Jabref is an open source  bibliography reference manager.

Part I. Basic Setup and Function

1. Setup files for a latest version (2.8.1) available from:


2. Run “JabRef -2.8.1-setup.exe”  (Installation files should work in both Windows, Linux, and Mac OS).

3. Open JabRef (sample screen):

4. To create a new entry (will create a file called *.bib), click + sign on the menu bar.

5. You will be asked to select an entry type: article,books, manuscript, …. , etc.

6. Once you choose an entry, type the relevant information in the bottom box (see the following example after my entry choice of article):

7. After filling out information about author (First name and last name in order. In case more than two, you should type first last and first last and first last. Don’t use any commas in between names.

8. Bibtexkey (at the bottom) information will be needed for you to call this file from LaTex (which I will explain in the LaTex /WinEdt folders). For now, just create automated default information by clicking

    icon in the left bottom panel. This will generate a bib tex key for you.

9, You can make a link of your reference information to a file saved in your personal computer or a downloadable web address. I find this option is very helpful when I need to review original sources.  Choose the “general” tab and click + to indicate where your original source is located or a web link can be found.

Part II (How to export *.bib file) to other documents

In this section, I demonstrate a procedure to export your bib file (one that you works with JabRef) to a word document using OpenOffice plugin function.  OpenOffice is freeware and you can download from http://www.openoffice.org/. Make sure that you install this program on your computer first before you use OpenOffice plugin for JabRef.

How to plugin [Instruction exert from JabRef website]: 

“The plugin can be used with JabRef 2.4 or newer. If your JabRef version doesn’t have a plugin manager (versions 2.4.x), you need to put the plugin jar file [for jar file can be saved from downloadable from “Plugin version 9.0”  at http://jabref.sourceforge.net/OOPlugin-jabref.php/plugins/plugins/plugins/plugins/net.sf.jabref.oo.ooplugin-0.9.jar ] in a directory named plugins below the directory where the JabRef jar file is installed (typically under C:\Program files\Jabref 2.x if you are running under Windows). The plugin should be loaded next time you start JabRef, and an item named OpenOffice.org panel should appear in JabRef’s Plugins menu. The plugin should work with OpenOffice versions 2.4.x and 3.x, provided it is installed with Java support (this is usually the case on Windows, while in some Linux distributions you need to install a separate package named openoffice.org-java-common or something similar).”

After you have successfully saved the OpenOffice Plugin, you should see the following item on your screen:

Once  this plugin is loaded, it is ready to use  (assuming that you have also installed OpenOffice on your computer).  Take the following four steps:

If there is no error incurred in this process, you exported file should look like this.

As can be seen, OpenOffice plugin function for JabRef can be useful to manage your reference list. You can also choose a style for reference according to your field requirement. Enjoy. How to export this bib file to *.tex inLaTex will be updated soon.

Leave a comment for questions / Suggestion. Thanks.

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