Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Feature of the Week: Document Previews

If you are regularly attaching PDF documents to your publication posts you have probably already seen it: since quite a while BibSonomy renders a preview image for each uploaded document. A large version is shown whenever you hover with the mouse over a link to the document. For one selected document of each post a small preview is also shown in in the post lists of your personal pages, as can be seen in the following screenshot of my publication posts:
The previews on the one hand help you to quickly identify papers where you remember the cover page but not their exact title and on the other hand give you a first glimpse at the document. If you upload the cover photos of books (you can get them, e.g., from WorldCat), you can quickly distinguish books from other types of publications, as their covers are often colorful and diverse from, e.g., journal articles. A click on the small preview image opens the corresponding document.
Originally, we implemented this feature upon request of a computer imaging group for which it was important to upload the images of their documents and quickly access previews of them in BibSonomy.

If you haven't uploaded a document for your post, yet, a default icon is shown in the post lists instead of the preview. A click on that icon ...

... immediately opens a file upload dialog where you can upload a document:

And that's it: you can now download the document whenever and wherever you want. The preview is not shown immediately since it needs some time until it is rendered. Typically, this should take no more than 15 minutes.

Happy uploading!

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