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JabRef 3.6 under Linux
JabRef 3.6 under Linux
Original author(s)Morten O. Alver, Nizar N. Batada, et al.
Developer(s)The JabRef team[1]
Initial release29 November 2003 (15 years ago) (2003-11-29)
Stable release
4.3.1[2] / 5 June 2018 (15 months ago) (2018-06-05)
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inJava
Operating systemCross-platform
Size54 MB
Available in17 languages
List of languages
Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese (simplified), Danish, Dutch, English, Farsi, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Vietnamese
TypeBibliography manager
LicenseMIT License

JabRef is a reference management software that uses BibTeX and BibLaTeX as its native formats and is therefore typically used for LaTeX. The original version of JabRef was released on November 29, 2003.[3] its name JabRef stands for Java, Alver, Batada, Reference. JabRef provides an interface for editing BibTeX files, for importing data from online scientific databases, and for managing and searching BibTeX files. JabRef is released under the terms of MIT license since version 3.6 (and was under the GPL license before). JabRef is an open-Source, cross-platform citation and reference management tool.


The application is programmed in Java, and is maintained for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, it is available free of charge and is actively developed.



  • Group your research into hierarchical collections and organize research items based on keywords/tags, search terms or your own manual assignments
  • Advanced search and filter features
  • Complete and fix bibliographic data by comparing with curated online catalogues such as Google Scholar, Springer or MathSciNet
  • Customizable citation key generator
  • Customize and add new metadata fields or reference types
  • Find and merge duplicates
  • Attach related documents: 20 different kinds of documents supported out of the box, completely customizable and extendable
  • Automatically rename and move associated documents according to customizable rules
  • Keep track of what you read: ranking, priority, printed, quality-assured


  • Native BibTeX and BibLaTeX support
  • Cite-as-you-write functionality for external applications such as Emacs, Kile, LyX, Texmaker, TeXstudio, Vim and WinEdt.
  • Format references in one of the many thousand built-in citation styles or create your own style
  • Support for Word and LibreOffice/OpenOffice for inserting and formatting citations


JabRef is used by several universities, for example, by the University of Melbourne [4], University of Saskatchewan [5] and others.


  • Many built-in export options or create your own export format
  • Library is saved as a simple text file and thus it is easy to share with others via Dropbox and is version-control friendly
  • Work in a team: sync the contents of your library via a SQL database


Fresh development builds are available at builds.jabref.org, the latest stable release is available at FossHub. JabRef runs on any system equipped with the Java Virtual Machine (1.8), which can be downloaded at no cost from Oracle.Note that Java 9 is currently not supported. From JabRef 4.0 onwards, JavaFX support has to be installed.

  • Windows: JabRef offers an installer, which also adds a shortcut to JabRef to your start menu.
  • Linux: Please see Installation Guide.
  • Mac OS X: Please see Mac OS X FAQ.


Since version 3.6, JabRef is licensed under the MIT license. See the LICENSE.md for the full MIT license. JabRef also uses libraries, fonts, and icons distributed by other parties. See external libraries for details.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ author file in JabRef repository
  2. ^ GitHub Releases on JabRef website
  3. ^ "History of JabRef". Retrieved 2011-12-30.
  4. ^ The Library of the Melbourne University, https://unimelb.libguides.com/c.php?g=565734&p=3897117, Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  5. ^ Library of University of Saskatchewan, https://libguides.usask.ca/c.php?g=218034&p=1440031, Retrieved 2019-06-06.

External links[edit]