I am having a hard time creating citations for new literature. I get a new work (either electronic or printed) and I want to incorporate its citation to my library by means of a citation file (no matter if .bib, .ris, or whatever). And then I spend a lot of time in Internet looking for an appropriate citation file.

Could you tell me a website or a method to get a complete citation file for any work? Thanks!

My known options are following (I tried to rank them based on completeness of entries):

  1. WorldCat
  2. SemanticScholar
  3. GoogleScholar

Sadly, at those websites, I find quite incomplete citations, for example, ISBN, DOI, and publisher are often missing.


3 Answers 3


Web of Science allows you to extract (and even bulk-download) bibliographic metadata of scholarly works. (Select the papers, click on "Export...", choose "Other File Formats" and use "BibTeX" as File Format).

Another option is JabRef, a reference manager which uses BibTeX and whose official browser extension "automatically identifies and extracts bibliographic information on websites and sends them to JabRef with one click."

I also find ZoteroBib useful. It worked well for me, and it is quick to use in browser.

Fur further options see Are there any tools to automatically search and download literature in a given .bib file?.


Use any citation file and correct as necessary.

Having identified a new work that should be incorporated into a personal library, any citation file can be added to the library, as long as it is checked and corrected prior to adding. The checking and correcting process is quick, given that the work is at hand.

With some practise, creating new citation files from scratch can actually be faster, especially with the aid of well crafted macros, e.g., @string{pro= ": In proceedings of"}, @string{fav=International Conference on My Subject}, @string{e = "Elsevier"}, ...

  • Thanks for suggesting editing, I really appreciate it, however with my question I try to minimize the edits: to get it done from a website. Accordingly, I find it not the most useful. May 13, 2020 at 18:21
  • @loved.by.Jesus You can trust websites if you like, but I believe you'd be misplacing trust, so checking and correcting is absolutely necessary. And creating citations from scratch - with some copy-and-paste - is an extremely fast method, perhaps give it a try. Ultimately, there's a trade-off: Trust websites (get incorrect citations), start from websites and correct, or create your own, you move from erroneous and faster to correct and slower. As has been explained elsewhere, you cannot rely on websites, so edits are necessary.
    – user2768
    May 14, 2020 at 6:57
  • I am really fond of correctness (of course, I am a scientist), as you are. However—I did not specify it in my question—I had to input about 50 works in my literature and I had not the nerve to type every of them manually. That's why I try to speed up the process by automatizing it. :) In that sense, manual typing is my very last option. But I really type it manual, as precise, as possible, when I have very few of them, absolutely. May 14, 2020 at 7:53
  • @loved.by.Jesus Use cut-and-paste (from original sources) and macros. Then you'll not be typing everything manually.
    – user2768
    May 14, 2020 at 7:55

I found two useful options


Zotero, the literature manager, has a very powerful function to "add items by indentifier". We add a new item based on its identifier: ISBN, DOI, PMID, or ArxivID. Giving only one of these identifiers make Zotero find the bibliographic information of the item—it is quite complete, I must say.

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The only caveat is that you must install Zotero. ;)

Ebscohost Web

As a web possibility, moment the most complete citation files I found are at EbscoHost Web.

When clicking on the EbscoHost Web link, I have only to choose all databases and search for the book. I click on the book, and, then, I can see the link Export, where I can download a very complete citation file.

Disclaimer: I do not know, if this is a free service. I have access to this web through my university account.

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