Getting Started

bibmanager offers command-line tools to automate the management of BibTeX entries for LaTeX projects.

bibmanager places all of the user’s bibtex entries in a centralized database, which is beneficial because it allows bibmanager to automate duplicates detection, arxiv-to-peer review updates, and generate bibfiles with only the entries required for a specific LaTeX file.

There are four main categories for the bibmanager tools:

  • BibTeX Management tools help to create, edit, browse, and query from a bibmanager database, containing all BibTeX entries that a user may need.
  • LaTeX Management tools help to generate (automatically) a bib file for specific LaTeX files, and compile LaTeX files without worring for maintaining/updating its bib file.
  • ADS Management tools help to makes queries into ADS, add entries from ADS, and cross-check the bibmanager database against ADS, to update arXiv-to-peer reviewed entries.
  • PDF Management tools help to maintain a database of the PDF files associated to the BibTex entries: Fetch from ADS, set manually, and open in a PDF viewer.

Once installed (see below), take a look at the bibmanager main menu by executing the following command:

# Display bibmanager main help menu:
bibm -h

From there, take a look at the sub-command helps or the rest of these docs for further details, or see the Quick Example for an introductory worked example.

System Requirements

bibmanager is compatible with Python3.6+ and has been tested to work in both Linux and OS X, with the following software:

  • numpy (version 1.15.1+)
  • requests (version 2.19.1+)
  • packaging (version 17.1+)
  • prompt_toolkit (version 3.0.5+)
  • pygments (version 2.2.0+)


To install bibmanager run the following command from the terminal:

pip install bibmanager

Or if you prefer conda:

conda install -c conda-forge bibmanager

Alternatively (e.g., for developers), clone the repository to your local machine with the following terminal commands:

git clone
cd bibmanager
python develop


To enable the ADS functionality, first you need to obtain an ADS token, and set it into the ads_tokend config parameter. To do this:

  1. Create an account and login into the new ADS system.
  2. Get your token (or generate a new one) from here.
  3. Set the ads_token bibmanager parameter:
# Set ads_token to 'my_ads_token':
bibm config ads_token my_ads_token

Quick Example

Adding your BibTeX file into bibmanager is as simple as one command:

# Add this sample bibfile into the bibmanager database:
bibm merge ~/.bibmanager/examples/sample.bib

Compiling a LaTeX file that uses those BibTeX entries is equally simple:

# Compile your LaTeX project:
bibm latex ~/.bibmanager/examples/sample.tex

This command produced a BibTeX file according to the citations in sample.tex; then executed latex, bibtex, latex, latex; and finally produced a pdf file out of it. You can see the results in ~/.bibmanager/examples/sample.pdf.

As long as the citation keys are in the bibmanager database, you won’t need to worry about maintaining a bibfile anymore. The next sections will show all of the capabilities that bibmanager offers.