Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am thinking about a collaborative effort, where several people would need to insert data; for different reasons, it would be most convenient that this data is in bibtex format (the references format for latex).

Now, I know JabRef reference manager as a GUI that people may be willing to give a try; and I also know it refers to Bibtex .bib files as "databases". However, is anyone aware of a method, where a "database" (essentially exportable as a .bib file) is managed online - and several users could access it, and make edits in it (where all edits would be tracked per user, similar to subversion)?

I would essentially recommend subversion for this - however, come collaborators are not to keen on command-line svn or the existing GUIs; so, I though, if:

  • One can use jabref itself to authenticate to a remote database and make edits there; or
  • One can authenticate and make edits through a webpage (say PHP application)

... then these options could be slightly more acceptable for people who are otherwise not keen on working with command-line tools like subversion.

Are there any tools around that would facilitate this kind of use of the bibtex format?

Many thanks in advance for any answer,

share|improve this question

Ok, found some options after browsing:

  • PHP/MySQL application called PHP BibTeX Database Manager; cannot find any screenshots of it; but I guess it can manage different users, and it can export to a bib file.

  • There is also a way to have jabref communicate to an online MySQL database directly; but one would have to set up sql user level of authentication - and I'm pretty sure a log like in svn is not kept. Anyways, it is discussed in "[texworks] JabRef Bibtex and php MySql insert \cite[]{}":

    Here is a thing of interest, that others might adapt and use.

    If you use JabRef ( ) to maintain your biblios, and have MySql and php (CLI) then here is a system I personally use.

    JabRef lets me set up an MySql database very simply.

    (i) Just use your MySql management tool of choice, and make a database called jabref (no tables neeeded) (ii) In Jab Ref open your biblio (iii) File/Connect to External SQL database (iv) File/Export to External Database

    (I use this with then a latter JabRef File/ Import From External Database to mainatain my references through other interfaces as well.)

Well, it seems like what I want is possible - at least in bits and pieces; but cannot really confirm existence of an application to collaborative online editing of the sorts... So, I'm still interested in hearing about alternatives :)

share|improve this answer

Do you look for a tool like I, librarian? You may try th online demo:

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .