams has been massively improved: JabRef now updates automatically if something has been changed, in case of conflicts a merge dialog is shown, and various other improvements have been made.
  • As announced in a previous blog entry the hotkey system has been changed to more consistent keys
  • We added support to maintain user comments (@Comment) in opened/imported bib-Files
  • The Protect Terms-Formatter which puts { } braces around terms can now be customized. Thus, you can maintain additional lists of terms for your domain which should be protected.
    • You can access the configuration via Options -> Manage Protected Terms (see screenshot below).
    • To add additional terms create a simple text file with the file ending .terms, put each term to protect in a new line and import this text file in the mentioned options dialog.

image: Screenshot JabRef 3.6

Regarding the bug fixes the most important fix is that fetching entries from GoogleScholar is now working again (it has been broken as Google changed the structure of the site). Moreover, there are various other fixes in the OpenOffice/LibreOffice tooling, in various web fetchers, importers and exporters, and in the unicode/LaTeX formatters.

An overview of all new features and fixes can be found as usual in the Changelog at GitHub.

A note to all Mac OS X users: There might be problems if you don’t have Java 8 installed on your machine. Moreover, you might be required to use Cmd-MouseClick to open the installer to be able to ignore a security warning. For more information checkout the FAQs.

For questions about the functioning or suggestions for improvements please use the discussion forum. In case you have trouble, report bugs on GitHub.

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August 15, 2016 – Revised Hotkey System

In the next release of JabRef a revised hotkey system is introduced. The two goals of this revision is to improve maneuverability through the keyboard and streamlining hotkeys. Sometimes, related hotkeys (like the ones covering the side panes) were scattered across the keyboard, so we grouped them together. You might be wondering what has changed, so have a look at them:

Keys - new Keys - old Function
F7 alt + F Automatically set file links
F8 ctrl + shift + F7 Cleanup entries
alt + 1 ctrl + shift + E Focus entry table
alt + 2 ctrl + F9 Toggle entry/preview editor
alt + 3 ctrl + shift + G Toggle groups
alt + 4 F5 web search
alt + 0 - Open Openoffice/LibreOffice connection
ctrl + shift + F7 ctrl + F4 Synchronize file links
ctrl + shift + R - Technical report
- alt + P Print entry preview
- ctrl + alt + T Hide/show toolbar
- ctrl + p Edit preamble
  • Improve group pane maneuverability by making groups selectable by arrow keys
  • Improve main table maneuverability by making tab jump to the next entry instead of the next cell, shift + tab selects the previous entry.
  • We moved related functions together. F7 is now affiliated with file links, hence we changed key bindings if they contained “F7” but weren’t related to file links.
  • We moved all side panes together by changing them to ALT+0 to ALT+4. By doing so we hope to improve the accessibility, because now one doesn’t have to remember all kinds of key combinations for side panes, only which number stands for your desired pane. One side note: Open OpenOffice/LibreOffice connection was added to this family due to being a side pane.
  • The new hotkey for “New technical report” was requested by some users that use it frequently, so we added a key binding.
  • We removed the hotkey for “Hide/show toolbar” and “Edit preamble” due to the assumption that is used by a too small groups of users.
  • We removed the hotkey for “Print entry preview” due to some conflicts with others and the fact that this function wasn’t really used that often by users. The function itself is not gone: It existed in the right click menu of the preview panel and now is also available at the right click menu.
  • We resized the “change key bindings” dialog due to being too small for some descriptions.

If you would like to try the new system, you can try it out at https://builds.jabref.org/master/.

For questions about the functioning or suggestions for improvements, please use the discussion forum. In case you have trouble, report bugs on GitHub.

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August 09, 2016 – Vote for the features you like!

By voting in the forum’s polls, JabRef will better suits your needs. It is fast and simple.

Currently, you can make your voice heard about:

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July 14, 2016 – Release of JabRef 3.5

We just released a new version of JabRef!

The new version 3.5 can be downloaded as of now from FossHub, the official JabRef download site.

JabRef 3.5 mainly concentrates on fixing some bugs. The most serious one was a broken installer for Mac OS X in version 3.4 which inhibited the correct start of JabRef. Apart from that again some bugs in the grouping feature have been fixed.

But we also introduced some new features:

  • The import dialogs can now filter by file extension (e.g., displaying only *.bib files)
  • The discussion forum can be opened directly from the “Help” menu
  • If a crossref to another entry is set (using the BibTeX-key) clicking on the button “select” directly opens the referenced entry
  • Last but not least: As we are releasing more often than before, we introduced a “Check for updates” functionality. You’ll be informed if a new version of JabRef is available for download. This check is performed automatically on startup or can be triggered manually in the “Help” menu.

An overview on all new features and fixes can be found on GitHub.

For questions about the functioning or suggestions for improvements please use the discussion forum. In case you have trouble, report bugs on GitHub.

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June 27, 2016 – New User Forum

In cooperation with discourse.org a new forum for JabRef has just been opened!

You can find it by now in the top navigation bar on JabRef.org or directly here: http://discourse.jabref.org

The main reasons for introducing the forum are:

  • Foster the communication between the large user base and the developers of JabRef, creation of an active “JabRef community”
  • Provide an easier to use, searchable, more modern way to give feedback and request help
  • Provide a better place for feature and enhancement discussions by a dedicated category for such topics
  • Reduce the number of created issues at the GitHub tracker - only real bugs and work-in-progress feature requests should be handled there

We hope you’ll like the new forum as much as we do and join us at http://discourse.jabref.org to contribute with your knowledge!

