See here for a history of oldest news, or the last release 'What's new?' file.


Version 3.3 is out, more than 1 year after the previous one! It comes with some new stylesheets, some minor fixes and support for DOI.


Finally, version 3.2 is out, with a few improvements, mainly in the OpenDocument processing. I have also added stylesheets for Nature and Science.


The user manual has been updated... at last! It was version 0.3 on my computer and still 0.1 on the website :s sorry for that! An update of the program is also in preparation.


New version 3.1. Include a few bugs fixed and new options (authors format + saving of windows sizes and location).


First update of the version 3.00, version 3.01. Include a few bugs fixed in PubMed import and author names.


New version 3.00, at last! No major novelty, it mostly includes some minor bug fixes and style improvements I had for several months now...


New website hosted at sourceforge. Current version of B3 is 2.991, downloadable from here.


New 2.97 beta version available. i18n started. Available languages: English US(default), French and Spanish.

To translate B3 to your own language, you have to edit two properties file; one in the bibliography package, and one in the B3 package, available with source files. Please contact me if you want to do so (see bottom of the page for contact infos).


A brief description of B3

B3 is a free bibliography manager that I first began to write in order to provide a graphic interface to Bibtex. However, B3 uses its own format: an XML extension of the Bibtex format that is more convenient to manage "true" databases. So the proto-B3 was just a simple GUI reading and writing XML files and exporting them as Bibtex files. Later, I added a few tools like the Journal Dictionary, a dictionary linking Journal names and their abbreviations. Finally, I wanted B3 to format the data so that I could copy/paste the bibliography into a word processor, in order to save boring and upsetting tasks (I had to write a bibliography report!)... OpenOffice do this very well, but I wanted to use my Bibtex files for making the bibliography. And so the B3 project was born: I keep the name 'project' since there are still a lot of things to be done! B3 stands for Bibliography Base for Biologists, since I'm a biologist and only know about biology journals bibliography. Of course, many tools of B3 may be useful for other disciplines...

Now B3 includes many more features, and try to to provide a free alternative to currently used bibliography managers like EndNotes(C).

B3 philosophy: a few principles.

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B3 uses powerful and widely used standard new web languages to store, format and display bibliography data, namely:

As a result, B3 is a very portable application (it can run under Windows, Mac and Unix-like systems). It tends to be compatible with OpenOffice because it can export data to a bibliography database. It can easily be customized: Everyone who knows XSL can write a stylesheet and implement its own bibliography format.


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B3 manages one or more databases at a time. A database is a list of bibliography entries referenced by a unique key. Entry types include article, book, report, in book, ph-D, master-thesis, and so on (as a matter of facts, all Bibtex entry types). Each entry possesses a series of fields, depending on the entry type. Current fields include authors, title, pages, abstract, etc.

B3 enables you to edit these fields via an EntryEditor, and to navigate throughout the whole database. Exchange between many databases is also possible, and some query tools are available. Finally, B3 allows export of the data toward different types of file: other database format: SQL, Bibtex, RIS that can be load into other bibliography manager, word processors or computer-assisted publication software.

An extensible list of features may be:

Current developments

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Screenshots of the software may be found on SourceForge website here.

Download and Install

Getting the program

B3 is under the GNU GPL license (2 or later). This program is "Helloware": till now, you could get a copy of B3 by sending me an email. Since it is now available for download, you still can send me an email to tell me you're using B3 (under which OS, for what particular need and so on). It will really help me to know what I should improve/develop first. If you want to do so: send me an email. All requests, suggestions and critics will be welcomed.

From the 3.00 series, B3 is hosted by sourceforge. You can download the last version here.

Running B3

The current stable version of B3 is 3.00. From version 2.95, B3 comes as a executable jar file. You just have to download the jar file and execute, by double-clicking on the jar file, or with the command line:

java -jar B3V3.10.jar

You can change the name of the jar file if you want, and move it wherever you want.

During the first execution, B3 will create (or update) a hidden directory named ".B3" in your home directory (for windows users, it is usually located in you "Document And Settings" directory). To remove B3, you hence just have to remove this directory and the jar file. No registry key is added or whatever nasty hidden property on your system. The .B3 directory only contains your configuration files, which are flat (eventually zipped) files.


Here are template export configuration files you may find useful to export data toward OpenOffice. These files should by loaded by going to Options->Configure external database I/O, and then File->load.

Getting help

The tutorial has been rewritten using texinfo. The current online version may be found here. A PDF version is also available here.

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Author: Julien Dutheil

Last update: January 16th 2011

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