20 January 2010
By Hannah Dee
I've recently discovered Citeulike, a website that organises your references and bibliographies for you in a nice shiny web2.0 kinda way. As someone who works from homes in France and the UK, from my desk in INPG, from lab machines in Leeds, and from cafes and trains and other places with WIFI, it is really handy being able to access my references from wherever I am. And when this contract ends and I move on, I'll be able to access all my references from wherever I end up, without having to install any software or do any extra work.
Here are the things I really like about it:
- You can install a browser button that lets you post directly to citeulike from various online journals with one click. IEEE Xplore, ACM Digital Library, Springerlink, PubMed, DOI links... Pretty much all the major online journals and databases seem to be covered. This sucks the bibliographic information from an authoritative source directly into your bibliography. No more mis-spelled author names! No more typing anything in! Get the browser button here.
- You can download your bibliography in loads of different formats. I'm a LaTeX person so I choose BibTeX, but you can also get the bibliographical information as RIS, PDF, RTF, Formatted Text, or Delicious. You can also view bibliographies using RSS.
- You can import existing BibTeX and RIS files, so all those references that you HAVE typed in yourself won't represent wasted effort.
- You can tag each entry with keywords of your choice, and you can choose to download your entire library or just those with particular tags. So when you're writing a paper, just make up a tag for that paper, tag each entry you will want to cite, then export it. Et voila! Instant bibliography. And when you want to make a backup, just select "export whole library".
- You can mark your own publications as being yours. This means that you can use citeulike as a dynamic publications list with links to the right places.
There are also lots of social networking functions where you can see people who are close to you in terms of articles they've posted, you can link to specific individuals, and it recommends articles to you based upon the content of your "library". There are also groups and review functions. So like many web2.0 sites, the more you use it the better it gets.
I've contacted the Citeulike people via twitter and told them I'm writing this post, so if you have any specific questions just post a comment.