BibUp > Tutorial


BibUp allows you to create bibliographic references by scanning books barcodes and extracts of text. The references, including the OCRed text, can be viewed on a web page and collected using the Zotero plugin for Firefox


Install BibUp from the App Store. Then, you'll be able to :

  • quickly get bibliographic references (book or magazine) using ISBN or ISSN barcodes;
  • add an annotation as well as a picture of a page (or part of);
  • fetch the taken references from a web page;
  • import the whole reference (with your annotation, OCRed text (if your were using the University of Fribourg wifi) using Mozilla Firefox and the Zotero add-on;
  • re-use these references in a text editor (such as OpenOffice Writer or Microsoft Word).
  • Note : BibUp gets a book or a magazine reference, but it is not possible to get a precise reference of an article or a book chapter.
Launch BibUp

1. Launch BibUp

Look for BibUp on your iPhone and launch it (the icon shows the University of Fribourg logo with the "BibUp" name).

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You can get the application from the App Store.

Catch the reference

2. Catch the reference

Insert a Tag to filter your references on the Bibup website later on.

Touch the "Scan Barcode" button.

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The iPhone camera activates.

At the end of the process, references are displayed on the common Bibup webpage. Your tag will allow you to filter out your references. You will have to insert it manually, so choose one you can easily remember.

Automatic reference

2a. Automatic reference

With the camera active, aim at the book or magazine ISBN or ISSN barcode. Usually, it is located at the back.

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Result : as soon as the barcode is recognized, the reference is automatically displayed (no other action required).

Note : don't mix up the ISBN or ISSN code with other codes (library, store, ...).

Note : if the camera is unable to recognize the barcode (bad lightening, dirty barcode, ...), touch the "Cancel" button (at the bottom left) and return to the main screen.

Manual operation

2b. Manual operation

When the automatic barcode grabing process doesn't work, you can also enter manually the ISBN or ISSN barcode.

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  • Launch the application.
  • Touch on the "Enter ISBN/ISSN" button to enter the ISBN or ISSN manually.
  • On the input field, you can manually enter ISBN or ISSN using the numerical keyboard. The numerical code has 10 or 13 digits. It is located just below or above the barcode.
  • Please enter the ISBN or ISSN number without spaces or special signs.

Note : to make the numerical keyboard appear, just touch the input field near "ISBN/ISSN : * ".


3. Verify

The BibUp main screen shows the ISBN or ISSN number, as well as the book or journal title.

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Note: even if only a part of the reference is displayed, the entire bibliographic reference is here (given the available information : author(s), year, title, and so on).
To see the detail of the collected information click on the blue button next to the title.

Capture an extract

4. Capture an extract

You can add a page or a paragraph snapshot to your reference.

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To take a snapshot, touch the "Image 1" button. The camera activates.

Take a snapshot

4a. Take a snapshot

Take a snapshot of the extract you want to link with the reference.

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  • Aim at the text and wait for the iPhone to focus.
  • Take the snapshot (touch the corresponding button (photo icon)).
  • A preview is proposed.
    • If you prefer a new picture, touch "Retake",
  • Touch "Use" to add the snapshot to your reference.

As soon as your reference has been sent, you'll find this snapshop along with your note on the BibUp web page.


If you use the unifr wifi, the snapshot will be OCRed and the text will be available in Zotero.

Add a note

5. Add a note

Once you took a snapshot, you must enter a note in the "Page number or other information" field.

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You have to insert something in this field. For instance : the page number of the extract, keywords, start and end page numbers, and so on.


  • Touch the field "Page number or other information". The keyboard activates.
  • Enter the desired text.
  • To end the note :
    • Touch the "Send reference" button if you want to send the reference without picture;
    • or touch white space outside any field or button.

Result : the whole note is memorised and linked to your bibliographic reference.

Add the first page

6. Add the first page

Articles and chapters set

You can take a second picture (touch "Image 2").

Since the ISBN or ISSN code doesn't give the specifics of an article or a chapter, you might need this information.

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For an article or a chapters set :

  • The ISSN/ISBN is the reference to the entire journal or book, not to a specific article or chapter.
  • Thus, BibUp memorises : the title, the authors, the year, ans so on, of the journal or book, but not the authors, tile, pages and so on of the specific article or chapter.

In this case, you can take a snapshot or the title page of the article or chapter (you thus keep the information about the title and authors).

If you use the unifr wifi when sending the reference, the snapshot will be OCRed.

When using your bibliographic manager, you'll just have to cut and paste this information at the right place or find the specific reference with other online tools (see point 9. below).

Send the reference

7. Send the reference

Once you have entered all required information, you can send the reference by touching the "Send reference" button (preferably when connected over WiFi).

WARNING: If you do this operation over your mobile phone network (HSPA, 3G, 2G, Edge), you may have to pay charges for the data transmission.

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Result : a confirmation message informs you when the reference has been sent.

Note: we encourage you to use wifi. BibUp lets you do the work with a mobile phone network (HSPA, 3G, 2G, Edge), but if you send pictures, the waiting time could be high. Furthermore, your mobile provider might charge you (each picutre is about 3MB).

With Firefox on your computer

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To get the references, you need to use the web browser Firefox and the bibliographic manger add-on Zotero (a version for Internet Explorer is scheduled).

To control if Zotero is installed on your web browser, have a look at the bottom right of a Firefox window. The word "zotero", or a red "Z" should appear.

When you click it, Zotero opens up in the lower part of the Firefox window.

Note : the web page containing the references is also visible with other web browsers.

Save your references into Zotero

8. Save your references into Zotero

On the BibUp web page, click on the Zotero icon (yellow folder or blue file image) at the right of the address bar to save your references into Zotero.

You can filter out the references by entering the tag zou used in step 2 in the "Tag" field.

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On the BibUp web page, references scanned in the last seven days by you and other users are displayed. If your references aren't already on the page, wait 5 minutes and reload the page.

To save your references with their notes, snapshots (and OCRed text if you were on the intranet of UniFR) to Zotero, just click on the Zotero icon at the right of the address bar, next to the site address (http://...).

After you've clicked on the "Save to Zotero" blue file icon , the reference is saved directly to Zotero.

After you've clicked on the "Save to Zotero" yellow folder icon , you can select from the list the reference(s) to save to Zotero.

Check and complete the reference

9. Check and complete the reference

You can view your reference by opening Zotero.

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To view a reference in Zotero, click on the Zotero (or "Z") icon at the bottom right of your Fierefox window, and select the reference in the list that appears.

Check if all the needed fields are correctly filled. Depending on the information retrieved, these fields can be more or less complete/correct.

For articles, BibUp retrieves automatically only the journal title. An easy way to get the complete reference of an article in Zotero is to use specialized sites as Google scholar or OAIster. Copy the OCRed text of the title page of the article in google scholar and import the reference from there.

It is also possible to export the collected references from Zotero to other reference management tools. has pages on that subject:
How do I export my Zotero library?
The different export formats.

With Word or OpenOffice on your computer

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Zotero also offers plugins for Microsoft Word and Open Office.

Using a reference

10. Using a reference

Once the Zotero plugin is installed in your text editor, you can use Zotero while writing your text and easily insert citations.

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In this ways, your bibliography will be created in single click. Zotero will search for the references you used and create/update the bibliography.

  • For more information, please visit Zotero.
Conception et realisation
Centre NTE  -  University of Fribourg  -  Switzerland