Import from Aleph library catalogs

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gke
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Moscow

Import from Aleph library catalogs

Post by gke »

Unlike Zotero the Bookends Browser cannot import references from library catalogs using the Aleph library catalog software - because Zotero consistently offers import functionality for libraries using this software I thought maybe it wouldn't be very difficult to achieve this in BE as well, or is it?

An example: The Russian State Library (english interface available):

http://aleph.rsl.ru/

In Firefox/Zotero the book icon appears, but not in Bookends Browser

Jon
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Re: Import from Aleph library catalogs

Post by Jon »

For reference detection (reference browsing), an interpreter for each web page must be hand crafted, and will break frequently (and have to be "repaired") whenever they tweak the web site. Reference detection is how Zotero works, and they have a large number of contributors who work hard to add new sites and keep old ones working. I'd be overwhelmed if I tried to support lots of sites with automatic reference detection (I'd spend all my time keeping them current -- just look at all the problems with just one site, JSTOR, when they changed their output (and kept changing it from day to day -- it seems stable now, though). I've chose to support some main sites, and of course any that embed COinS in their output (you may contact that library and ask them do to this). In addition, Bookends offers other, more powerful ways, of searching libraries (direct search, Z39.50, etc.) that Zotero doesn't.

Jon
Sonny Software

gke
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Moscow

Re: Import from Aleph library catalogs

Post by gke »

Thanks, Jon, for this update on the technical side of things. Just because Zotero manages to detect data for every library catalogue on the basis of Aleph I thought this was smth. that did not involve any specific work form the Zotero-developers, that is why I suggested including support into BE as well, but I can see your argument in terms of where to put limited resources (time!). Zotero does an excellent job in processing web-based bibliographic reconnaissance and for collective bibliographical projects, but in terms of a general bibliographical database system BE is far superior. I use them side by side, and that works well.

gke
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Moscow

Re: Import from Aleph library catalogs

Post by gke »

BTW, what are COinS?

Jon
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Re: Import from Aleph library catalogs

Post by Jon »

COinS is an open standard that lets you embed reference metadata (invisibly) in a web page. Reference managers and other apps that understand COinS can then import the data.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COinS

BTW, Bookends has the ability to automatically embed COinS metadata in HTML pages it generates, either static or with Bookends Browser. Very cool (IMHO) and no doubt underutilized.

Jon
Sonny Software

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