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Console Bibliography

Project description


Welcome to CoBib - the Console Bibliography! I have started this project when I was looking into alternatives to popular reference managers such as Mendeley, which has more features than I use on a regular basis and does not allow me to work from the command line which is where I spent most of the time that I spent on the computer.

Hence, I have decided to make it my own task of implementing a simple, yet fast, reference manager. CoBib is written in Python and uses a YAML file to store its bibliography in a plain text format.

Currently CoBib provides the following functionality:

  • adding new references from a bibtex source or via DOI or arXiv ID
  • querying the database by in- and exclusion filters
  • printing detailed information about a reference ID
  • exporting a list of references to the biblatex format
  • opening associated files using an external program
  • manually editing entries using the $EDITOR

Future features may include:

  • previewing abstracts directly inside the terminal
  • extracting abstracts from PDFs


git clone
cd cobib
python install

This will install the cobib package. By default, cobib will store your database at ~/.local/share/cobib/literature.yaml

To see how you can change this, see Config.


Start by initializing the database with

cobib init

Afterwards you can add, list, edit, remove, show, open and export database entries. Type cobib --help for further information or cobib <subcommand> --help for more detailed information on the specific subcommands.


You can overwrite the default configuration by placing a config.ini file at ~/.config/cobib/. Take a look at the default config to see what possible configuration options exist.

You may also specify a different config file at runtime by using the -c or --config command line argument.

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