How To Merge Two Bibtex Libraries with Bibi

klane asked: Hi, I have two BibTeX files and need to merge them together without ending up with duplicates. Can you give a good suggestion on how to merge two BibTeX files?

One of the problems with working in my non-linear way is that I end up with many BibTeX files that have different papers and even different versions of the same paper. From time to time I need to merge and consolidate my BibTeX libraries into a single main BibTeX library.

merging BibTeX with Bibi

For merging BibTeX libraries I found a java bibliographic manager that is very useful. It is called Bibi and is a full bibliographic manager that has a powerful merge function. It does exactly what it promises: you just open two .bib files and then merge from the menus.

BibTeX duplicates

The great thing about bibi to merge is that it also resolves duplicate entries in your bibliographic entries. This means that when bibi detects a conflict, it pops up a diff window. It allows you to chose which bibliographic entry to keep (on the left you have the first .bib file, on the right the second .bib file), and you can choose the BibTeX entry that is most accurate (you can even choose to keep both BibTeX entries).

With a few clicks you can merge two BibTeX files easily without trouble. The Bibi application is really a great time saver.

Merge two BibTeX the hard way

As BibTeX are text files the hard way to merge them is to open both files in a text editor and then copy and paste then entries from one file to the other. The problem with this approach it that you need to then use your reference manager (Bibdesk, Jabber, etc…) to find manually the duplicate entries.