Thursday, May 29, 2008

Feature of the Week: Shared (PDF) document management with BibSonomy

When managing a literature database, often people want to store a full-text copy (e.g., a PDF document) of a publication in addition to its metadata (i.e., BibTex entry). To enable an easy access from everywhere to these documents, BibSonomy allows to upload a private PDF or postscript copy for each post via the post details page, e.g. for my case:

(Please note that only the owner of the entry can upload such a file). In the past, BibSonomy has treated these files as private only, i.e, they were only available for download to the owner himself. After several inquiries, we have opened up this restriction to groups: It is now possible to easily share PDF documents within your research colleagues. By default, when you are logged in as a group member (e.g. of the group kde), then you see a little document icon on the group page next to those entries for which any group member has uploaded a document:

(Please note again that you can only see the attached documents when you are a member of group kde.) You can disable this feature by appending ?showPDF=false to the URL. If you would like to restrict your view to only those documents with an attached document, use:

Apart from that, your own documents are also accessible via your personal user page (you need to be logged in for that):
displays your own entries, along with document icons, if available
displays only those entries out of your collection which have a document attached

We think that this feature contributes to the usefulness of BibSonomy as a complete collaborative literature database tool for research groups! If you have suggestions how this can be improved, we'd be glad to hear from you.


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