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I have a bibliography on a subject (don't matter what subject it is, there is about 20 different files and about 1000 records). I need to convert it into csv (or any other table format which can be opened in Excel/LibreOffice Calc etc.)

Can anyone name a tool for this?

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up vote 15 down vote accepted

Open the .bib-files in Jabref and export it as OpenOffice .csv-files. You find the option under the menu File, Export


Since you can run Jabreffrom the program's home page, you don't have to install it. You need Java, though.

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Thanks. Jabref is cool thing. It's a bit strange but still cool. – Georg Aug 31 '12 at 5:50

Best bet would be a scripting language, e.g. Python. I don't know if you are a programmer, but making a script taking each entry and converting them should be faster than installing and learning a whole new tool (provided typing python script_file.py doesn't scare you!).

Here's a basic python script which accesses a few fields:

from pybtex.database.input import bibtex

#open a bibtex file
parser = bibtex.Parser()
bibdata = parser.parse_file("myrefs.bib")

#loop through the individual references
for bib_id in bibdata.entries:
    b = bibdata.entries[bib_id].fields
        # change these lines to create a SQL insert
        #deal with multiple authors
        for author in bibdata.entries[bib_id].persons["author"]:
            print(author.first(), author.last())
    # field may not exist for a reference

You can adapt it to your needs and save desired fields to a .csv file.

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I already thought about it. But I'm looking for a existing tool for it. and, actually, I don't know any scripting language – Georg Aug 30 '12 at 18:02

It is also possible to do if you use a reference manager as Zotero. Then you can import a bibtex file. It will result in its own folder, and then you can export it to whatever format you want.

Just another solution :)

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