Firefox addon to allow importing of new items directly from the browser.
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JabFox: Firefox Add-on for JabRef

JabFox is a Firefox add-on for users of the bibliographic reference manager JabRef. It automatically identifies and extracts bibliographic information on websites and sends them to JabRef with one click.

When you find an intersting article through Google Scholar, the arXiv or journal websites, JabFox allows you to add those references to JabRef. Even links to accompanying PDFs are send to JabRef, where those documents can easily be downloaded, renamed and placed in the correct folder. A wide range of publisher sites, library catalogs and databases are supported.

Please post any issues or suggestions here on GitHub.

Installation and Configuration

  1. Make sure you have at least JabRef 4.2 installed.
  2. Install the JabFox add-on.
  3. On Windows 7, please upgrade Powershell.

Now you should be able to import bibliographic references into JabRef directly from your browser. Just visit a publisher site or some other website containing bibliographic information (for example, the arXiv) and click the JabRef symbol in the Firefox search bar (or press Alt+Shift+J). Once JabFox has extracted the references and downloaded the associated PDF's, the import window of JabRef opens.

You might want to configure JabRef so that new entries are always imported in an already opened instance of JabRef. For this, activate "Remote operation" under the Advanced tab in the JabRef Preferences.

Manual installation on Windows (only necessary when you don't use the installer to install/update JabRef):

  1. Download jabref.json, JabRef.bat and JabRef.ps1, and copy them to the same directory as JabRef.exe
  2. Make sure that the correct file name of the JabRef .jar file is specified in JabRef.ps1 under $jabRefJarFileName.
  3. Run REG ADD "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Mozilla\NativeMessagingHosts\org.jabref.jabref" /ve /d "C:\path\to\jabref.json" /f from the console (with the correct path to the jabref.json file).

About this Add-On

Internally, JabFox uses the magic of Zotero's site translators. Thus most of the credit has to go to the Zotero development team and to the many authors of the site translators collection. Note that JabFox does not make any changes to the Zotero database and thus both plug-ins coexist happily with each other.

Contributing to the Development

JabFox uses the WebExtensions API.


  1. Install Node.js (e.g., choco install nodejs)
  2. Install gulp and web-ext: npm install --global gulp-cli web-ext
  3. Fork the repository.
  4. Start Firefox with the add-on activated: web-ext run

Now just follow the typical steps to contribute code:

  1. Create your feature branch: git checkout -b my-new-feature
  2. Build the add-on by running web-ext run and test it.
  3. Commit your changes: git commit -am 'Add some feature'
  4. Push to the branch: git push origin my-new-feature
  5. Submit a pull request.

To update dependencies:

  • npm outdated gives an overview of outdated packages (doc)
  • npm update updates all packages (doc)
  • git submodule update --recursive --remote updates zotero-connectors submodule
  • gulp update-zotero-scripts copies Zotero scripts from zotero-connectors to Zotero folder
  • gulp process-zotero-scripts post-processes Zotero scripts