I have about 8,000 pdfs of research papers and I want to extract their references and titles. Any ideas on software to do this?


3 Answers 3


Mendeley is an online web service, reference library and desktop/mobile client software for multiple platforms that is specifically targeted at the research world. You can import PDF files to have them scanned for citations in various files and also for keywords to search on.

It also provides a lot of other very useful facilities for the researcher such as links to potential funding sources, collaborators, etc.


You can use python and pip install refextract which will then give you a facility to extract references from PDF files using the refextract library. You could then use the python os.walk function to parse your entire collection adding the located references to a local database (note that python comes with sqlite3 and can interface with most other databases).

>>> from refextract import extract_references_from_file
>>> references = extract_references_from_file('1503.07589.pdf')
>>> print(references[0])
    'author': [u'F. Englert and R. Brout'],
    'doi': [u'doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.13.321'],
    'journal_page': [u'321'],
    'journal_reference': [u'Phys. Rev. Lett. 13 (1964) 321'],
    'journal_title': [u'Phys. Rev. Lett.'],
    'journal_volume': [u'13'],
    'journal_year': [u'1964'],
    'linemarker': [u'1'],
    'raw_ref': [u'[1] F. Englert and R. Brout, \u201cBroken symmetry and the mass of gauge vector mesons\u201d, Phys. Rev. Lett. 13 (1964) 321, doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.13.321.'],
    'texkey': [u'Englert:1964et'],
    'year': [u'1964'],
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If you can use Java environment then you can have a look at CERMINE, a product from research paper in springer CERMINE.

Codes can be found at Here.

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