We need your help (i.e. a server) to build a repository for academic PDF files

It’s a while ago that we started crawling the Web for academic PDFs to index them and use them for Docear’s research paper recommender system. Meanwhile, we have collected quite a few PDFs.  Unfortunately, in a foreseeable future, our servers’ disks will be full and the load of our servers is too high already (that’s why you sometimes won’t get recommendations in Docear – our servers simply are too busy).

Since our budget is tight and we don’t want to spend too much time for server administration neither, we are asking for your help: Do you have a server that you could spare? What we need is the following

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Don’t be shy: Write a testimonial about Docear

Today I was giving a presentation about Docear. Among others I wanted to show how positive many researchers respond to the concept of Docear. So I assembled a little picture with quotes  about Docear (SciPlore MindMapping respectively) (see figure below).

After the presentation one of the attendees told me, he was surprised to not find any of the quotes on our testimonial page. Well, he was absolutely right. The most enthusiastic feedback we receive is by email. I have no clue why, but users seem to be a little bit shy when posting their opinion publicly.

For us, it’s really important to know what users think and their feedback – your feedback – may really help us, for instance, to convince our university to provide us with further resources (at least if your feedback is positive ;-). So, I would like to ask you: If you are a Docear user, write a short testimonial. Don’t send it by email, don’t post in here as a comment – leave it on our testimonial page, and please be a little bit enthusiastic  :-). Surely, we don’t want you to write something you do not really think. But please also don’t hold back. And of course, we are also happy to hear constructive criticism. If you have ideas on improving Docear, if there is something you don’t like, let us know in our forum and we will happily discuss the issue with you.

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Dreaming of an integrated Java PDF Viewer for Docear

Maybe the most disturbing thing about Docear is the lack of a proper PDF reader that creates comments, bookmarks and highlighted text that can be imported by Docear and that runs on all operating systems. Personally, I use Foxit Reader and create bookmarks to remember important statements but it can’t highlight text properly. PDF XChange Viewer could be a great alternative if they had persistent object numbers – but they don’t (read here for more details).

Due to the lack of a truly proper Java PDF viewer, we are considering to develop our own PDF viewer. There are plenty of Java PDF libraries out there. However, I had a look at them and none of  seem is really suitable. Aspose PDF, iText, jPod Renderer>, PDF Tron, Big Faceless Java PDF, CABAReT Stage, jPDFBookmarksJPedal, PDFBoxICE Pdf, ReMarksPDF, and Qoppa’s jPDFViewer all have some shortcomings. Either they have many features but are commercial (e.g. Big Faceless Java PDF), or they are open source but do not offer the required feature or have serious bugs (e.g. PDFBox).

So, my question: Do you know of any other Java PDF libraries or even better a fully functional Java PDF viewer? Our requirements are:

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Docear Video Teaser Online

We created an introductory video for Docear. It aims at providing a brief overview of Docear’s capabilities and the basic workflow. Please let us know what you think could be improved. Personally, I believe it could be done much better in general but we don’t have the skills to do Read more…