PhpBibliography is one for the books

No one really like compiling bibliographies to accompany scholarly works, but the process doesn’t have to be odious. You can get help from PhpBibliography, which allows you to compile and edit your bibliography online and publish it via the Web.

PhpBibliography sports some nifty features:

• Automatic generation of BibTeX for papers (unless a manual bib item is specified when editing the paper).
• For each paper, you can upload two files and specify two links.
• Papers can be searched with criteria about their fields.
• Besides standard fields, you can specify new attributes for papers.
• Papers can be specified as private (visible only to authorized users).

And it takes some tedious tasks off your to-do list:

• Generates reports filtered by author, by value, and by grouping, up to two levels (e.g., show only papers of given authors, grouped by year and by paper type).
• Generates RSS feeds for search results, reports, and paper lists.
• Searches for possible duplicate papers.

With PhpBibliography, you can include lists of papers and results of reports and searches in other web pages by using a bare layout. You can import papers from the DBLP Computer Science Bibliography, and insert papers through BibTeX items and BibTeX files.

Developer Lorenzo Bettini started the project four years ago when he felt the need for a tool to publish a bibliography that was flexible and easy to use, and he couldn’t find one that fit his criteria. The current release, which came out earlier this month, is a complete rewrite of that first version using the CakePHP framework, which is based on the model-view-controller (MVC) mechanism. It takes care of most recurring jobs, relieving that burden from the programmer, and lets a developer concentrate on the mechanisms and features of his web application.

Bettini says, “In future versions I plan to add more Ajax-based functionalities, and the ability to customize the look of the interface with themes. I need to improve the BibTeX import functionality; I’m searching for open source solutions for this mechanism so as not to reinvent the wheel. I plan to make releases quite often in the next few months, hoping that CakePHP will make it easy to add functionality.”

Bettini says he appreciates help both from programmers, for coding, and users, for feedback in the form of bug reports and feature requests.

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