I have a paper that has say 100 references. I'd like to use a lot of them as references to a paper I'm writing, but it seems pretty laborious to go on each and everyone of them, search in google scholar and get the bibtex info. Is there a tool available that given a paper\pdf\book etc, harvests all the references of that paper into a list or bibtex file?

  • This has been discussed on TeX.SE: How to automatically extract cited documents from pdf to .bib
    – Anyon
    Nov 29, 2018 at 0:41
  • The first option is to use a database that is mostly related to physics (I couldnt find there the paper I wanted), the other option is a tool that might be good but is not free...
    – bla
    Nov 30, 2018 at 0:09
  • 1
    This question sounds strange to me every time I read it. If you're writing a paper, you should include in your references only those sources you've actually accessed, read, and used, not just an arbitrary list of related references from someone else's paper.
    – shoover
    Feb 14, 2023 at 3:35

2 Answers 2


There would be a quick approach if you know how to code:

  1. Take the DOI of that publication.

  2. Use that DOI to access the OpenCitations API. (Example here.)

  3. From the API, extract all the DOIs that are referenced in the citing field.

  4. Loop each referenced DOI through a DOI-to-BibTeX-converter (such as doi2bib in Python, or CrossCite)


Based on the great answer above, here's a tiny shell snippet that, given an input doi of a paper, will generate a .bib file containing the references of that paper.

export DOI="..." # put your input DOI here (not as a URL, just the DOI itself)
curl -X GET "https://opencitations.net/index/coci/api/v1/references/$DOI" | jq --raw-output ".[]|.cited" | doi2bib -i - -o "${DOI//[\/-]/_}-refs.bib"

To make this work, need to first install jq (available from any package manager, e.g. brew on macos) and doi2bib (available via pip).

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