Discontinued support at the mailing list

During the last years we started to move away from sourceforge.net (for various reasons): The source code and issues are now managed at GitHub, downloads are handled by FossHub and we are using our own domain JabRef.org for hosting the website and this blog.

However, there is still a mailing list left on sourceforge: https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/jabref-users

With the new forum we now provide an easy to use platform to ask questions (and hopefully to get answers) from the JabRef community. Thus, we decided to officially discontinue the support on the mailing list. We’ll leave the list open for some time - but the official communication channels for the future will be the GitHub issue tracker (for bugs) and the discourse forum (for all other questions, feature requests and feedback).

For those of you who like to stick with a mailing-list like behavior we provide you a guide on how to use the discourse forum just like a mailing list.

Thanks again to discourse.org for the great software and especially for providing us free hosting!

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June 02, 2016 – Release of JabRef 3.4

We are pleased to announce the release of JabRef version 3.4!

The new version can be downloaded as of now from FossHub, the official JabRef download site.

The main focus of this release is improving the grouping functionality of JabRef with various bug fixes and new features:

  • Group information is now directly stored in the BibEntry - and no longer at the end of the bib file
  • Group view is immediately updated after adding an entry to a group
  • Dragging an entry to a group preserves scrolling
  • Entries retain their groupmembership when undoing their cut/deletion
  • The group tree now uses the whole available space in the left sidebar

Some other selected new features and improvements are:

  • You can directly paste a DOI into the main table and JabRef tries to create the matching entry
    • Did you know: This also works with complete BibTeX entries you have in your clipboard!
  • The merge entries dialog now shows all text and colored differences between the fields
  • Added support for several Biblatex-fields through drop-down lists with valid alternatives
  • DOI and normal web links are now distinguished with different icons in the main table

JabRef 3.4 also includes more than 30 bug fixes and the removal of a few features (mostly outdated). Details are listed on GitHub.

For questions about the functioning, please use our discussion forum.. In case you have trouble, report bugs and suggestions for improvements on GitHub.

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April 25, 2016 – JabRef & WinEdt: two-way communications

For a longtime, a single click on a toolbar button has allowed JabRef to insert citations in WinEdt.

image: From JabRef to WinEdt From JabRef to WinEdt.

WinEdt is a powerful and versatile all-purpose text editor for Windows with a strong predisposition towards the creation and compilation of LaTeX documents.

Up to now, communication was only one-way: from JabRef to WinEdt. This time is over: since April 2, 2016, WinEdt can also communicate with Jabref!

Thanks to a package contributed by Karl Koeller, JabRef can be launched from within WinEdt.

image: From WinEdt to JabRef From WinEdt to JabRef.

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April 19, 2016 – Release of JabRef 3.3

We are pleased to announce the release of JabRef version 3.3!

Since April 17, 2016, JabRef 3.3 can be downloaded from FossHub, the official JabRef download site.

This release contains new and improved features such as:

  • online help at help.jabref.org. Changes can be proposed easily via https://github.com/JabRef/help.jabref.org.
  • file-based BibTeX and BibLaTeX modes
  • save actions: automatically format your entries on save
  • quicker addition of papers having a DOI
    • Add a new entry
    • Add the title in the title field
    • Go to the “General” tab, click into the DOI field (workaround for #1234) and click “Lookup DOI”
    • Click on “Get BibTeX data from DOI”
  • faster search
  • improved import from ArXiv and Ovid
  • better integration of OpenOffice/LibreOffice style files
  • improved support on Mac OS X
  • translation into Swedish

It also includes about 40 bug fixes and the removal of a few features (mostly outdated). Details are listed on GitHub.

For questions about the functioning, and for congratulation messages, please, use our discussion forum. For bugs and improvements, open an issue on GitHub.

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April 08, 2016 – A faster JabRef is coming!

Some users reported JabRef was slow on large databases (thank you for the feedback!). This was especially the case for three operations:

  • loading a database
  • saving a database
  • searching through a database.

During a search, the user interface could become very unresponsive, which is indeed quite annoying… Well, this time will be over soon: Simon Harrer has recently contributed code making search much faster.

By integrating the Java Microbenchmarking framework, Tobias Diez was able to benchmark JabRef and reveal interesting insights about the performance of JabRef: Preliminary tests have been carried out on a database with 100000 entries (is it big enough for you?). They show that JabRef is now 10 times faster at searching: it takes only one second to search through 60000 entries!

You can give it a try (This is a development version: Be carefully, and back up your data first!). Your comments are welcomed!

Stay tuned: work is under way to speed up the opening of large databases.

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January 27, 2016 – Survey and JabCon

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January 26, 2016 – Welcome to the JabRef blog

This is the blog website of JabRef. Any developer or user can write and publish blog posts on this website. To do so you need to go to https://github.com/JabRef/www.jabref.org and fork the repository. Then you create a new branch on your fork with the name of the subject you want to write about. Write your blog post in a markdown file. Prefix the file name with the date of your blog post and place it in the _posts folder. Add your changes to your git index, commit, and push your changes. Finally open a pull request and wait for feedback. Once your changes are merged your blog post will be on top of this site.

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