pybliometrics stores values it needs for operation in a config file. That file is either in ~/.pybliometrics/config.ini or in ~/.pybliometrics/config.ini (if you started using pybliometrics before version 3.x). It saves credentials as well as directory names for folders that store cached files. Folder ~/ refers to your private home directory or home path. On many Windows machines this defaults to C:/Document and Settings/<Your User Name>.

By default, after initial set-up (see below), the file will look like this:

AbstractRetrieval = PPP/.pybliometrics/Scopus/abstract_retrieval
AffiliationSearch = PPP/.pybliometrics/Scopus/affiliation_search
AuthorRetrieval = PPP/.pybliometrics/Scopus/author_retrieval
AuthorSearch = PPP/.pybliometrics/Scopus/author_search
CitationOverview = PPP/.pybliometrics/Scopus/citation_overview
AffiliationRetrieval = PPP/.pybliometrics/Scopus/affiliation_retrieval
ScopusSearch = PPP/.pybliometrics/Scopus/scopus_search
SerialTitle = PPP/.pybliometrics/Scopus/serial_title


where PPP refers to ~/, and XXX, YYYY and ZZZ refer to your API Keys, of which you can register 10 for your Scopus account. If you provide all of them (separated by a comma), pybliometrics automatically replaces a depleted key with a random one of the others while running, until all of them are depleted. If you edit the file manually, remember to indent multi-line statements.

Simply edit this file to change the paths where pybliometrics should cache downloaded files (pybliometrics will create them if necessary)


If the configuration file does not exist, pybliometrics will prompt you to provide the configuration values. To enforce the process yourself, issue the command

>>> import pybliometrics
>>> pybliometrics.scopus.utils.create_config()

There are two prompts: For your API Key(s) and your InstToken. The InstToken enables or facilitates access from outside your institution network, and you request it from Elsevier’s Integration Support. If you don’t use InstToken, hit enter on the second prompt. The InstToken, if provided, is added to the Authentication block:

InstToken = WWW

If you need to use a proxy, please edit the file manually to include a section that looks like so:

ftp = socks5://
http = socks5://
https = socks5://

The presence of this information will make use of the proxy. Be sure to remove the block when you don’t want to use a proxy.


You can easily inspect or change configuration values at runtime. Simply import the config beforehand and assign new values to the keys as if the config was a dictionary:

from pybliometrics.scopus.utils import config

config['Proxy']['ftp'] = 'socks5://localhost:8080'

Custom location

If you prefer to have the configuration file somewhere else, you can pybliometrics tell where to look for it. You will need the environment facility of the base package os. For this to take effect you need to set the environ before importing pybliometrics. pybliometrics uses the “PYB_CONFIG_FILE” keyword:

import os

os.environ['PYB_CONFIG_FILE'] = "C:/Custom/Location/config.ini"

import pybliometrics