After releasing the Beta some weeks ago, we made some minor adjustments, and consider the current version 1.2 as stable. There are two major improvements and two bad news: Various improvements in the PDF Metadata retrieval function for Google Scholar. If you had some problems in the previous Docear versions with retrieving metadata from Google Scholar, try the new Docear 1.2 and let us know if the retrieval works now. If it does not, enable our new extended logging and send us the log files. Much faster monitoring update When you update your incoming mind-map, monitoring node respectively, the update will be much faster. In a large project with ~2.000 PDFs and thousands of annotations, the update process is about 60% faster. Add-on Read more…
Finally, after releasing the alpha and beta, today we release Docear 1.1 stable. If you have tried already one of the previous versions, there is not much news. Otherwise, read on. Thanks to all the generous donors, our student Christoph could work on an improved PDF metadata retrieval for Docear. The new Docear 1.1 is able to extract the title of a PDF and fetch metadata from Google Scholar for that title. To do so, select a PDF in your mind-map and chose "Create or Update reference", ... ... and the following new dialog appears. The dialog shows the file name of your PDF file, and the extracted title. In the background, the extracted title is sent to Google Scholar and metadata for the first two search results are shown in the dialog. If the title was extracted incorrectly, you can manually correct it. You may also chose to use the PDF's file name for the search. For instance, when you named your PDF already according to the title, select the radio button with the file name, and the file name is sent as search query to Google Scholar (you may also manually correct the file name before it's sent to Google Scholar). Of course, all other options you already know are still available, such as creating a blank entry, or importing the XMP data of PDFs. Btw. Docear remembers your choice, i.e. when you select to create a blank entry, the option will be pre-selected when open that dialog the next time. It might happen, that your IP will be blocked by Google Scholar when you use the service too frequently. If this happens, a captcha should appear, and after solving it, you should be able to proceed. We did not yet test this thoroughly. Please let us know your experiences. The precision of our metadata tool depends on two factors, A) the precision of the title extraction and B) the coverage of Google Scholar. According to a recent experiment, title extraction of our tool is around 70%. However, the final result very much depends on the format of your research articles. In my research field (i.e. recommender systems), I would say that our tool extracts the title correctly for about 90% of the articles in my personal library. In addition, almost all articles that are relevant for my research are indexed by Google Scholar (i would estimate, more than 90%). This means, for around 80% of my PDFs the correct metadata is retrieved fully automatically. Given that I provide the title manually, for even more than 90% the metadata may be retrieved. Please let us know your experience (and your research field). (more…)
Docear 1.1 Beta Released: New PDF Metadata Extraction, Better Zotero and Mendeley BibTeX support, and Bug Fixes
If you have tested the Preview of Docear 1.1 you may already know about some of Docear's new features. With your feedback and the mind maps, log files and BibTeX files you shared with us, these features have matured. We are proud to introduce the first (and hopefully only) Beta release of Docear 1.1.
The new key features of Docear 1.1
Improved metadata retrievalThanks to your donations, our student Christoph greatly enhanced Docear's PDF metadata retrieval. For us, it works really great, and with Docear 1.1 Beta the last bugs have been fixed. Btw. if you like what Christoph did, and if you are using LibreOffice, or OpenOffice, please also read our call for donation to develop an add-on for these two text processing tools.
Improved support for Zotero / Mendeley BibTeX files(more…)
Which one is the best reference management software? That's a question any student or researcher should think about quite carefully, because choosing the best reference manager may save lots of time and increase the quality of your work significantly. So, which reference manager is best? Zotero? Mendeley? Docear? ...? The answer is: "It depends", because different people have different needs. Actually, there is no such thing as the 'best' reference manager but only the reference manager that is best for you (even though some developers seem to believe that their tool is the only truly perfect one). In this Blog-post, we compare Zotero, Mendeley, and Docear and we hope that the comparison helps you to decide which of the reference managers is best for you. Of course, there are many other reference managers. Hopefully, we can include them in the comparison some day, but for now we only have time to compare the three. We really tried to do a fair comparison, based on a list of criteria that we consider important for reference management software. Of course, the criteria are subjectively selected, as are all criteria by all reviewers, and you might not agree with all of them. However, even if you disagree with our evaluation, you might find at least some new and interesting aspects as to evaluate reference management tools. You are very welcome to share your constructive criticism in the comments, as well as links to other reviews. In addition, it should be obvious that we - the developers of Docear - are somewhat biased. However, this comparison is most certainly more objective than those that Mendeley and other reference managers did ;-). Please note that we only compared about 50 high-level features and used a simple rating scheme in the summary table. Of course, a more comprehensive list of features and a more sophisticated rating scheme would have been nice, but this would have been too time consuming. So, consider this review as a rough guideline. If you feel that one of the mentioned features is particularly important to you, install the tools yourself, compare the features, and share your insights in the comments! Most importantly, please let us know when something we wrote is not correct. All reviewed reference tools offer lots of functions, and it might be that we missed one during our review. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="680"] Please note that the developers of all three tools constantly improve their tools and add new features. Therefore, the table might be not perfectly up-to-date. In addition, it's difficult to rate a particular functionality with only one out of three possible ratings (yes; no; partly). Therefore, we highly suggest to read the detailed review, which explains the rationale behind the ratings.[/caption] The table above provides an overview of how Zotero, Mendeley, and Docear support you in various tasks, how open and free they are, etc. Details on the features and ratings are provided in the following sections. As already mentioned, if you notice a mistake in the evaluation (e.g. missed a key feature), please let us know in the comments.
Overview[toc] If you don't want to read a lot, just jump to the summary We believe that a reference manager should offer more features than simple reference management. It should support you in (1) finding literature, (2) organizing and annotating literature, (3) drafting your papers, theses, books, assignments, etc., (4) managing your references (of course), and (5) writing your papers, theses, etc. Additionally, many - but not all - students and researchers might be interested in (6) socializing and collaboration, (7) note, task, and general information management, and (8) file management. Finally, we think it is important that a reference manager (9) is available for the major operating systems, (10) has an information management approach you like (tables, social tags, search, ...), and (11) is open, free, and sustainable (see also What makes a bad reference manager).
Most users of SciPlore MindMapping (including me) use JabRef to manage their references. However, I always was thinking about switching to Mendeley because they offer automatic extraction of metadata from PDFs which saves lots of time when creating your bibliography. But Mendeley is not that compatible with SciPlore MindMapping and has some other shortcomings, so I always sticked with JabRef and accepted the time consuming and annoying task of typing titles, author names etc. manually. But now this will change: our team just created a modified version of JabRef which is able to extract metadata from PDFs. What does that mean? Well, whenever you find a PDF on the internet, you store it on your hard drive, drag&drop it to Read more…
Available translations: Chinese (thanks to Chen Feng) | Portuguese (thanks to Marcelo Cruz dos Santos) | Russian (thanks to Sergey Loy) send us your translation Writing a thesis is a complex task. You need to find related literature, take notes, draft the thesis, and eventually write the final document and create the bibliography. Many books explain how to perform a literature survey and how to write scholarly literature in general and a thesis in particular (e.g. [1-9]). However, these books barely, if at all, cover software tools that help in performing these tasks. This is surprising, because great software tools that can facilitate the daily work of students and researchers are available and many of them for free. In this tutorial, we present a new method to reviewing scholarly literature and drafting a thesis using mind Read more…