I use JabRef on Windows 7 64 bit. The option for the .bib-file is set to UTF8. When I use the DOI to BibTeX feature in Jabref and import any DOI that leads to a source with special characters in its properties, say this one ...



... I get this result on Windows (version 2.9):

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... it's the same with 2.10 beta3 on Windows:

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... and the same for the final release for 2.10 for the doi 10.1051/jp2:1995145:

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Here is a screenshot of the saved file opened in Notepad++:

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It is working on Linux (Xubuntu 13.10 with version 2.10 beta):

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Here are my options, which are equal for both installations (imported the options file into the other installation):

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However I'd like to stay with utf-8-encoded files and try not to rework the faulty entries. Is there some way to have the .bib-file in utf-8 and still use the DOI to BibTeX feature? It's a bit odd JabRef can load the .bib-file which is already encoded in utf-8 but when I add something, it produces the faulty parts.

The thing is, whether I open a .bib-file saved by JabRef on either Windows or Linux, Notepad++ says (in the lower right) it is encoded Ansi as UTF-8 so I'm quite confused what is actually causing this if there aren't any encoding issues.

  • Have you modified the preview window at all?
    – Joseph Wright
    Mar 8, 2014 at 8:55
  • No, I think although I don't fully understand your question. Well I don't recall any modifications in regards to the preview windows. Installed JabRef about 3 days ago and played around with it, just changed some settings in regards to the owner, Biblatex and set that encoding option to UTF8. Hope that answers your question.
    – henry
    Mar 8, 2014 at 8:58
  • It looks to me as if the file got saved in a non-UTF8 format to start with, so the chars are messed up. I'd fix in a text editor, make sure JabRef is correctly set to use UTF-8 then re-open the fixed file.
    – Joseph Wright
    Mar 8, 2014 at 9:36
  • 1
    I can confirm this behavior. Adding the two mentioned DOIs using the Web Search (F5) -> DOI to BibTeX will results in broken umlauts. The bib file encoding was set to UTF8, versions tested was 2.10. You should just file a bug report in the JabRef bug tracker.
    – matth
    Mar 13, 2014 at 16:36
  • 2
    To whoever added the bug already, thank you. I was just in the process of signing up to Sourceforge but apparently someone got to it faster. :)
    – henry
    Mar 14, 2014 at 7:16

1 Answer 1


Since Jabref relies on the standard Java's Preferences API, it assumes the encoding of the stuff being imported is the same as the host OS's. So we critically need an additional option to specify that encoding on windows. A tentative solution is explicitly call Jabref's jar and set encoding from the command line as

java -Dfile.encoding="UTF-8" JabRef-2.10.jar

To make java work you may have to set the PATH variable.

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