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Add papers from or NASA/SAO ADS to your BibDesk bibliography.

Project description

This is the command line edition of ADS to BibDesk, a tool for retrieving the bibtex, abstract and PDF of an astronomical journal article published on ADS or and add it to your BibDesk database.

ADS to BibDesk is a tool for retrieving the bibtex, abstract and PDF of an astronomical journal article published on ADS or and adding it to your BibDesk database.

ADS to BibDesk comes in two flavours: an Automator Service that you can use to grab papers in any app (e.g., in Safari, or Mail), or a command line app.

Developers: please read the CONTRIBUTING document for details on how to build the ADS to BibDesk CLI/Service from source, make changes, and submit pull requests.

Command Line Quickstart

ADS to BibDesk can also be run directly from the command line. The command line script can be installed via:

python install

You may need to run the last command with sudo.

Once adsbibdesk is installed, you can call it with the same types of article tokens you can launch the Service with, e.g.,:

adsbibdesk 1998ApJ...500..525S

A full summary of adsbibdesk commands is available via:

adsbibdesk --help

Summary of article tokens

  • The URL of an ADS or arXiv article page,
  • The ADS bibcode of an article (e.g. 1998ApJ…500..525S),
  • The arXiv identifier of an article (e.g. 0911.4956), or
  • An article DOI.

Other Modes

Besides the primary mode (adding a single paper to BibDesk, ADS to BibDesk has three other modes: previewing papers, updated preprints, and ingesting PDF archives into BibDesk.

Previewing Papers

Use the -o switch to simply download and view the PDF of an article without adding it to BibDesk. E.g.,:

adsbibdesk -o 1998ApJ...500..525S

Updating Preprints

Run ADS to BibDesk with the -u switch to find and update all astro-ph preprints in your BibDesk bibliography:

adsbibdesk -u

To restrict this update to a date range, you can use the –from_date (-f) and –to_date (-t) flags with dates in MM/YY format. For example, to update preprints published in 2012, run:

adsbibdesk -u --from_date=01/12 --to_date=12/12

Note that this operation can take some time since we throttle requests to ADS to be a nicer robot.

PDF Ingest Mode

With the command-line ADS to BibDesk, you can ingest a folder of PDFs that originated from ADS into BibDesk. This is great for users who have amassed a literature folder, but are just starting to use BibDesk. This will get you started quickly.

You need the program pdf2json to use this script. The easiest way to get pdf2json and its dependencies is through Homebrew, the Mac package manager. Once homebrew is setup, simply run brew install pdf2json.

To run this workflow,:

adsbibdesk -p my_pdf_dir/

where my_pdf_dir/ is a directory containing PDFs that you want to ingest.

Note that this workflow relies on a DOI existing in the PDF. As such, it will not identify astro-ph pre-prints, or published papers older than a few years. Typically the DOI is published on the first page of modern papers. This method was inspired by a script by Dr Lucy Lim.


Copyright 2014 Jonathan Sick, Rui Pereira and Dan-Foreman Mackey

ADS to BibDesk is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

ADS to BibDesk is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with ADS to BibDesk. If not, see <>.

Project details

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