Thursday, August 10, 2006

New Features of BibSonomy

This week we updated BibSonomy and introduced a lot of new features. We will briefly explain them here:

OpenURL support

For every publication entry you can now query your local library (if it supports it) via OpenURL. To activate it, just add the URL of your local OpenURL resolver on the settings page to your account information.

Tag Editor

The edit tags page offers a tag editor with which you can change the tags of several posts at once. Every post which contains all the tags you entered will be altered by replacing these tags with the new tags you specified.
Let us further explain this with an example: If you enter folksonomy project in the first box ("tags to replace") and social bookmarking system in the second box ("new tags"), all resources which have both folksonomy and project as tags will be altered by removing these two tags and adding the tags social, bookmarking and system.
Of course, you can use this editor to just change one tag to another (for example systems to system to clean your vocabulary). Then this single tag will be replaced by the new tag. This way you can also change your relations, but more on this later.

OWL output of publications entries

The output of publication entries in OWL format using the SWRC ontology is now possible. SWRC is an ontology based on XML/RDF/OWL for storing and describing data relevant for researchers (like publications or conferences).

Relations or "Concepts"

The most important new feature in BibSonomy are relations between tags. Basically you can now connect two tags A and B by a relation which says that A is a subtag of B and thus B a supertag of A. To get a glimpse which relations might be useful have a look on the relations page for existing relations.
First, there are two ways to insert such relations: during tagging a resource you can say that volleyball is some kind of sport by adding the tag volleyball->sport (or sport<-volleyball). The tag parser then adds the relation (volleyball is a subtag of sport) to your relation database and also adds the tags volleyball and sport to the resource.
Second you can use the relation editor on the edit tags page to add/remove relations to/from the system. Usage should be straightforward: just enter one or more subtags in the left box and the supertag in the right box.
Now that you have some relations, you see them in your tag cloud with a little arrow in front of them. By clicking on the arrow you can add/remove relations to your relation list above the tag cloud. This list allows you to reach relations without searching for them in the tag cloud.
If you click on a supertag of a relation (for example sport) you'll see a page which shows all resources, which have either sport as tag or one of its subtags (maybe volleyball or basketball).

And finally ...

We're aware of the fact that some of the new features might be difficult to understand or use in the beginning. Therefore we work on improvements on these new features, especially in usability. If you have suggestions or questions don't hesitate to contact us or to comment here.

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