Friday, May 28, 2010

BibSonomy 2.0.6 up and running

As announced roughly one month ago, we are currently establishing a monthly release cycle. We're sure you couldn't wait - since this week, you can experience our latest release. We are running version 2.0.6 right now, and hope it makes your BibSonomy experience even better!

We've fixed several bugs (some scraper issues, problems when searching autors, and other minor fixes) and cleaned up internally some code; besides that, there are some new features:
  • When posting a publication, we now offer an autocompletion in the 'title'-field, which matches against all publications in our database. If you find the right one, you'll get the rest of the metadata (authors, year of publication, ..) such that you don't have to retype that stuff again.
  • In order to prevent misuse of our system, we now integrated an activation email in the BibSonomy registration process; you can't have access to our system until you've clicked that link.
  • As we're all humans, errors occur naturally during editing a publication (e.g., a forgotten author). We've worked over the way how these errors are presented to you - now the error message automatically disappears as soon as you type something into the correct field
Apart from that, we've updated our Maven repository with the latest version of our open-source libraries. We're always happy to see other people using BibSonomy features!

As usual, if you encounter any strange behaviours or errors, we are grateful for a little email notice, and we'll do our best to fix the issues. In any case have fun with the new release and stay tuned to our next release planned for June 30th!


Friday, May 21, 2010

Feature of the Week: The new publication editing dialogue

Our latest major release brought up completely redesigned publication posting and editing dialogues. The changes in the underlying backend system are even bigger than you as end-user might notice. With this week's feature I want to introduce the new dialogue for editing publications.

You can test the dialogue yourself, by copying this post. The emerging web page will look similar to this screenshot where I have highlighted the five main parts I will explain in the following:

general information

This box contains the main fields you must fill out for every publication in BibSonomy: entry type, BibTeX key, title, author(s) or editor(s), and year. For the entry type you can choose among a list of the types supported by BibTeX, i.e., "article", "proceedings", "phdthesis", etc. The BibTeX key uniquely identifies the publication reference in your document and is used to cite the reference (e.g., with the \cite{key} command in LaTeX).

The small blue button next to the BibTeX key allows you to generate a new key - if the one which has been extracted is not easy to remember, for example. We use the first author's last name, the year and the first longer word from the title to generate the key. In the example above the generated key would be "haveliwala2003topicsensitive".


Here you can enter tags (freely chosen keywords) to describe your post and ease later retrieval of it. Since tags are the main ingredient of a social bookmarking system, they are a required field, too. Our tag recommenders help you to find meaningful tags - just click on one of the recommended tags to add them to your post. Hint: you can also click on the tags in your tag cloud on the right side - they are then added to your post, too.


The following two boxes entitled viewable for and relevant for are part of BibSonomy's support for (research) groups.

viewable for
You can restrict which users can see this post. Either everybody ("public"), only you ("private"), or your friends ("friends"). If you are member of a research group, you can also allow only members of the group to see the post. We will soon allow posts to be visible for several such groups.

relevant for
As member of a group you can explicitly state that the post is relevant for this group. Such posts then appear on the /relevantfor page, e.g., for the group kde on the page /relevantfor/group/kde.

More on this feature in this blog post.

detailed information

All other metadata that belongs to a publication is stored in these fields. Note that only the fields that the typical styles for BibTeX use for the selected entry type are shown. You can show all fields by clicking on the respective link at the top of this box.

comments and notes

Here you can enter personal notes or comments about the publication. Why three fields for that?
Well, the first field (description, comment) is not a feature of BibTeX but the description field every post has in BibSonomy - also the bookmarks. Just enter your notes, comments, thoughts on the publication into this field.
The second field (private note) contains your private comments - only you can see its contents.
And the third field (note) is used by BibTeX. Typically, everything you write there is inserted into the publication reference in your literature list.

scraper information

Actually, sometimes there is a sixth box that is not shown in the above overview screenshot:

This box only appears if you used one of our screen scrapers to post a publication to BibSonomy directly from another digital library like the ones from IEEE or ACM.

The box shows you which scraper extracted the data from which URL and how the extracted BibTeX entry looks like.

To sum up ...

In our opinion, the new dialogue is much cleaner and easier to use than the old one. All the important facts about a publication are grouped together at the top of the page. Furthermore, now the two dialogues for editing bookmarks and publications have a consistent layout which eases usage of the system.
Feel free to comment. We are very interested in what you think about the new layout.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Feature of the Week: The Inbox

Have you ever tagged a publication or website in BibSonomy that you'd have liked to show to a fellow user? BibSonomy now offers a simple way to do exactly that with the new inbox!

Let's say Anton has a nice post, that (he thinks) Berta should know about. Hence Anton tags his post with „send:Berta“ and the post will be sent to Berta's inbox. To let Anton know, that the post was delivered the tag changes from „send:Berta“ to „sent:Berta“.
The next time Berta logs on to BibSonomy, she notices the counter in the upper right corner that tells her, she's got a new post in her inbox.She is curious and clicks on the counter to get to her inbox. There she finds the post Anton has forwarded to her, only her post is tagged with „from:Anton“ to let her know who sent it.

Note that the post has not been added to Berta's regular post collection yet. Berta can now decide to keep the post permanently and therefore use the copy link below the post. When the inbox post has served its purpose it can be deleted from the inbox with the remove link below the post.
Berta could also decide to delete all her inbox posts at once using the „clear inbox“ link in the sidebar.

To protect our users from spam we have restricted the use of the send tag. I. e. Anton is allowed to send his post to Berta only if
  • there exists a BibSonomy group that both Anton and Berta are members of or
  • Berta has added Anton as her friend.
Note, that the latter is not the same as „Anton has added Berta as his friend“.
It is our hope, that this new feature will help you to actively communicate interesting sources to your friends and colleagues.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Feature of the week: TagCloud

Today we gonna present you the brand new TagCloud, implemented in the
newest BibSonomy release. While using BibSonomy your TagCloud grows bigger and bigger and easily becomes unattractive. To avoid this fact and additionally give you a better view about your most used tags, the new TagCloud will now be able to show only the top X tags of you. Where X can be set in your settings page and has an default value of 50 (Pic. 1).

Pic. 1: Your new TagCloud settings.

So this means instead of a 2-page long TagCloud, you will have a small and clear TagCloud containing your top tags (Pic. 2 & 3).
Of course you can still use the old TagCloud, if you feel fine with your current TagCloud behaviour and dont want to change it. The TagCloud can be set back to the old behaviour in your settings page by setting choice of tags to min Frequency.

Let's see it in action:

Pic. 2: old TagCloud.

Pic. 3: new TagCloud.

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