I use Mendeley to organize and view articles (pdf files). It is almost good, however I wish something similar with one additional feature. A software to make a link for every reference in the Reference section of any article I read (not my own articles) and when I click on the link it searches the web for it, or if it has a downloadable version, directly points to that file and if it is already exists in my articles opens it.

  • When using LaTeX to write the article, you can do this with biblatex and hyperref, see tex.stackexchange.com/questions/23832/… Jun 17, 2016 at 14:02
  • @JaapEldering thanks, that is possible for my own articles, but I want to extract all links to references of any article (pdf files)
    – Ahmad
    Jun 17, 2016 at 14:08

2 Answers 2


Digital Object Indentifier (DOI) names might be a possible solution. Sometimes article citations in major databases come with them - if so, you can use them to directly access the paper (in a web browser, at least).

For example, for Claude Shannon's seminal work A Mathematical Theory of Communication, the DOI name is 10.1109/9780470544242.ch1. This can be resolved either by using this website, which also describes DOI names in detail; or by using a direct link, such as http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/9780470544242.ch1.

You can find these DOI numbers either by checking reference databases (which often include them) or by checking a website such as crossref.org.

IIRC, Mendeley actually includes a field for the DOI name, if known. I've seen it automatically populated when I use the browser clipping tool (sometimes, not always).

  • I know JabRef automatically turns DOI into links like this, idk about Mendeley Jun 17, 2016 at 7:10
  • @Oxinabox: The desktop version at least has a "lookup" feature that tries to convert the DOI name into a link to a database. So, assuming the DOI name is imported and the lookup succeeds...I guess this is a 2-click solution :-)
    – tonysdg
    Jun 17, 2016 at 7:22
  • It might be worth including a screenshot with a red circle around the button. Jun 17, 2016 at 7:32
  • I just started using JabRef and you can in fact, given just the DOI, let JabRef grab the complete citation including a link. You can also try to grab the full text automatically, if possible (don't know how exactly that works). A click on the File-icon next to the bibliography entry in the main window will open the web link.
    – Ian
    Jun 17, 2016 at 10:25

A link for every reference? In the paper or the database? In the paper this isn't really desirable to have urls, the doi will do. Use the hyperref package in latex to create clickable links in latex.

In the Mendeley database this already exists. Copy the doi of the paper into the doi textbox of the citation and click the search icon to the right. It fills all the reference info, including a link to the pdf on sciencedirect or where ever it is hosted. enter image description here

  • Thank you, however I mean to retrive the reference section of an article
    – Ahmad
    Jun 17, 2016 at 11:41
  • Oh sorry, i didn't understand that, but that makes more sense. Sciencedirect has a reference section for each article there where all the articles with doi are clickable links. You could use flashgot or similar to download more than one at a time if needed. Not really a solution but perhaps it'll work enough for you.
    – ic_fl2
    Jun 18, 2016 at 21:01

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