Friday, January 25, 2013

Feature of the week: Migrating your bookmarks from Connotea to BibSonomy

Hello, dear Connotea users,

as you may have noticed, Connotea will be shut down at the beginning of March this year (see For those of you who want to keep their bookmarks from Connotea, why not migrate to BibSonomy? In the following, I want to show you how to do it step by step.

In BibSonomy, you also can organise and share your bookmarks. We distinguish between publications (for scientific articles, etc.) and bookmarks (for websites). Publications are usually characterized through metadata like title, author, year, abstract, publisher etc. whereas bookmark posts mainly contain a URL and its title. For both of these kinds of posts, you can assign tags as well as a description.

Another feature of BibSonomy lies in the social organization of users into followers, friends, spheres and groups, each with separate privacy settings, i.e. you can control almost freely who can see your entries, based on post-level!

The best part of it: BibSonomy is completely free! You can sign up right here, right now :-)

Of course you do not have to start from scratch, if you already have a collection of bookmarks. BibSonomy is able to import your bookmarks from Connotea! In the following, we will show you how to do that :-)

1. Export Your Information from Connotea

As soon as you have created an account in BibSonomy, you should log in to Connotea and save your Bookmarks. Do it the following way:

Fig. 1: Use the proper "export list" link!
As depicted in figure 1, click on the button labeled "export list". (Do not yet follow the link to the bookmark exporter provided by Connotea, as this export function only supports HTML and RIS!) You will now see a page like in figure 2:

Fig. 2: Download your bookmarks in BibTeX format.
Connotea provides a handful of formats into which you can export your list. We want to export our list of bookmarks in the BibTeX format for easy integration into BibSonomy in the next step. Your bookmarks will be provided as a *.bib-file for downloading. Remember where you put it :)

2. Importing BibTeX Publications in BibSonomy

After logging in on the BibSonomy website, you have to open the "post publication" dialog. You can find it on the grey bar in the menu "add post" (see figure 3).

Fig. 3: Enter the "post publication" dialog.

When the "post publication" dialog opened, open the tab called "upload file". You have to select the exported BibTeX file from Connotea (I hope you still know where it is :-) ) and then hit "post" to upload it and parse the contained information into BibSonomy.

Fig. 4: Choose a file to upload.

After you've done this, you will notice the parsing results at the bottom of the page, as exemplified in figure 5.

Fig. 5: Parsing results

In our example, we were able to successfully parse two publications. At this point, they will have already been added to your collection, but you can still change the tags.

As you can see in figure 5, the bookmark with a link to "My Google" could not be recognized as a publication, because the BibTeX entry lacked information about authors or a year of publication. Because of this, it has not yet been added to your collection, because our system distinguishes between publications and bookmarks, as we already mentioned above.

After a click on "home" on the left of the grey menu bar you should now be able to see your publications posts :-)

3. Importing Bookmarked Websites from Connotea as BibSonomy Bookmarks

To include your Connotea items purely as bookmarks, you can make use of the Firefox bookmark import function in BibSonomy. Just a small note: This operation is independent from your browser :-)

You first have to download the HTML file exported from Connotea at Again, remember where you save the download :-) This HTML file contains a list of links with some information about the posts, which will mostly be ignored, so don't worry much about it.

To import these links as bookmarks in BibSonomy, you have to visit the BibSonomy settings page and then select the tab "imports" and follow the instructions.

After you have uploaded the file successfully, you will be notified about the successful import. After a click on "home", you should be able to see your new bookmarks in the left column.

Hopefully we were able to help you a bit with this blog post! We are happy to welcome you as a new BibSonomy user! Have fun continuing your work and exploring the new features BibSonomy offers to you!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Feature of the week: CSL via REST-API

Happy weekend!

As described in one of our previous posts, you can export your publication references for use with the Citation Style Language (CSL). Now, BibSonomy's API also supports CSL.

Using the API, you can get access to most of BibSonomy's features programmatically. You merely need your user name and API key (which you will find on your settings page in BibSonomy). The API and different ways of using it are comprehensively described in the documentation.

Happy coding!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Feature of the week: Improved batch-edit site

In the recent Bibsonomy Release (Link) we included a new batch-edit user interface - a means to manipulate several of your publication posts at once. Next to a complete overhaul of the pages layout came the introduction of BibTeX-Key normalization for multiple posts. This blog post shall give you an overview of the new idea behind the page design and functionality and the benefits that come with it.

Access to batch-edit site via the gear menu on the upper right.

As usual you can navigate to the batch-edit site via the little gear on the top right of your post overview.  

Link to click to get to batch-edit site.

You will be presented with a context menu showing the access to the batch-edit site in the lower part of the menu. Click this link (edit own entries) to get to the batch-edit site.

Standard view of the batch-edit site.

You now get an overview of the posts that you were just looking at as you did before. But now you can see that we changed the way to select certain actions quite a bit. All possible actions - available for your post selections - are displayed in the upper selection box. Tag fields are only activated if the corresponding action (update tags) and post are marked (via the front checkbox). Tags can be added to all selected posts below if the update tag action is activated, so there is no real change to the old behaviour. Completely new is the normalization of BibTeX-keys for several posts as one of the supported actions. An activated "update tag" selection can be seen in the picture below.

Update Tag view of the batch-edit site.

As you can see the tag fields are now accessible because the proper selection was made.

To sum things up, the main parts of the new page design are:
  • checkboxes on the left to control selection of posts
  • selection box to choose an appropriate action (now with BibTeX normalization)
  • tag fields on the right to enter new tags or delete old tags
The new site design will help us to add new features to the batch-edit site and keep everything usable because now we do not use checkboxes for every single available operation.

We hope you like the new interface. As usual if you have feedback, please submit it in the comment section below.

Happy mass tagging ;)