I have several .bib files, which I'd like to merge together into one. Due to the considerable effort involved in doing it manually I am looking for tool support.

The only tool I found so far is PyBib, which supposedly is capable of merging bib files. However, it appears to be not very polished and breaks easily. After fixing the missing BIBPATH environment variable, it still could not read my bib files properly and complained about syntax errors. In particular, entries that use VARIABLE # { and some text } break the parser.

Are there any other tools available, or which way would you go to merge a bunch of .bib files. I am sure some manual checking is required, but I'd like not to do the whole process by hand.

2 Answers 2


JabRef may help.

When you try to import a new file to current one, it will examine and label all duplicates automatically. What you need do is just clicking the 'deselect' button.

  • 1
    Could you please elaborate that? Does it work as I think: you append the databases, then use scan>check duplicates ?
    – Frank
    Commented Nov 24, 2010 at 9:48
  • @Frank: That's what I would do. There may be a few false-positives but it generally does a good job.
    – Joseph Wright
    Commented Nov 24, 2010 at 9:52

The bibtools collection contains makebib which appears to do what you are looking for.

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