a few question

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2008-03-19
2013-05-28
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  • Hi there. me and a friend are toying with the idea of starting an index of literature and refbase seems to be the cutting age database to use.  I have a few questions that I hope you'll indulge.

    -What is refbase's threshhold query wise?  Can it handle unlimited queries daily? simultaneously?
    -Is it easily skinnable? (add a template for looks)
    -The literature we would be indexing is for biblical studies, and in our academic neck of the woods, ancient text citations act like keywords.  I was wondering, would it be possible to have another field like keywords that is ancient texts citations and be drop-down menu (like publications)?
    - Is there a way to search multiple keywords? (this would relate to the above question)  So for example, pretending I had a field called ancient texts, I could choose both  "Genesis 1:1" and "Genesis 1:1-10" to find any and all articles that have these?

    Thanks so much for your help.

    Danny Zacharias

     
    • sorry for the missing s :-)

      One more question — are there any potential size constraints for a database?

       
      • > -What is refbase's threshhold query wise?  Can it handle unlimited queries daily?
        > simultaneously?

        refbase sets no limit.  Some hosting providers may impose limits on Apache and/or MySQL (connections, requests, and/or bandwidth).  We'd have no control over this & it wouldn't be a reason to choose or not choose refbase.

        > -Is it easily skinnable? (add a template for looks)

        Depends what you mean by 'easy.'  Many people do change the look and feel of refbase.  You can modify the header & footer file & the CSS if you are comfortable with that.  We ship with an example skin that has the same MediaWiki:MonoBook theme as Wikipedia uses:
          <http://arc.nucapt.northwestern.edu/refbase/>

        You can also embed refbase output in an IFRAME or use it on an AJAX-ified page that has your preferred style.

        > -The literature we would be indexing is for biblical studies, and in our academic
        > neck of the woods, ancient text citations act like keywords.  I was wondering,
        > would it be possible to have another field like keywords that is ancient texts
        > citations and be drop-down menu (like publications)?

        refbase is open source & such a change could be made.

        I don't speak for the other developers, but I am hesitant to modify the database with features that are peculiar to a particular field.  Could you please explain why the current generic fields [e.g. 'keywords'] aren't sufficient & what exactly you'd like this feature to do?  If a generic field doesn't work, one possible work-around is to subvert a more specific field that you wouldn't otherwise use (obviously, this isn't ideal (but we do know of others who do this)).

        > - Is there a way to search multiple keywords? (this would relate to the above
        > question)  So for example, pretending I had a field called ancient texts, I
        > could choose both  "Genesis 1:1" and "Genesis 1:1-10" to find any and all articles
        > that have these?

        Yes.  We accept regular expression queries, partial or exact matches, and allow you to refined queries.

        One can search, for example, keywords that contain '^Genesis 1:1' & both of your example phrases would be matched (along w/ Genesis 1:1-5 and Genesis 1:1-31, etc.)

        > One more question — are there any potential size constraints for a database?

        Again, refbase doesn't impose limits.  There are many public deployments with over 10,000 records, many with PDFs.  Very few hosting providers have databases that are so small that it would limit how many entries you can store (though some might).  It is more likely that you may run into a space issue if you want to store copies of the articles & you don't have unlimited space with your provider.

        --Rick

         
    • Rick, thanks very much for your replies.

      As to my question on ancient text citations — can there be more than one keyword field?

      I guess the big reason why I'd like a specific field for scripture citations is that a drop-down menu is preferable for that, as people sometimes spell the names of the biblical books differently.
      The other big reason (and I don't even know if this is possible) is that people are accustomed to seeing the biblical books in order — so it would be ideal to create an "ordered" keyword list (gen 1:, gen 1:10, exodus 1:1, exodus 2:10, etc, etc).

      thanks again,  Danny

       
      • Hi Danny,

        thanks for your interest in refbase.

        Maybe you could use the 'area' or 'expedition' fields and rename one of them to "ancient text", "scripture" or whatever seems appropriate to you. To rename one of these fields in the interface, search for "area" or "expedition" in the 'common*.inc' files in the refbase 'locales' subdir and rename all occurrences to suit your taste.

