Docear 1.1.1 Beta with Academic Search Feature

As you may know, Docear features a recommender system for academic literature. To find out which papers you might be interested in, the recommender system parses your mind maps and compares them to our digital library with currently about 1.8 million academic articles. While this is helpful and might point you to papers relevant for your general research goals, you will sometimes have to find information on a specific topic and hence search directly.

Based on our knowledge about recommender systems and some user requests, we decided to implement a direct search feature on our digital library. I am very grateful to Keystone, who supported me in visiting Dr. Georgia Kapitsaki at the University of Cyprus (UCY) in Nicosia for a full month to work on this idea. Dr. Kapitsaki’s has already supported us in our work on Docear’s recommender system in July 2013. Her knowledge about the inner mechanics and her ideas on the the search engine were essential for the implementation and the research part of the project.

How to use it

You can access the search feature from Docear’s ribbon bar (“Search and Filter > Documents > Online search”) or by double-clicking the “Online search” entry in Docear’s workspace panel. Since both the recommender system and the personalized search engine make use of your mind maps. you need to enable the recommendation service in Docear.

Screenshot from 2014-07-07 15:19:39

After opening the search page, you will see

  • a text box for your search query,
  • a “Search” button, and
  • several buttons below the text box reflecting search terms you might be interested in. If Docear does not have enough data to decide about your interests, this part remains empty.

Docear-online-search-interface

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Docear 1.02 Beta: Serious PDF Bug Fix; added a donation button

We discovered a serious bug in Docear that relates to the PDF management. In some situations, it could happen that when you edited a PDF, the annotation IDs were not recognized correctly, and a conflict was shown. We fixed this bug and publish Docear 1.02 as a beta version today. Right now, the Beta version download is only available in our forum. We would appreciate if you could test the new version. If there are no more serious bugs found, we will publish it as stable version without any further notifications.

We also added a “Please Donate” note to the workspace panel. It leads you to our donation page and you are sincerely invited to make use of that page :-). If you have already donated, if you just don’t want to donate, or if you need every pixel in the workspace, do a right-click on that note and you will be able to hide it. In addition, we also changed the welcome page that opens after you have installed Docear.

New “Please donate” note in Docear

New “Welcome” page 

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Docear 1.0 RC3: Improved monitoring concept, neater GUI, and many bug fixes

Today we released RC3 (Release Candidate) of Docear 1.0 (not yet on the official download page but here in the Blog only). It has one major change compared to previous Docear versions, namely we got rid of the “Incoming” mind map. In the past, most users never really got used to the idea why there was an ‘Incoming’ mind map and a ‘Literature & Annotations’ mind map. Now, there is only the ‘Literature & Annotations’ mind map but it has a special “incoming” node in which new PDFs are added. We hope that this concept is easier to understand. It also means that when you move a PDF from the incoming node to any other node in the mind map, and you create new annotations in the PDF, the new annotations are directly added to the PDF node in the mind map and there won’t be any new node in the incoming node. However, if you prefer the old concept, don’t worry. You can keep your old incoming mind map and use Docear as you were used to be.

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Docear 1.0 (RC2) available with many bug fixes and better support for MacOS PDF viewers

There is a new version of Docear available for download. It’s basically the (experimental) RC1 version done right. RC2 fixes a lot of bugs that were caused by the new workspace model with multiple projects, it features a refined and polished version of the Ribbon, fixes a lot of bugs in general and supports the standard PDF viewers of MacOSX (Preview and Skim) and probably a lot of other viewers as well!

If you are still using Beta9 of Docear, a lot of things will change and improve with this new version of Docear. However converting your old maps to this new format is a one-way process (you can’t use these files with Beta9 of Docear anymore) and the process itself might take some time, depending on the size of your mind maps. Please backup your files before upgrading to Docear RC2. 

new icons

Some of Docear’s new icons in the ribbon bar

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Docear 1.0 (RC1) released with new workspace and new UI (ribbons)

The last version of Docear was released three month ago and you might wonder what we were doing. Well, I can tell you we were really busy. Besides working on some research papers for conferences in Indianapolis and on Malta (read here and here), we finally implemented two major milestones for Docear. These two milestones actually were the last ones we had on our road-map for releasing the final 1.0 version of Docear. And here it is, Docear 1.0 (RC 1) with:

1. A new setup dialog

We have completely redesigned the dialog that appears when Docear is first started. We believe it to be much more user friendly and intuitive. We also listened to those users who criticized that our terms of service had to be accepted even when no online services were activated. Now you have the choice. You can either use Docear as a registered user and enjoy the full potential including PDF metadata retrieval, online backup, online mind map viewer, and recommendations. Or you can use Docear as a local user with no data at all being submitted to Docear and no requirement for accepting any terms of service (just use Docear as you would use any other GPL desktop software).

Docear's new setup dialog

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Docear Beta 9 with several bug fixes and feature enhancements

The 9th Beta of Docear is available for free download. It contains no new features but several bug fixes and feature improvements. One improvement includes the removal of line breaks in imported annotations. So far, when you highlighted text over several lines in a PDF, Docear imported the lines breaks of the highlighted text which sometimes caused a not so nice layout. In the new Docear you can do a right click on a node that links an annotation and select “PDF->Remove lines breaks from annotation”. Bug fixes include a  fix for the bug that the Adobe Acrobat Professional PDF Viewer wasn’t recognized under MacOS. On Linux the splash screen does not hide any more the setup screen on the very first start of Docear. For a detailed list of all changes see the following change log. And keep in mind – we are always looking forward for your feedback and don’t forget to have a look at the new preview of Docear’s Online Viewer.

Feature Enhancements:

  • #678 Adobe Acrobat Professional is included in PDF Viewer recognition on MacOS
  • #782 Function to remove line breaks in annotations
  • #784 More default file types to be imported

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