Adding Books by ISBN

Citavi can search multiple library catalogs for an ISBN number in order to automatically retrieve the bibliographic information for a book.

It doesn't matter if you enter a 10-digit or a 13-digit ISBN number. Citavi can determine the other number if the original entry is not found.

  1. Open a project.
  2. Click Add new_o_black.
  3. Select Import reference > DOI, ISBN, PMID, PMCID, arXiv ID.
  4. Enter an ISBN (with or without hyphens), e.g. 978-1-107-69193-3. You can also enter multiple ISBNs at the same time, separated by a space or comma.
  5. Click Search.
  6. Click Apply selection to add the reference to your project.
  7. You will receive a notification as soon as the bibliographic information is available in your project.


Check that the imported references are actually regular books and not edited books or conference proceedings. Not all catalogs include this information. If you need to change a book's reference type, on the Reference menu, click Choose reference type and select the appropriate type.

If you frequently receive the message that no results are found for the ISBN you entered, try using different catalogs for your ISBN downloads.

  1. Click Add new_o_black.
  2. Select Import reference > DOI, ISBN, PMID, PMCID, arXiv ID.
  3. In the quick help column, click Change catalog.
  4. Click Add catalog.
  5. Enter the name of the catalog in the Name field, for example "Brown University".
  6. Enable the checkbox for the catalog you want.
  7. Click OK okay_o_black.
  8. Citavi transfers the data from the first catalog that provides search results, and does not continue to search other catalogs. You can specify the order in which Citavi searches your catalogs. Select a catalog and click the appropriate arrow under Change search order.
  9. Click OK okay_o_black.


Not all catalogs provide complete bibliographic information. Citavi enters the source of the imported bibliographic information in the Source of bibliographic information field. Once you obtain a copy of the book, you should double-check the bibliographic information against the actual copy and change the entry as necessary. Document your quality check by clicking Show all fields expand field and checking the Original checkedbox.