        In 'advanced_search.php', the 'area' field does already have a dropdown menu so you might want to start with that field. You'd also need to add a dropdown menu to the "Edit Record" mask of 'record.php', I'd be happy to help you with that if necessary.

        By default, contents of the 'area' or 'expedition' field will be sorted in dropdown menus alphabetically (since their MySQL field type is currently 'varchar(255)'). However, if you only have a certain list of fixed value strings, you can achieve a custom order by changing the type of the MySQL field to 'enum' and specifying all value strings in the correct order, e.g. like this:

        ALTER TABLE `refs` MODIFY COLUMN `area` enum('Genesis 1:','Genesis 1:10','Exodus 1:1','Exodus 2:10','etc','etc') default NULL;

        I imagine that your enum list might get pretty long, but maybe that's not a problem...

        Best, Matthias

         
    • Okay, I have a proper login name now.  i forgot to ask a big question.  Is refbase unicode compliant? does this include right-to-left unicode?

       
      • > Is refbase unicode compliant?

        refbase can be installed with a UTF-8 based MySQL database. If your server (Apache/PHP/MySQL) and client (browser, operating system, etc) support Unicode/UTF-8, then it should work fine.

        Some general troubleshooting guidance for getting refbase to work with higher ASCII characters is given here:

        http://wiki.refbase.net/index.php/Installation-Troubleshooting#Problems_with_special_characters

        > does this include right-to-left unicode?

        I must admit that I don't know what is required to support "right-to-left unicode", could you give me more details or pointers on this topic?

        Thanks, Matthias

         
    • Matthias, thanks very much.

      1) as to the custom order, I would probably just provide the book name, not the chapter and verse, and let refbase sort the chapter and verse if possible.  Would that be doable?  So I would provide Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, etc, etc., and refbase would sort according to the provided order, and then numerically.

      2) As I'm not a developer, just a power user, I can't really help on the details of supporting right-to-left unicode.  If we were to launch this, I would be more the guy who inserts the info, and my friend or another person would do the back-end work.

      3) The simple search and advanced search pages are customizable, right? (i.e. the host chooses what fields are on those pages).

      4) Same question for the results page. Could I indicate choose how the results are displayed?

      5) Am I correct that there is no way of exporting citations to bib.managers?!  I see how to cite, but what if I've gone through a few searches and chosen 25 references or so then want to export them to my bib manager?  If I'm incorrect, can you specify how this is done.  If I am correct, please tell me this is a top priority planned feature  :-)

      Now a couple of questions to you developers on planned features:
      I see you have the xref link for articles? any plans on the same feature using google scholar?

      I searched the wiki, but didn't see anything on google books.  Any thoughts on having some sort of google books plugin? Like maybe add a "link arrow" beside isbn's to search for the isbn in google books?

      Thanks, Danny

       
      • >  1) as to the custom order, I would probably just provide the book name, not
        >  the chapter and verse, and let refbase sort the chapter and verse if possible.
        >  Would that be doable?  So I would provide Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, etc, etc.,
        >  and refbase would sort according to the provided order, and then numerically.

        Could you use two or three fields (one for book & one or two for chapter/verse)?  This would probably be simpler.

        >  2) As I'm not a developer, just a power user, I can't really help on the details
        >  of supporting right-to-left unicode.  If we were to launch this, I would be
        >  more the guy who inserts the info, and my friend or another person would do
        >  the back-end work.

        I think that refbase will accept any unicode your browser throws at it, including bidi text.  We don't currently tailor our CSS to make rtl as pretty as ltr (unfortunately fairly common for webapps), but it should store the content.

        >  3) The simple search and advanced search pages are customizable, right? (i.e.
        >  the host chooses what fields are on those pages).

        Currently, this would involve changing simple_search.php and advanced_search.php.  This isn't particularly difficult, but neither is it yet as easy as changing the terms available on the quick search on the index page.

        >  4) Same question for the results page. Could I indicate choose how the results
        >  are displayed?

