document-specific links in bibliography entries

Mike Marchywka marchywka at
Tue Feb 15 00:29:42 CET 2022

Is there some standard way to modify entries in a bib file so that the links
in a given pdf file are specific to that document? Normally when you open
a link in a pdf file there is nothing in the headers about the document
from which the click originated - no referrer header for example. 
However, this seems like it would be a good
thing to know for measuring the impact or conversion rate of a given work.

I'm playing with this now and wrote a bbl modifier that does what I want
but it seems like it would have occured to someone by now. For example,
this takes "oldrec.bbl" and creates "doh.bbl"  with the corresponding changes
in the pdf file after re-running pdflatex,

 diff doh.bbl oldrec.bbl | tail
<   \url{}.
>   \url{}.
<   \url{}.
>   \url{}.

All the links now have a document specific key-value pair in the query string
that can be tracked for academic or business purposes. It will not interfere
with most servers AFAICT but this program also opens the bib entries
and they can have entries specifying how the url is to be modified
or not modified. I think I'm going to start doing this in my build
script now once I determinte that it does not mess up the links
and I have a decent scheme that could be extended - a DOI would be
ok but a lot of documents won't have a DOI including many DIY 
projects or new articles. 

This would be easy to spoof but may still have uses. 

I never put the Toobib mail server up for long as my "Chromate" talks
to headless chrome on a fixed port number right now and it interferes
with development.  I fixed a few more issues while clearing out things
I wanted to cite from my browser tabs and it may be approaching 
"stable." Adding headless chrome in two mode- DOM and pdf- should
pick up a lot of sites that otherwise are difficult with wget. 
I think I may have fixed the utf-8 issues too :)

Another use case is to allow  authors to check all the
bibtex sources that can describe their works. 
If they can put all the links into one email and tell toobib
to get all the likely source ( google scholar is not supported
as that is typically very sparse ) it may be worth examining
for obvious errors. While retractions or other updates do 
not seem to occur uniformly, checking the bibliography prior
to submission may at some point be worthwhile.




mike marchywka
306 charles cox
canton GA 30115
USA, Earth 
marchywka at
ORCID: 0000-0001-9237-455X

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