Friday, July 27, 2012

Feature of the week: Citation Style Language export

During summer, there's typically many other great things to do besides writing publications - eating icecream, go swimming, relax during holidays... but despite that, we keep on giving you interesting little pointers to cool new BibSonomy features. Please don't stop eating ice cream or going to swim :) but keep it in the back of your head, for more productive seasons of the year ;)

This week's feature is the CSL export, which was added with release 2.0.25. CSL stands for Citation Style Language, which Wikipedia describes as an "open XML-based language to describe the formatting of citations and bibliographies". Basically you can think of it as a similar system to BibTeX - it definies a standard for representing bibliographic references, and another one for writing "templates", which transform those references into nicely formatted output. This standard is currently used by a number of platforms, including Zotero, Mendeley and Papers. Probably the nicest thing hereby is that there are quite large style repositories like, which offer more than 2000 pre-defined styles for different user needs.

In order to allow you to make use of such great style collections, we're offering a new export format - you can retrieve you posts in a JSON-format, which is understood by current CSL processors. In other words, we're providing the input for you, such that you can just choose one of the existing CSL styles (or create a custom one) and create nicely formatted references according to your needs.

All you have to do is to append ?format=csl to any BibSonomy URL, and you'll see your post(s) in the corresponding format -  below is an example, produced by the URL You'll surely recognize that it's a similar key-value representation compared to e.g. BibTeX. We hope this makes BibSonomy more versatile and useful for you particular purposes!

Happy Tagging,

    "603161eb4c5b2f87f3d3a50f87015337dbenz": {
        "DOI": "",
        "ISBN": "",
        "URL": "",
        "abstract": "",
        "author": [
                "family": "Strohmaier",
                "given": "Markus"
                "family": "Helic",
                "given": "Denis"
                "family": "Benz",
                "given": "Dominik"
                "family": "Körner",
                "given": "Christian"
                "family": "Kern",
                "given": "Roman"
        "citation-label": "strohmaier2011evaluation",
        "collection-title": "",
        "container-title": "",
        "editor": [ ],
        "event-place": "",
        "id": "603161eb4c5b2f87f3d3a50f87015337dbenz",
        "issued": {
            "date-parts": [ ],
            "literal": "2012"
        "note": "",
        "page": "",
        "publisher": "",
        "title": "Evaluation of Folksonomy Induction Algorithms",
        "volume": ""


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