        Please describe this request more.  Some people do choose to hide fields in the table view by commenting them out or using CSS or they use the citation view, sometimes with a custom citation style.

        >  5) Am I correct that there is no way of exporting citations to bib.managers?!
        >  I see how to cite, but what if I've gone through a few searches and chosen 25
        >  references or so then want to export them to my bib manager?  If I'm incorrect,
        >  can you specify how this is done.  If I am correct, please tell me this is a
        >  top priority planned feature  :-)

        You are very incorrect.  refbase can export to a wide variety of bibliographic formats.  It is suggested that you install bibutils, as according to the installation instructions.  It should work out-of-the-box for users who are logged in.  It can work for anonymous users, but I don't recall if we support that out of the box yet or if you need to make changes.  I can help make changes if that is still needed.

        See:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_reference_management_software#Export_file_formats
        for example.

        Also note that we support UnAPI, which enables auto-magic export to Zotero.

        >  Now a couple of questions to you developers on planned features:
        >  I see you have the xref link for articles? any plans on the same feature using
        >  google scholar?

        We haven't really talked much about it, but I don't see why we wouldn't do this.

        >  I searched the wiki, but didn't see anything on google books.  Any thoughts
        >  on having some sort of google books plugin? Like maybe add a "link arrow" beside
        >  isbn's to search for the isbn in google books?

        You can change the resolver for isbn links.  It defaults to isbn.nu.  I think that I might have changed mine to use amazon (in hopes that we'd get modest amazon associates income and data).  You can probably change it to use google books if you're o.k. with giving up the isbn.nu links.

        --Rick

         
    • sorry, forgot to put the link to the API code for google books if you were interested.

      http://code.google.com/apis/books/

       
    • Hi Danny,

      I just note that Rick did already answer your questions, I'm posting my answers anyways...

      > 1) as to the custom order, I would probably just provide the book
      > name, not the chapter and verse, and let refbase sort the chapter
      > and verse if possible. Would that be doable?  So I would provide
      > Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, etc, etc., and refbase would sort
      > according to the provided order, and then numerically.

      refbase uses MySQL for sorting (which has many speed advantages), i.e. refbase doesn't loop over the (potentially very long) result list to sort it again. Instead, refbase uses an appropriate MySQL "ORDER BY" clause in the query, and retrieves sorted results from MySQL.

      AFAIK, the MySQL 'enum' type can only contain the value strings that are defined in the MySQL table, i.e. using MySQL sorting I don't think that your above idea is possible.

      Howver, you could probably leave the field type as 'varchar', and offer hard-wired strings as values in the dropdown menus of your field. This will help with sorted display in the dropdown menues, but not when sorting by this field via MySQL. For that one would need to build a custom sorting routine in PHP code.

      > 2) As I'm not a developer, just a power user, I can't really help
      > on the details of supporting right-to-left unicode.  If we were to
      > launch this, I would be more the guy who inserts the info, and my
      > friend or another person would do the back-end work.

      Have you tried inserting some test data at:

      http://www.refbase.org/

      That refbase database is UTF-8 based.

      > 3) The simple search and advanced search pages are customizable,
      > right? (i.e. the host chooses what fields are on those pages).

      ATM, refbase doesn't offer a template system which could be modified easily by the average user. In other words, the current search pages are pretty much hard-coded, but, of course, the PHP code can be tweaked to offer only the fields that you want.

      We've been thinking about a complete revamp of these search pages, and I've started working on this. It is planned that the new search pages will offer users to save the current layout of fields, i.e search pages could be customized on a user-specific level. We're not there, though.

      > 4) Same question for the results page. Could I indicate choose how
      > the results are displayed?

      It depends what you want. In principle, it's the same answer as above. But I can only give a more detailed response if I'd knew what kind of results layout you're after.

      The upcoming version of refbase allows to globally specify the fields that are displayed by default in List view (i.e. column view) and in dropdown menus.

      In addition, you'll be able to use any of the supported views (List view, Citations, Details) as your main view. I also plan to offer yet another "Custom" view that could be used e.g. as a replacement of the current Details view. Ideally, this new "Custom" view would be easily to adopt (e.g. simply by CSS2 Styling).

