Improve your BibTeX files with BetterBib

You know the drill: When writing a scientific paper, correctly referring to related work is both tedious and important. Sometimes, you know the author and the title, but it takes time to find out exactly when and in what journal other papers are published, or you are just to lazy to fill in the page numbers and the DOI by hand. BetterBib is now here to help you out with these tasks.

BetterBib does nothing else than crawling online journal databases and fetching information from there. The information present in your original bib file has to be such that it allows for a unique match; given this, the output bib file will contain all other the information.

Using BetterBib is easy: Just download it from its GitHub site. BetterBib needs Python installed, along with the two packages Pybtex and Requests. In Debian/Ubuntu, installing those is as easy as

$ apt install pybtex python-requests

Then, it’s only a matter of typing

$ betterbib myold.bib mynew.bib

to have BetterBib looking up information online.

As of now, BetterBib supports fetching from MathSciNet, a comprehensive database for mathematical papers. Unfortunately, access to the database is restricted; most universities do have access though.

If you like BetterBib, find a bug, or have suggestions for including other databases, feel free to send a pull request or file a bug report on GitHub.

Cheers, Nico

BetterBib screenshot