citr: RStudio Addin to Insert Markdown Citations

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citr provides functions and an RStudio addin to search a BibTeX-file to create and insert formatted Markdown citations into the current document.


You can either use the stable version of citr from CRAN,


or the current development snapshot from this GitHub repository:


How to use citr

The RStudio addin

Once citr is installed and you have restarted your R session, the addin appears in the menus. Alternatively, you can define a keyboard shortcut to call the addin.

The addin will automatically look up the Bib(La)TeX-file(s) specified in the YAML front matter. If the document does not contain a YAML front matter the addin will attempt to locate a parent document and look up the Bib(La)TeX-file specified therein. That is, the addin works its automagic even if you edit R Markdown documents that are included as children in another R Markdown document. The expected names of a parent document default to c("index.Rmd", "master.Rmd"), it thus works with bookdown out of the box, but can be customized (e.g., options(citr.parent_documents = "my_parent.Rmd")).

Using citr without RStudio

The following call searches a Bib(La)TeX-file and creates formatted Markdown citations for the results.

md_cite("foo 2016", bib_file = "references.bib")

md_cite() searches the author, year, title, and journal fields of your references.

Better Bib(La)TeX integration

If you are using Zotero or Juris-M citr can access your reference database directly. For this to work, you need to install the Better Bib(La)TeX extension, which I would recommend anyway. Once the extension is installed and your reference manager is running, citr will automatically access all your references and keep your Bib(La)Tex-file updated by adding missing references. If you dislike this behavior, you can disable it by setting options(citr.use_betterbiblatex = FALSE).

Known problems

citr relies on RefManager::ReadBib() and, thus, indirectly on bibtex::read.bib() to load bibliographies.

Other RStudio addins

If you are interested in other handy addins take a look at this list. There you can find other useful addins, such as rcrossref or wordcountaddin.

Package dependencies