      But my standard disclaimer applies: I cannot promise a release date for any of the mentioned features.

      > 5) Am I correct that there is no way of exporting citations to
      > bib.managers?!

      It is. The export options are available after you've logged in to the database. With the help of Bibutils, refbase supports export to BibTeX, Endnote, ISI, RIS and Word XML, and we support a few other XML formats natively (MODS XML, SRW XML, ODF XML, and in the future also OAI_DC XML)

      http://export.refbase.net/
      http://bibutils.refbase.net/

      > I see how to cite, but what if I've gone through a few searches
      > and chosen 25 references or so then want to export them to my bib
      > manager?

      In the current refbase interface, you select all found records on the page that you'd like to export, choose the export format in the form below the results, and click the "Export" button.

      If you're using Zotero, you can fetch records displayed on a refbase page via a single click.

      What's more, future versions may allow to directly search & download refbase references from within certain bibliographic desktop managers such as Bookends and Papers on the Mac, who both support the SRU (Search+Retrieve via URL) protocol.

      > Now a couple of questions to you developers on planned features: I
      > see you have the xref link for articles? any plans on the same
      > feature using google scholar?

      We had similar requests and I'd like to see more links as well, also the list of available links should be easily costumizable.

      http://wiki.refbase.net/index.php/Feature_request#More_reference_links

      Admittedly, this feature has currently only intermediate priority, since there are other (purportedly) more important features (such as public sharing of groups) that we'd like to implement first.

      If you want more output links *now*, you could try to use 1Cate, the OpenURL link-server from ISI/Openly (http://isi.1cate.com/?sid=ISI:WoS) instead of the default one (http://www.crossref.org/openurl).

      > I searched the wiki, but didn't see anything on google books.  Any
      > thoughts on having some sort of google books plugin? Like maybe
      > add a "link arrow" beside isbn's to search for the isbn in google
      > books?

      Yes, that sounds useful as well. It falls under the same umbrella (more & customizable links) though.

      Hope this answers your questions.

      Matthias

       
    • 1) hmm, I'm starting to think that just sticking scripture citations in as keywords is good enough.  But can you search for multiple keywords simultaneously — in other words have more than one keywords field in the advanced search?  And, could the keywords have an either/or like the publications field (drop down choices or type them in?)

      2) As to customizing the results page - I'm thinking specifically for books and book chapters.  I would have to alter the fields a bit I think.  For biblical studies, both journals AND series titles have abbreviations, so it makes sense to make the "publication" field  "journal/series".  Then I would have to change "series title" to book title.  This would cover the bases for book chapters, so:
      author, "title of article," "page range" of "book title" ("series title abbrev": date, location, publisher).

      I find bibliographic managers also lump journal titles along with book titles instead of series title, it doesn't make sense for my particular field where there are standardized abbreviations for series titles.   All that to say, a little more info in the list view particularly for book chapters would be good.

      3) I am grateful for being incorrect!  :-)   My mistake was not logging on.  However, if we launch this project, we would definitely want to make the exporting available for anonymous users.

      4)  First new question for you.  Is there some sort of "connection" between journal title and abbreviated title?  So could someone conceivably enter only the abbrev. or only the long form and refbase has a "master list" of sorts to fill in the other part.

      5) second new question.  Now that I know how to export chosen citations - is there a way or are there plans to "bank" selections  (kind of like the jstor or sage saved citations) for exporting later.  This is useful when you are doing unrelated searches.  So someone can do 5 or 6 searches, selecting all of the citations they want, and then exporting all their selections found in the previous searches.

      6) third new question.  From the backend or the front end, is it possible to extract just a single field of all items?  For instance, if I wanted all the isbn's from my search results, how would I get them?

      btw, I'm already impressed with the support for refbase

       
      • Hi Danny,

        > 1) hmm, I'm starting to think that just sticking scripture
        > citations in as keywords is good enough.

        Ok, it may be a good idea to give them a unique formatting (or a prefix).

