Monday, September 24, 2007

Finding relevant resources and users using FolkRank ordering

Another major extension contained in the recent BibSonomy release is a
new mechanism to retrieve relevant resources and users for a given tag,
called "FolkRank".

From your previous experience with BibSonomy and other collaborative tagging systems like or flickr you will know that a typical way of browsing is to select one or more tags to retrieve a list of resources (e.g. bookmarks) ordered by the date of their addition to the system. This is very useful to discover the most recent material; but in some cases, the goal is to retrieve the most relevant resources for a given tag.

Consider as an example the tag "www". Obviously very relevant bookmarks for this tag are e.g. the WWW conference websites (e.g.,, ...). This conference takes place every year and brings together researchers and business people from all over the world to discuss trends and developments in the area of the World Wide Web. Though being highly relevant, these bookmark do not necessesarily appear in let's say in the top-10-list of bookmarks tagged with "www" (

For finding (amongst others) highly relevant resources for a given tag, our research group has developed an algorithm called FolkRank (see
Its idea is similar to Google's PageRank algorithm, i.e. it analyzes iteratively the link structure between users, tags and resources in order to calculate relevancy.

You have now access to this great feature via the URL or by clicking "order by folkrank" on a tag site. When you have a look at the result (sticking to the example of the tag "www"), you can see that highly relevant bookmarks like the WWW conference websites are found at the very top of the retrieved list. Furthermore, FolkRank is able to calculate highly "relevant" users for a given tag:

This information can give you a clue who might be an expert in a certain research area, and might thus support you in networking with colleagues interested in similar topics as you are. Have fun and success with this new tool!


Monday, September 17, 2007

myBibSonomy-Menu: Manage your Personal BibSonomy Data

After last week's short description of the new BibSonomy release's changes, this entry will explore one feature in detail: the menu under "myBibSonomy". Basically, this menu offers different perspectives to view and manage your personal BibSonomy data:

* Yep, clicking on the first link (myBibSonomy), you still get to see your bookmarks, publications and the tags you have used so far.

* myFriends allows to share entries with people you trust.

* myRelation presents all relations you have defined so far. You can add more, edit or delete relations as you like.

* The mySearch feature offers a fast search in your collection. You can specify tags and authors from a list containing your personal tags and authors. When you chose the "and" option, you can mark several tags and authors by pressing the CTRL button. The system will return all entries which can be found with the given tags and which were written by the specified authors. If you still want to reduce the results, you can filter the entries by entering the title's keywords, tags or authors in the "filter" textfield.

* myPDF forwards you to an overview of those personal publications to which you have attached a document (pdf, ps or DJVU).

* Finally, myDuplicates shows duplicate entries within your publication list.


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Feature of the Week: New Release

Yesterday we had a major release which includes several new
functions. Beside some smaller changes and a change of the post
layout, it includes:
  • a new layout of the navigation menu. The search box on the right side
    was merged with the box on the left where you can now ask for: tags,
    users, concepts, authors, and search of any kind of text.
  • there are new menus under "myBibSonomy" and "Group". The myBibsonomy
    menu includes several old and new features like myFriends, myRelation,
    mySearch, myPDF, myDuplicates (the last three are new). The group menu
    lists all groups of which your are a member.
  • the possibility to include a user profile as FOAF (this feature is
    experimental and we will extend it in the near future). Have a look at
    the setting pages.
  • a new ranking of tags based on our FolkRank algorithm. A link to the
    FolkRank ordered result list is included in tag pages.
  • We added a new resize feature of boxes to make the edit of information
    more comfortable.
  • An EndNote import is now possible.

In the next weeks we will describe these new feature here in the blog in
more detail.

Yesterday's major release was the last release before we will merge the
running system and a totally new system which includes the promised API.
As mentioned in a comment today we hope that we can release the API next

I hope you like the new features and the new layout.