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BibTeX and KOALA

Downloading KOALA Data to BibTeX

If you don't know what BibTeX is, then first please read BibTeX und Biblatex.

If you are already familiar with the programme just want to quickly find out how you can get bibliographical data out of KOALA (the Library's local catalogue) and into BibTeX then read on!

There are two ways to import KOALA data into BibTeX: either use Bibliographix or a python-script.

1. Bibliographix

Bibliographix is a software designed to help you manage your bibliographical data and take the bibliographic information from the Library's catalogue and databases. Bibliographix can directly import data from our Library catalogue KOALA and then export it in Bib-TeX format. Whoever has a computer with Windows and doesn't want a lot of trouble, should use this method, especially since Bibliographix is free for all members of the University of Konstanz community!

2. Python-Script

If you do not want to use Bibliographix, or cannot because you have a computer with Linux or Apple, then you can use a Python-Script to make the bibliographical data from KOALA compatible with the Bib-TeX.

Technical Requirements

In order to use the Python-Script, you must have Python Version 2.4 installed on your computer. With Linux computers it should already be provided.  If you have a computer with Windows or Apple, on which Python is not installed, you will find a free version of Python that is easy to install here: (select Python).


Please follow the download instructions, from ActiveState about downloading Python here (ATTENTION: The download is about 17 MB!)  Also, please note the (different) licence agreements!

Downloading the Python-Script

Please download the zipped file from and unzip it on your computer in a folder in which you would also like to save your bibliographical data.

Using the Python Script

In order to change a list of saved bibliographical information into Bib TeX data we will need the Python Script.  It's simple:

Requirement:  The Python script "," the data "," and the bibliographical data must all be in the same folder!


In Linux the Python script can be recalled quite simply through a shell-command.  In Windows (in Windows XP) go in the start-menu, under all programmes.  Then go under "accessories" and then "command prompt."  Now switch to the folder in which you have saved the bibliographical information (and the Python script).  And now type the following sytax into the command prompt:

python Dateiname_der_Titelliste

Now you should see, on your computer, in the folder in which you have the data called Dateiname_der_Titelliste, a new data with the data name Dateiname_der_Titelliste.bib.  This data can now be used directly in BibTeX.

Tips for users of Apple Computers

A problem especially common for MacOS users is special characters (for instance an umlaut) appearing incorrectly. The script expects ISO-8859-1 (ISO-Latin-1) as the command prompt code. Depending on how you set up your MAB-Data or how your Browser is arranged, it could be that another code is present, for instance Mac-Roman or UTF-8.  Look in the script for the entry "latin-1" and replace it with "mac-roman" or "utf-8" depending on what you have.


Acknowledgements and Copyright

We are thankful to Henning Hraban Ramm for making the python script available.  The script is subject to the python licence (


Questions and Problems

Although we do not offer regular technical support, we do our best to help you with any problems or questions.  Please contact Uwe Jochum with questions:


Letzte Aktualisierung: 03.03.2011

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