        Since (without modifications) they aren't sorted any better in the 'keywords' field, I think I'd still propose to use the 'area' field for scripture citations. OTOH, items from the 'keywords' field get exported automatically, while stuff in 'area' might not be exported by default.

        > But can you search for multiple keywords simultaneously — in other
        > words have more than one keywords field in the advanced search?
        > And, could the keywords have an either/or like the publications
        > field (drop down choices or type them in?)

        ATM, the easiest way of searching for multiple items in one field is to this incrementally, i.e. first enter only one item, then use the "Search within Results" form above the search results to search for the second item. IMHO, this is faster than one might expect.

        http://wiki.refbase.net/index.php/Searching#Search_syntax

        As a workaround with the the current search pages (to search for multiple items in one field at once), you can use a regular expression to search for multiple keywords in one go, e.g.:

        Genesis.+Daniel

        will find all records where "Genesis" is followed by "Daniel". If you want to catch both orders use:

        Genesis.+Daniel|Daniel.+Genesis

        That said, we plan to adopt OpenSearch + CQL searching for the interface, this would allow you to use something like:

        Genesis AND Daniel

        or:

        keywords all Genesis Daniel

        > 2) As to customizing the results page - I'm thinking specifically
        > for books and book chapters.  I would have to alter the fields a
        > bit I think.  For biblical studies, both journals AND series
        > titles have abbreviations, so it makes sense to make the
        > "publication" field  "journal/series".  Then I would have to
        > change "series title" to book title.  This would cover the bases
        > for book chapters, so: author, "title of article," "page range" of
        > "book title" ("series title abbrev": date, location, publisher).

        I'm not sure I can follow you entirely. Please see these example records

        http://demo.refbase.net/show.php?records=1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12&showRows=15

        and how information is entered there for whole books, book chapters (both potentially within a series) and articles.

        In order to have export and citations working properly, refbase requires that you put the right info into the right fields. It won't work if you mix the meaning of the fields.

        > I find bibliographic managers also lump journal titles along with
        > book titles instead of series title, it doesn't make sense for my
        > particular field where there are standardized abbreviations for
        > series titles.   All that to say, a little more info in the list
        > view particularly for book chapters would be good.

        I didn't understand that one, could you elaborate?

        refbase has fields for full & abbreviated titles for both, journals and series:

        'publication' field -> full journal or book name
        'abbrev_journal' field -> abbreviated journal name

        'series_title' field -> full series name
        'abbrev_series_title' field -> abbreviated series name

        Wouldn't this work for you?

        > 4)  First new question for you.  Is there some sort of
        > "connection" between journal title and abbreviated title?  So
        > could someone conceivably enter only the abbrev. or only the long
        > form and refbase has a "master list" of sorts to fill in the other
        > part.

        There are long-standing plans to incorporate a journal database into refbase. But, unfortunately, until now nothing has been done about it yet. Automatically standardizing container (e.g. journal) info is a very reasonable request and I'd like to see this as well. It may still take some time until this sees the light, though (time available for development being the biggest obstacle).

        > 5) second new question.  Now that I know how to export chosen
        > citations - is there a way or are there plans to "bank" selections
        >  (kind of like the jstor or sage saved citations) for exporting
        > later.  This is useful when you are doing unrelated searches.  So
        > someone can do 5 or 6 searches, selecting all of the citations
        > they want, and then exporting all their selections found in the
        > previous searches.

        When logged in, users can add selected records to "groups", then later display all of the group items on one page and cite/export them.

        I once tried to allow for remembering of selected records across page requests, but had to abandon it due to some technical hurdles at that time. Surely, it would be nice to have that feature, the "Add to Group" functionality has to do for now.

        > 6) third new question.  From the backend or the front end, is it
        > possible to extract just a single field of all items?  For
        > instance, if I wanted all the isbn's from my search results, how
        > would I get them?

        refbase has an (unfinished) Browse mode that allows to browse unique field values. I guess that that feature would be the best way of getting what you're after.

        http://refbase.sourceforge.net/features/BrowseView.html

        If you have no problem of merging duplicate entries afterwards, you could either display the ISBN field as the *only* field in list view and copy the contents from Print view (the little printer icon above the results), or make go to your options page, enter a custom text citation like this one:

        <:isbn:>

        or:

        <:issn_isbn:>

        Then, you'd select all your records and choose "Text Citation" from the citation style dropdown menu below the results list.

