Friday, August 17, 2007

Feature of the Week: Manage the publication lists of your homepage, research group homepage and research project homepage with BibSonomy!

Researchers usually have to report the publications they have written several times, often in different formats. Did you know that BibSonomy simplifies this tedious work? Stop reformatting and restructuring the list of your publications again and again for all the different web pages you usually have to maintain - e.g., your personal homepage, the homepage of your research group and/or department, the homepage of your research project, ...

How to do it? See some examples:
1. Personal tag clouds and publication lists. The tag cloud on my personal homepage and my publication list are generated from BibSonomy. The key idea is to use a specific tag in BibSonomy to mark all publications one has co-authored - in our case the tag "myown".
The web server of our research group queries every half an hour the URL to update the tag cloud and (and similar pages for the earlier years) to update the publication list. The relevant HTML part is extracted, e.g., for the tag cloud everything between the start pattern <ul class="tagcloud" id="tagbox"> and the end pattern </ul>. The extraction process depends on the functionality of your web server, hence we cannot give general hints here. In our case, the formatting of the final tag cloud/publication list is realized with a css style sheet which is placed on the server of our research group. Instead of doing the layout of the extracted HTML on your own web server (eg by using css), you can alternatively export it directly in the desired format from BibSonomy, see "Feature of the Week: Customizable Publication Exports" for more details.

2. Publication lists of research groups and departments. The same data are used for displaying the publication list of our whole research group. This list is extracted from by selecting everything between the start pattern <h1>Publications</h1> and the end pattern </body>, as described above. In general, the group functionality allows to aggregate all entries (or only those entries tagged with a tag like "myown") of a group, see "Feature of the Week: Groups and Friends" for more details.

3. Publication lists of research projects. You can again reuse the same BibSonomy data for generating the publication lists of research projects. Two examples are the publication lists of the European projects TAGora and Nepomuk. For doing this, the project coordinator sets up a group account in BibSonomy, and the project partners should join this group (see again "Feature of the Week: Groups and Friends" for more details). Then there are two alternatives, depending on the requirements of the project: a) Define a specific tag, e.g. "tagorapub" as done for the publication list of the TAGora project. An author devoting a publication to the project marks the publication with the specified tag, and the project web server collects the data from BibSonomy (in the format that is most suitable for your web server, eg. from b) Ask each project partner to tag the publication he devotes to the project with "for:". An example is the publication list of the Nepomuk project. The advantage of the second method: Once a publication is commited to a project, it cannot be withdrawn without explicit consent of the project coordinator. This feature is often required in projects where the coordinator is responsible for the reporting.

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