OS: macOS, Sierra

I want to analyse a large (5000 entries) bibtex file in R statistically to look at the years published, Journals, Authors, ...

There is an R package for reading bibtex files, but it collapses with larger bibtex files (and it gives strange error messages with smaller ones sometimes...).

So I am looking for a command line tool to extract certain fields from the bibtex file or to convert it to a csv or similar format.

My idea would be to have a tool which takes the bibtex file as an input parameter and returns certain fields or converts it to a more easily parsable format (csv, sqlite, ...). I could then read the values directly into R or from the created csv / sqlite / ...

Is there something out there? Any suggestions how I could do the analysis?

I could use e.g. Jabref to convert, but would prefer a command line approach.

  • Well, Biber can already do a lot of manipulations of .bib entry data, including outputting only specific fields, outputting to XML. It could be combined (say) with grep and sed at the very least to create a .csv. Biber itself might be able to do it all on its own, but I've never looked into it. I just ran as a test biber --tool --output-macro-fields=journal,journaltitle bibliography.bib which is 38,000 lines long. It stripped the braces from the journal and journaltitle fields (resulting in lines line JOURNALTITLE = Ethics, in the file bibliography_bibertool.bib). – jon Dec 7 '16 at 18:27
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    Write a script? I have a small python routine that converts bib to csv... – Thruston Dec 8 '16 at 19:29

Sorry, I did not see your final line mentioning Jabref and saying you would prefer a command line approach. However, I will leave this here for others who may find it useful.

I am looking to do something similar, and am using Jabref. It is able to export to CSV, as well as other formats.

It also has a dialogue for quality control, e.g. stripping braces or converting LaTeX to unicode. Quality -> Clean up entries


Not affiliated with JabRef, but I do use it.

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    Welcome to LaTeX! Can I just ask, are you affiliated in any way with the product? Because if you are, you must mention this in the answer, as specified here - How to not be a spammer. Thanks! – CalvT Jan 9 '18 at 16:02

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