BiBTeX format issue using API

Hello! I have written some code that pulls bibtex data from Crossref/ using the API. It’s great! However, recently (in the past 2 months?) it seems the return format has changed. Previously, strings returned were punctuated with newline and tab characters like this:
' @article{Famiglietti_2014, \n\ttitle={The global groundwater crisis}, \n\tvolume={4}, \n\tISSN={1758-6798}, \n\turl={}, \n\tDOI={10.1038/nclimate2425}, \n\tnumber={11},' ...

however, when I pulled the same record yesterday, buth the tab and newlines were gone:
' @article{Famiglietti_2014, title={The global groundwater crisis}, volume={4}, ISSN={1758-6798}, url={}, DOI={10.1038/nclimate2425}, number={11},' ...

This has a couple ramifications: first, I was parsing the strings using the newline characters and now that fails. Second, when I write the string into a file, the record ends up on a single line which is cumbersome for users.

Can anyone point me to documentation about how the bibtex strings are returned or at least advise if this format is likely to change again? I can rewrite my parser to handle this, but would prefer the old format as parsing into lines requires some pretty involved logic.

Many thanks!

Hi Mike,

Thanks for your questions. We’re glad that you find the API to be helpful!

We’ve had a few other people report similar changes to the bibtex output in that same timeframe. They were not intentional changes on our part, and may have inadvertently resulted from some work our technical team did last fall in order to correct the way that some dates, titles, and content types were being formatted.

We’re looking into it, and I’ve added your example for my colleagues to reference. If you want to follow any updates or leave comments directly, you can do that here.

Apologies for the inconvenience.


HI Shayn

Fantastic – I’m glad this is on your radar. I’m hopeful that the formatting will be fixed again so our codes work properly again. For the moment, I’ll hold off on making revisions in hopes that the format reverts to include newlines and tabs again.

Thanks for the response.