JabRef Icon.svg
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 (19 years ago) (2003-11-29)
Stable release
5.8[2] / 18 December 2022; 1 day ago (18 December 2022)
  • github.com/JabRef/jabref Edit this at Wikidata
Written inJava
Operating systemCross-platform
Size180 MB
Available in23 languages
List of languages
Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (classical), Danish, Dutch, English, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog, Turkish, Vietnamese
TypeBibliography manager
LicenseMIT License

JabRef is an open-sourced, cross-platform citation and reference management software.[3][4] It uses BibTeX and BibLaTeX as its native formats and is therefore typically used for LaTeX.[5] The name JabRef stands for Java, Alver, Batada, Reference. The original version was released on November 29, 2003.[6]

JabRef provides an interface for editing BibTeX files, for importing data from online scientific databases, and for managing and searching BibTeX files. JabRef has been released under the terms of MIT license since version 3.6 (and was under the GPL license before). JabRef has a target audience of academics and many university libraries have written guides on its usage.[7][8][9]


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.



  • Supports hierarchical groupings based on keywords, tags, search terms etc.
  • Includes features for searching, filtering and detecting duplicates.
  • Attempts to complete partial bibliographic data by comparing with curated online catalogues such as Google Scholar, Springer or MathSciNet.
  • Citation keys, metadata fields and file renaming rules are customizable.


  • Thousands of citation styles are built-in.
  • Cite-as-you-write functionality for external applications such as Emacs, Kile, LyX, Texmaker, TeXstudio, Vim and WinEdt.
  • Support for Word and LibreOffice/OpenOffice for inserting and formatting citations.
  • Library is saved as a human readable text file.
  • When editing in a group, the library can be synchronized with a SQL database.


Fresh development builds are available at builds.jabref.org and the latest stable release is available at FossHub. For Unix-like operating systems, it is also common for JabRef to be available through the default package manager. On Windows, JabRef offers an installer which also creates shortcuts for running the JAR file.


Since version 3.6, JabRef is licensed under the MIT license. JabRef includes libraries, fonts and icons distributed under different licenses by the JavaFX, PDFBox, OpenOffice.org, Jakarta, Apache Tika, Apache Commons, JSoup, ANTLR and Google Guava projects.

See also


  1. ^ maintainers file in JabRef repository
  2. ^ https://github.com/JabRef/jabref/releases/tag/v5.8.
  3. ^ "The relationship of code churn and architectural violations in the open source software JabRef | Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Software Architecture: Companion Proceedings". doi:10.1145/3129790.3129810. S2CID 32372358. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ Basak, Sujit Kumar (2014). "Reference Management Software: A Comparative Analysis of JabRef and RefWorks" (PDF). Int'l Conf. On Chemical Engineering & Advanced Computational Technologies.
  5. ^ Beel, Joeran (2013-11-11). "On the popularity of reference managers, and their rise and fall | | Prof. Joeran Beel (TCD Dublin)". Retrieved 2020-03-11.
  6. ^ "History of JabRef". Retrieved 2011-12-30.
  7. ^ "BibTex and LaTex: JabRef". Library of University of Saskatchewan. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  8. ^ "JabRef and LateX". The Library of the Melbourne University. Retrieved 2019-06-06.
  9. ^ Feyer, S.; Siebert, S.; Gipp, B.; Aizawa, A.; Beel, J. (2017). Jose, Joemon M; Hauff, Claudia; Altıngovde, Ismail Sengor; Song, Dawei; Albakour, Dyaa; Watt, Stuart; Tait, John (eds.). "Integration of the Scientific Recommender System Mr. DLib into the Reference Manager JabRef". Advances in Information Retrieval. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Cham: Springer International Publishing. 10193: 770–774. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-56608-5_80. ISBN 978-3-319-56608-5.

External links

  • JabRef website
  • BibTeX Management by JabRef and Jab2HTML
  • How to use JabRef (BibTeX) with Microsoft Word 2003 (current) (old)
  • JabRef HTML Export Filters