Looking for properly formatted BibTeX citations for articles or books can be tedious. I used to use the functionality from Google Scholar, but found that for many cases the BibTeX files are poorly formatted, are missing information, or even contain wrong information.

For mathematics papers, http://www.ams.org/mathscinet/ appears to be a reasonable alternative. But it is manually maintained and unfortunately a paid service (many universities have access).

Are there other similar databases, possibly for other fields of science?

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    Kieran Healy maintains a database for some topics in sociology (kieranhealy.org/socbibs.html) and contributes to a database of philosophy papers and books (kjhealy.github.io/bib). – DG' Sep 6 '13 at 17:02
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    not sure what you mean "manually maintained" for mathscinet; yes, the database entries are added manually, but the bibtex presentation is generated programmatically from the database. (i'm not sure how else what is close to a primary source can be created other than manually, unless you can guarantee that all participating publications/publishers adhere to exactly the same tagging conventions; if you can figure out how to make that happen, i'm sure math reviews would be delighted.) – barbara beeton Sep 6 '13 at 18:22
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    I think it's worth adding here that (1) this is borderline for on-topic (might fit equally on the Academic StackExchange site) (2) BibTeX data is one part of a bigger picture if you are creating reference database, and that is a serious business so free sources are limited (I would look to for example Web of Knowledge) (3) citations should be based on the primary literature, so there is an argument you should always get the data from the papers themselves. – Joseph Wright Sep 6 '13 at 18:33
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    For computer science an excellent source is dblp. – Guido Sep 6 '13 at 20:17
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    this is a bit late, but perhaps still useful. in addition to the paid access to the full mathscinet, data can be retrieved in bibtex format using the free service ams.org/mref – barbara beeton Mar 24 '16 at 20:18

For me, I do not use a single source, rather a combination of resources and techniques. Actually, there are a number of tools or resources you can use under the circumstances.

  • Documents searched through Cite Seer X will have a BibTeX entry at the right hand side of screen. Perhaps this is the most comprehensive one.

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  • Entries in ACM Digital Library all has BibTeX entries. Please look at the right hand side of screen.

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  • I am not sure which BibTeX entries in Google Scholar you are referring to. If you click on the actual publisher site (not the unreliable download link which may or may not appear at the right hand site), you will often find BibTeX entries in the publisher site. The point is also applicable in the previous case.
  • If you use menedely as your reference management tool, citing a paper from your personal collection is very easy.

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Please see here how you can do this in mendeley. You can even generate a .bib file in one go, which is rather nice. Other reference management tools like Papers, EndNote, or Zotero should have similar functionalities, I am not very sure.


www.bibtexsearch.com has tens of millions of BibTeX records, covering mainly medicine, computer science, philosophy and finance.

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    When using this resource, be prepared to do a lot of extra manual editing of the entries it comes up with. A couple of casual searches I performed indicate that most (all?!) entries are given as being of type @article, even though many entries clearly should be of type @book, @techreport, @inbook, @incollection, etc. – Mico Apr 8 '15 at 22:57

I know that I am resurrecting a century old question but I just become aware that Nelson H. F. Beebe wrote a tool bibclean which is a syntax checker for BibTeX files.

My favorite way of looking for BibTeX files is of course MathSciNet but it looks like somebody wrote a search engine just for BibTeX files


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