        More info about placeholders is available at:

        http://placeholders.refbase.net/

        This latter approach may also work for other information which you can get via a placeholder and less so directly from a field.

        > btw, I'm already impressed with the support for refbase

        Thanks! Sometimes, though, response times are less quick, depending on what we're doing or whether we're on the road. But then hopefully somebody else will chime in.

        Best, Matthias

         
        • >> 4)  First new question for you.  Is there some sort of
          >> "connection" between journal title and abbreviated title?  So
          >> could someone conceivably enter only the abbrev. or only the long
          >> form and refbase has a "master list" of sorts to fill in the other
          >> part.
          >
          > There are long-standing plans to incorporate a journal database into refbase.
          > But, unfortunately, until now nothing has been done about it yet. Automatically
          > standardizing container (e.g. journal) info is a very reasonable request and
          > I'd like to see this as well. It may still take some time until this sees the
          > light, though (time available for development being the biggest obstacle).

          Also note: the SQL statements to perform these operations aren't that opaque.  I occasionally mass-edit our database to standardize names & abbreviations.

          >> 6) third new question.  From the backend or the front end, is it
          >> possible to extract just a single field of all items?  For
          >> instance, if I wanted all the isbn's from my search results, how
          >> would I get them?

          In addition to Matthias's excellent notes on citation & browse view: note that you can add/remove columns from the tabular view.  At the backend, you can alternatively "SELECT 'isbn' FROM 'refs';"

          --Rick

           
    • Thanks for the additional info Matthias.

      I did as you said and pasted some unicode Hebrew (right to left) as well as unicode Greek.  Both displayed properly, even Hebrew with vowel pointing, which is good.  The only slight issue was accented greek characters in the insertion fields end up looking like the typical little box.  But when I was done editing and looked at it in the list view, it displayed correctly.
      However, exporting is another issue.  An endnote export garbles the greek and hebrew completely.  Dido for RIS, BibTeX, and ISI.  The xml exports all export the unicode characters, but I wager that most users would still default to endnote or RIS.

      Thanks, Danny

       
      • Danny,

        if you can successfully enter, display and search for your accented characters then refbase should behave correctly.

        Also, it's a good sign that the characters show up correctly in XML output (MODS XML). Internally, we parse MODS XML to Bibutils for conversion to BibTeX, Endnote, RIS, etc. So we may have to see whether we can improve the integration with Bibutils.

        Could you send me some test records that exhibit your accented characters (zipped) to <refbase at extracts de>.

        Thanks, Matthias

         
    • Thanks Matthias.  Refbase is definitely robust and only going to get better.  Some of the stuff you are talking about is a little over my head, but that's okay I get the jist.

      As to some of my comments on fields. Let me give you an example of a book chapter in an edited volume that is part of a series.

      Allison, Dale C. “Jesus and Gehenna.” Pages 114-24 in Testimony and Interpretation: Early Christology in Its Judeo-Hellenistic Milieu Studies in Honour of Petr Pokorný. Edited by Jiří Mrázek. JSNTSup 272. Edited by Mark Goodacre. New York: T&T Clark, 2006.
      So the order is:

      chapter- author,- "chapter title."  - Page range  in-  book title.  - Book editor. - Series title or abbrev - series - volume.  - Series editor. - city: - publisher, - year.

      I should also say that this can be further complicated by the fact that the book can have a volume number. Here is an example:
      Evans, Craig A. “Daniel in the New Testament: Visions of God's Kingdom.” Pages 490-527 in volume 2 of The Book of Daniel: Composition and Reception. Edited by John J. Collins, and Peter W. Flint. VTSup 83. Edited by H. M. Barstad et al. Boston: Brill, 2001.

