Compared to several other reference managers, Docear lacks a feature to directly import references from the Web. For instance, if you visit the detail page of a research article on a publisher’s website, you might wish to directly import the bibliographic data of that article to Docear. Many publishers offer export options for reference managers such as Endnote, RefWorks, or Zotero. So, how do you do it with Docear?
Fortunately, Docear uses the BibTeX format to store references. BibTeX is a de-facto standard for references that is supported by almost any publisher and any reference manager. So, read on to learn how to import bibliographic data from web-pages in two steps!
1. Get the BibTeX code
The easiest way to get bibliographic information as BibTeX from web pages is to use BibSonomy’s Web Scraper. The Scraper is a little tool that parses the publisher’s website, automatically identifies bibliographic data such as title, author, and journal name, and then creates BibTeX code from it. To “install” the Scraper, visit the Scraper’s website and drag&drop the Scraper button to your browser’s bookmark bar.
From now on, you can scrape almost any website from any publisher to create BibTeX code from the bibliographic data listed on a web page. This works with PubMed, Elsevier, Springerlink, ACM, IEEE, and dozens of other websites. You just need to visit the detail page of a research article, and click the “ScrapePublication” button. A new page will open showing the title, authors, journal names, etc. from the article’s detail page. In the example below, we highlighted some parts from the original webpage, and their counterparts in the BibTeX code.
If Bibsonomy’s scraper does not support your favorite publisher, don’t worry. Most publishers offer a direct BibTeX export. If you chose it…
… something like this should appear that is very similar to Bibsonomy’s scraper output :
Just in case you didn’t know: Google Scholar also offers a BibTeX export but you need to explicitly activate it.
Some publishers offer an export that does not give you the BibTeX code directly but a .bib file that contains the BibTeX code. If that’s the case, you should store the file somewhere on your computer …
… and open it with a standard text editor, e.g. Windows NotePad or NodePad++. Eventually, you will also have the BibTeX code.
2. Add the BibTeX code to Docear
Once you have the BibTeX code, you should add it in Docear. In the reference panel, click the green + to create a new reference, and switch to the “BibTeX Source” tab.
The “BibTeX source” tab shows the BibTeX code of your new reference. Since you haven’t entered any data yet, it is empty (only some basic information is pre-entered). Now, copy and paste the BibTeX code from the Bibsonomy Scraper, the publisher’s website, or your text editor to Docear. After you pasted the BibTeX code, it should look like in the following screenshot:
That’s it, the new reference is added in Docear’s database. If you like, you can drag&drop the new reference from the reference panel to a node in your mind-map, or drag&drop a PDF from your mind-map to your new reference to connect them.
One last note: If you downloaded a .bib file from a publisher, you can also open the file in JabRef, and then copy and paste the reference to Docear without messing around with some BibTeX code.