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Bibtex December 9, 2005

Posted by gantech in Something Interesting.

This seems to be a very good database for maintaining a record of the papers that one has read. I can introduce addtitional fields without disturbing the way in which the references will be displayed in Latex. I am only about 40-45 papers old, and I am already feeling a need for such a thing. I just don't understand how my profs work without this. Mama (my prof) said he used to attach notes to the papers using Gem-clips. But in this era, where one cannot afford to print all papers, this is surely necessary.

I have written a small one liner in awk to convert the citations from given format of comma separated values to the bibtex format. (Has a lot of problems for instance the code wont work when multiple authors are separated by commas)

awk 'BEGIN {FS="," ; RS="\n" ; x = 1} ; {print "@article{"x","} { print "title = {"$1"}," } {print "author = {"$2 " },"} {print "journal = {"$3" },"} {print "volume = {"$4" },"} {print "number = {"$5 "}," } {print "year = {"$6 " },"} {print "pages = {"$7 "}," } {print "}"} {x = x + 1} ' file.txt >> output_file.bib

All I can say is this works. It may look very untidy at the moment. You can change the Field splitter, Record splitter. You can change the order in which the entries appear. And ya most important of all, you can change the order in which the entries are read from the file. This is the most uselful part since all the citations from a particular source look the same. All you need to do is get the citations from that particular source as a text file and then allow awk to work on it after suitable modifications of the above code. The keys are numbered numerically from 1 to the last entry. You can (rather should) rename it later.

There are softwares like Pybliographer, Kbibtex, Jabref (Java based for Windows users) which can be used to update the database, write notes on selected papers for future reference, link them to the pdf's that you have for immediate reference, and most important of all export your references in formats like pdf, html, xml and so on


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