PDF upload via URL

  • Florian

    Florian - 2010-05-07

    Hi there,
    I don't know if this is a feature request or if this is already implemented in RefBase somewhere and I just didn't find it. When I import an Article I can upload a PDF that is saved on my computer…OK. fine. But is it also possible to give RefBase the link to the PDF which is found on the journals website? Is it possible to let refbase download the article from the webpage?

    thanks a lot, and have a nice weekend all


  • Florian

    Florian - 2010-05-07

    I just read through the record.php file and found this on line 702 thru 708:

    // NOTE: currently, we only allow for file URLs with full URL paths
    // TODO: - ensure that there aren't any security issues
    //       - should we accept local file paths/names from the import data? if so, how should we handle them?
    //       - make sure that any recognized PDF files get renamed & filed according to the settings in 'initialize/ini.inc.php';
    //         in case of remote file URLs, this may mean downloading the remote PDF, and filing/renaming it according to preference
    if (isset($_REQUEST) AND ereg("^(https?|ftp|file)://", $_REQUEST)) // if the 'file' field contains a full URL (starting with "http://", "https://", "ftp://" or "file://")

    Is this part of the problem/answer? what does "full URL" mean in the last line?

    thx ;-)

  • Richard Karnesky

    refbase presently allows you to link to a fully-qualified URI.  The file will not be downloaded, but the link will be provided as-is .

    While it would be possible to have refbase download the file at this URI & store it on your local server, I don't know how much of a priority this would be for me, personally: (1) the interface for differentiating between whether you wanted a link or to download a file would need to be thought out and (2) many refbase installations are on hosted systems & so may have access to fewer journal subscriptions than a desktop user would have (who may also find it easier to go through proxies to download paper).


  • Florian

    Florian - 2010-05-10


    thanks for your reply. About your first point: I was thinking more in the ways of JS - which I've shown in a post in the help-forum: I think it should be possible to write a J-script which automatically reads out the URL in the adress-field, and searches it for - say - the DOI. it then forwards to the import.php of refbase, copies the DOI and directs to the show.php with the new entry. in parrallel, the user could rightclick on the link to the pdf and hit "save link as". The JS asks the user for the URL to the PDF and the user simply pastes it into the dialog box.

    The point of the exercise would be this: All of our users in the institution have the same access to the same journals. but, in terms of workflow the uploading of an article into refbase, especially with a PDF-attachement is a bit crude, and you have to know where you download your PDF to, and you have to find exactly that file again (which is not that trivial, if you download several files in one session, which carry such useful names such as 1242.pdf or 0DE123GP3.pdf and so on…If the user only had to provide the URL to the file, it would be much simpler, and the user wouldnt have to save the files to disk and erase them again after uploading to refbase is complete.
    of course the drawback is, that people simply copy/paste the URL of the link to the PDF without checking if they actually have access to that file, which could result in many 404 messages…

    I just want to make uploading as fail-safe as possible ;-) because I know my DAUs


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