      So basically the fields that I am lacking in refbase is book title and book volume number.  My solution in Bookends (my reference manager) is to merge series and journal into one field since they are feeding of a single glossary.

      Hope this clears up my issue.

      Last question (I think).  Does refbase recognize duplicates? If so, what does it do about it?

       
      • > I should also say that this can be further complicated by the fact that the
        > book can have a volume number. Here is an example:
        > Evans, Craig A. “Daniel in the New Testament: Visions of God's Kingdom.”
        > Pages 490-527 in volume 2 of The Book of Daniel: Composition and Reception.
        > Edited by John J. Collins, and Peter W. Flint. VTSup 83. Edited by H. M. Barstad
        > et al. Boston: Brill, 2001.

        I don't think refbase lacks any fields for this.

        To make such a reference using refbase,

        put the chapter title in 'title'
        choose the 'book chapter' type
        put the book title in 'publication'
        put the series title in 'series title'
        put the volume number ins 'series volume'

        > Last question (I think).  Does refbase recognize duplicates? If so, what does
        > it do about it?

        See:
        <http://wiki.refbase.net/index.php/Handling_of_duplicates>

        --Rick

         
      • Hi Danny,

        > Some of the stuff you are talking about is a little over my head,
        > but that's okay I get the jist.

        Let me know if I should explain some things in more detail.

        > As to some of my comments on fields. Let me give you an example of
        > a book chapter in an edited volume that is part of a series.
        >
        > Allison, Dale C. “Jesus and Gehenna.” Pages 114-24 in Testimony
        > and Interpretation: Early Christology in Its Judeo-Hellenistic
        > Milieu Studies in Honour of Petr Pokorný. Edited by Jiří Mrázek.
        > JSNTSup 272. Edited by Mark Goodacre. New York: T&T Clark, 2006.

        Thanks for the example. Rick already gave you the field mapping needed to correctly enter this record in refbase. To illustrate this further, I've added your record here:

        http://www.refbase.org/show.php?record=8062

        And here's the current APA citation output:

        http://www.refbase.org/show.php?record=8062&submit=Cite

        AFAIK, refbase currently does not output the series editor in any of it's citation styles but that would be easy to add.

        (Also note that the generated citation shows a known display bug in the editor name that gets triggered if a person's given name contains non-ASCII characters and if it is reduced to initials; I most likely know the cause of this issue and I'll need to address this but haven't yet found a way to solve it properly)

        > I should also say that this can be further complicated by the fact
        > that the book can have a volume number. Here is an example:
        > Evans, Craig A. “Daniel in the New Testament: Visions of God's
        > Kingdom.” Pages 490-527 in volume 2 of The Book of Daniel:
        > Composition and Reception. Edited by John J. Collins, and Peter W.
        > Flint. VTSup 83. Edited by H. M. Barstad et al. Boston: Brill,
        > 2001.

        I've added that one here:

        http://www.refbase.org/show.php?record=8063

        Here's again the corresponding APA citation output:

        http://www.refbase.org/show.php?record=8063&submit=Cite

        > So basically the fields that I am lacking in refbase is book title
        > and book volume number.

        As Rick alredy noted, the 'publication' field is meant to hold:

        - for journal articles: the full journal name
        - for book chapters: the book title

        This is also the reason why it has this generic name ("publication"), instead of being named "journal" or "book".

        Book volume numbers should go into the 'volume' field, and series volume numbers into the 'series_volume' field.

        Best, Matthias

         
    • Am I correct that "publication" would also hold the title of a regular book citation?  I'm assuming so, and that is why I don't like having journal AND book titles feeding in to the same field - assuming of course that the book titles then become part of the drop-down menu and list of "publication" titles.

      If refbase recognizes a publication title as a single book and doesn't add it to the drop-down menu, then I'm happy.  But in my mind you would choose from the drop-down menu a publication title that will apply to multiple items, not just a single citation.  That is why I have in my own personal database combined series and journal in the same field.

      I hope that makes sense.

      Thanks again for the help fellas.

       
      • > Am I correct that "publication" would also hold the title of a regular book
        > citation?

