BibTex Citation Management within MediaWiki

A couple of days ago I started an experiment to use a Wiki system to organize my research project about building a pattern language. For this purpose its essential to cite other peoples work as its common in scientific articles. In other contexts like writing with Latex or managing papers with Mendeley the BibTex data format showed up as very useful to manage and reuse a whole lot of citations. The question was how to include a BibTex citation manager into a Wiki sytsem?

These desirable feature has been missing in popular Wiki systems like MediaWiki or TKWiki. In case of MediaWiki there were two promising extensions. The first is called Bibtex but lacks on efficient citation management across several pages. The second is called Biblio which provides an excellent citation manager including support for for ISBN and other medical document indexes. But unfortunately Biblio has no built in BibTex support.

The solution on how to combine the extensions Biblio and Bibtex needs four steps:

  1. Download Biblio Extension from their homepage and install it as it is mentioned there.
  2. Search for function “function render_biblio(” and paste a new variable:
    $bibtexx = new BibTex();
  3. Open the file Biblio.php in the Extension directory. Search for the string “$text = $this->get($ref, ‘text’);” and insert the following code behind it:
    if(strcmp(substr($text, 0, 10), '< ;bibtex') == 0){
       $text = $bibtexx->html();
  4. Now you can render bibtex entries like:
    #localref local reference
    #somebook @book{Alexander1979,
    	Author = {Christopher Alexander},
    	Publisher = {Oxford University Press},
    	Title = {The Timeless Way of Building},
    	Year = {1979}}
    #someusualbook MySelf. "Me Myself and I". Self.
    #x ...

Especially if you store all BibTex entries in one single Wiki page (e.g. [[Literature]]) it gives you the advantage of synchronizing your local BibTex database with the entries inside the Wiki.

2 thoughts on “BibTex Citation Management within MediaWiki

  1. You’re welcome!
    The solution above suits my needs and should be easy to add to the new release anyway.


  2. Interesting enhancement. I’m fixing Biblio because of an unrelated problem and hope to release a new revision over the next month. I’d be glad to incorporate your mods into the extension. Get in touch with me and let’s see if we can add it to the release.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *