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The parsing is done in two steps, reformatted in to make sure each field starts on a new line etc. This is saved to a temporary file clalled "BibitClean*.bib" (* is a unique number) located in the default system temp directory. Then this file is parsed into the datastructure.
The only time you'll probably notice this "preparsing" is when the parser halts for a fatal error and prints a message containing a strange filename and a number. The number is the line number that caused the error and the filename is the file where you should look for the error. NOTE that you should not try to fix the temporary file because it's a nonstandard format. If you get an error like this try to fix the error in the file you were trying to open. The simplest way to find the error is to search for the statement from the error message in a text editor. The line number and the temporary file can be useful to compare to to see the context the error appeared. You may need to manually delete the temporary file after an error (when there's no errors it will delete itself).