        Our current design is to have:
        * Whole books use the 'title' field
        * Book chapters use the 'publication' field

        > I'm assuming so, and that is why I don't like having journal AND
        > book titles feeding in to the same field - assuming of course that the book
        > titles then become part of the drop-down menu and list of "publication" titles.

        Currently, I do not think book titles that are in 'publication' appear in the 'publication' dropdown.

        This can be customized.

        --Rick

         
    • Thanks Rick, this is helpful.  This only leaves one issue for me now, and other have probably thought of it.  pretend I do a search that serves me up an article, a book chapter, a regular book, and a book in a series.
      For the first 3 types, the core info is shown in the search result page - the title of the article/chapter/book as well as the publication.  BUT, for books in a series it is only showing me the title—I'd like it to show the series title in the place of the publication.  I imagine this can be customized.

      Thanks again for everything fellows, it has been very helpful.

      Now a quick question. My friend who would do the back-end work on his server - what do I tell him for installing? what does he need to install? how long will it take?

      Thanks, Danny

       
      • > BUT, for books
        > in a series it is only showing me the title—I'd like it to show the series
        > title in the place of the publication.

        Matthias might have a clever way to do this, but I can't think of an easy way to do it off the top of my head.  A work around would be to put the series title in both columns (you can periodically do this for all references of type 'Book Whole' in MySQL).

        > Now a quick question. My friend who would do the back-end work on his server
        > - what do I tell him for installing? what does he need to install? how long
        > will it take?

        http://wiki.refbase.net/index.php/Installing_refbase

        We distribute an 'INSTALL' file in the .tar.gz distribution and in our SVN repository (if you want newer features that haven't been pushed to a release yet).

        He'll need apache/mysql/php (xAMP) with the appropriate configuration & either an svn checkout or the official .tar.gz release of refbase.  You'll also probably want bibutils (links on the wiki & in 'INSTALL').

        Assuming the xAMP stack is already setup, installation is VERY quick (just load 'install.php' in your browser).

        If you don't already have a properly-configured xAMP stack, getting one will probably be the longest part of the process & will differ by which platform you are on.  You can download XAMPP & be up-and-running fairly quickly.

        --Rick

         
      • Hi Danny,

        > pretend I do a search that serves me up an article, a book
        > chapter, a regular book, and a book in a series. For the first 3
        > types, the core info is shown in the search result page - the
        > title of the article/chapter/book as well as the publication.
        > BUT, for books in a series it is only showing me the title—I'd
        > like it to show the series title in the place of the publication.

        Using the current version, there's not a simple solution to this problem. As Rick suggests, you could copy the series title to the 'publication' field. refbase does something similar for edited books where the editors are copied over to the 'author' field and an " (ed)" or " (eds)" gets appended. refbase could do the same automatically for regular books within a series, i.e. copy the series title over to the 'publication' field and append a " (series)" indicator or the like.

        However, I'm not sure whether I really like this idea, mainly since this wouldn't work for book chapters where the book was published within a series. In that case, the 'publication' field does already contain the book title, which, of course, means you can't copy the series title there.

        As mentioned previously, the upcoming refbase version will allow you to globally specify the list of columns that are displayed by default in List view. So instead of using the default list of fields ("author, title, year, publication, volume, pages"), you could add the 'series_title' field, or maybe use it in place of the 'pages' field.

        The upcoming version will also offer you another solution, which is to use Citation view as your default result view. The citations will, of course, always contain all the important info for a given reference. And users can easily switch back to List view if they desire so.

        Matthias

         
    • Thanks again guys.
      One suggestion, which you may have already thought of.  it would be nice if the title of the article in the list view was linked as the "show details" link.  It seems simpler - my mind "defaults" to going to click the title for more information.  It also frees up space in the links section for outgoing links.

      Now can I try and do something for you (I do emphasize try)?  Can you give me the file that generates the MLA output for you?  I will try my best to create an SBL format for you to distribute with refbase.  If I scrounge up even more time, i can probably tweak the SBL format I create for a Turabian one as well, as they are very similar.

      Danny

       
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