Automatically download missing entries to your bibliography file.

pip install autobib==0.7.3



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autobib automatically fetches BibTeX entries from online databases (currently Inspire and ADS) based on references that were added to the LaTeX document but not yet to the .bib file. The automatically fetched entries are appended to the first .bib file defined in your LaTeX source (first entry of \bibliography{...}). For this to work, the cite key has to be a key used by the online database.

In other words, you still need to look up a citation online and copy the cite key to your LaTeX file, but you don't have to also copy the whole BibTeX entry to your local .bib file (essentially adding it twice), since autobib does the latter for you.

autobib only appends new entries to your .bib file and otherwise leaves it as is. Using it is therefore safe.

Installation and usage

pip install autobib

This installs a new script called bibtex, which is a drop-in replacement of the original bibtex command. The same name is chosen to make it work automatically with tooling like latexmk, which is otherwise hard to achieve.

Make sure that the bibtex script installed by autobib is found first by shell lookup (this should normally be the case). You can test that by calling bibtex --version on the command-line. You should see something like this

autobib 0.6.0
BibTeX 0.99d (TeX Live 2020)

If this is not the case, then you may have to change the order of search paths in the PATH environment variable. The script installed by autobib must come before the path of the original bibtex command.

ADS token

No extra steps are needed to download from Inspire, but to download from ADS you need to follow these instructions to get an API token. Export this token in your shell as ADS_TOKEN, e.g. export ADS_TOKEN=<insert token here>.