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, or the Zotero Standalone version with Zotero plugin for Google Chrome, Safari or Opera.

A. Using the iOS or Android app for smartphone and tablet

B. On your computer

C. With Word or OpenOffice on your computer

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Install BibUp from the App Store or Play 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 Wi-Fi) 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.
1. Launch BibUp
Launch BibUp

You can download the application from the App Store and the Play Store.

Look for BibUp on your device and launch it.

2. Catch the reference
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 deivce camera activates.

At the end of the process, references are displayed on the common Bibup web page. Your tag will allow you to filter out your references. You will have to insert it manually, so choose one you can easily remember. For a quick access, the references are also stored on your device in the "Book Sent" tab.

Automatic reference

a. 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

b. 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 entire bibliographic reference (given the available information : author(s), year, title, and so on).

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Note: the cover picture, if available, only appears in the app and is not part of the bibliographic reference sent to BibUp.

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 square showing a camera. The camera activates.

Take a snapshot

a. 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 device to focus.
  • Take the snapshot (touch the corresponding button (photo icon)).
  • A preview is proposed.
    • If you prefer a new picture, touch "Retake" or "Cancel",
  • Touch "Use" to add the snapshot to your reference.

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

If you use the Unifr Wi-Fi, the snapshot will be OCRed and the text will be available in Zotero.

5. Add a note
Add a note

You can enter a note in the "Page number or other information" field. This field is not required, but can be helpful.

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For example, you can insert 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" 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.

6. Add the first page
Add the first page

Articles and chapters set

You can take a second picture (touch the camera button under "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, and so on, of the journal or book, but not the authors, title, pages and so on of the specific article or chapter.

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

If you use the Unifr Wi-Fi 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 10. below).

7. Send the reference
Send the reference

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

WARNING: If you do this operation over your mobile phone network (HSPA, 4G, 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 Wi-Fi. BibUp lets you do the work with a mobile phone network (HSPA, 4G, 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).

8. Manage your references
Book Sent

Once your reference is sent, it is also stored on your device. You can quickly consult the list of references you sent to BibUp by clicking on the "Book Sent" tab.

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If your list becomes too big or there are too old references, you can delete them all by clicking the edit button in the top right corner of the app.

Note: the references list present on your device is not synchronized with the BibUp server. So, deleting references from your device will not affect the references stored in BibUp.

Note: the uploaded images are not stored on your device, you need to visit the BibUp web page to see images and their OCRed text.

Book Sent Information

By clicking on a reference in this list, the corresponding bibliography will be shown. In addition, the number of images you uploaded is indicated and a link to BibUp with your tag is available at the bottom.

To get the references, you need to use the web browser Firefox and the bibliographic manager add-on Zotero.

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To control if Zotero is installed on your Firefox web browser, either go to Tools > Add-ons, and Zotero should be listed in the Extensions tab, or a "Z" in dark gray should be visible in the upper right of your web browser.

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.

9. Save your references into Zotero
Save your references into Zotero

On the BibUp web page, click on the yellow folder next to the Zotero icon "Z" at the right of the address bar to save your references into Zotero.

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

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On the BibUp web page, references scanned in the last thirty 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.

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

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

10. Check and complete the reference
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 upper right of your Firefox 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 such 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. Zotero.org has pages on that subject:
How do I export my Zotero library?
The different export formats.

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Zotero also offers plugins for Microsoft Word and Open Office.

11. Using a reference
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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This way, your bibliography will be created in a single click. Zotero will search for the references you used and create/update the bibliography.

  • For more information, please visit Zotero.