A collection of bibtex related utilities including a very simple parser.
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This package for now only includes a quite basic parser for BibTeX which converts a bibliography and its entries into simple dict-like data structures and also checks crossreferences if used.


The parser does not (and probably never will) support some of the more advanced BibTeX-features like preambles.

It also doesn't convert things like accented characters into unicode but leaves them as they were in the original input.


A simple example on how to use it:

from zs.bibtex.parser import parse_string

data = '''@article{mm09,
    author = {Max Mustermann},
    title = {The story of my life},
    year = {2009},
    journal = {Life Journale}

bibliography = parse_string(data)
article = bibliography['mm09']

A bibliography as well as each entry in it offers a validate() method which checks aspects like cross-references on the bibliography and fields on the entries. It also supports an optional raise_unsupported keyword-argument which raises an exception once a possibly unsupported field is used in an entry.

The information about what fields are required and optional for what kind of entry is based on the BibTeX article on Wikipedia.

If you're working with a file you can also use a small helper function called parse_file(file_or_path, encoding='utf-8', validate=False) which works on a given filepath or file-like object and returns a bibliography object for the content of that file.

Custom entry types

Out of the box zs.bibtex supports following entry types for validation:

  • article
  • book
  • booklet
  • incollection
  • inproceedings
  • conference
  • inbook
  • manual
  • masterthesis
  • misc
  • phdthesis
  • proceedings
  • techreport
  • unpublished

For details on which of these requires what fields please take a look at the zs.bibtex.structures module.

But if you are in a situation where you need a different entry type, you can also easily register your own.

First you have to create a subclass of the zs.bibtex.structures.Entry class:

from zs.bibtex import structures

class MyEntryType(structures.Entry):
    required_fields = ('required_field_1', ('either_this', 'or_that', ), )
    optional_fields = ('optional_field_1', )

and then simply register it:

structures.TypeRegistry.register('mytype', MyEntryType')