Docear 1.2 Beta is now available and has two major improvements: A new add-on to import any kind of highlighted text from PDFs This new add-on is a true milestone in the Docear development. Until now, you could only import highlighted text from PDF editors that copied the highlighted text Read more…
As you may know, Docear features a recommender system for academic literature. To find out which papers you might be interested in, the recommender system parses your mind maps and compares them to our digital library with currently about 1.8 million academic articles. While this is helpful and might point you to papers relevant for your general research goals, you will sometimes have to find information on a specific topic and hence search directly.
Based on our knowledge about recommender systems and some user requests, we decided to implement a direct search feature on our digital library. I am very grateful to Keystone, who supported me in visiting Dr. Georgia Kapitsaki at the University of Cyprus (UCY) in Nicosia for a full month to work on this idea. Dr. Kapitsaki’s has already supported us in our work on Docear’s recommender system in July 2013. Her knowledge about the inner mechanics and her ideas on the the search engine were essential for the implementation and the research part of the project.
How to use it
You can access the search feature from Docear’s ribbon bar (“Search and Filter > Documents > Online search”) or by double-clicking the “Online search” entry in Docear’s workspace panel. Since both the recommender system and the personalized search engine make use of your mind maps. you need to enable the recommendation service in Docear.
After opening the search page, you will see
- a text box for your search query,
- a “Search” button, and
- several buttons below the text box reflecting search terms you might be interested in. If Docear does not have enough data to decide about your interests, this part remains empty.
We discovered a serious bug in Docear that relates to the PDF management. In some situations, it could happen that when you edited a PDF, the annotation IDs were not recognized correctly, and a conflict was shown. We fixed this bug and publish Docear 1.02 as a beta version today. Right now, the Beta version download is only available in our forum. We would appreciate if you could test the new version. If there are no more serious bugs found, we will publish it as stable version without any further notifications.
We also added a “Please Donate” note to the workspace panel. It leads you to our donation page and you are sincerely invited to make use of that page :-). If you have already donated, if you just don’t want to donate, or if you need every pixel in the workspace, do a right-click on that note and you will be able to hide it. In addition, we also changed the welcome page that opens after you have installed Docear.
Today we released the 4th release candidate version of Docear. With all the changes introduced into Docear with RC3, there were still some bugs to fix which could cause some distortion in the workspace tree or even prevented users with Chinese language settings from seeing Docear’s ribbon. RC4 is something like Read more…
Today we released RC3 (Release Candidate) of Docear 1.0 (not yet on the official download page but here in the Blog only). It has one major change compared to previous Docear versions, namely we got rid of the “Incoming” mind map. In the past, most users never really got used to the idea why there was an ‘Incoming’ mind map and a ‘Literature & Annotations’ mind map. Now, there is only the ‘Literature & Annotations’ mind map but it has a special “incoming” node in which new PDFs are added. We hope that this concept is easier to understand. It also means that when you move a PDF from the incoming node to any other node in the mind map, and you create new annotations in the PDF, the new annotations are directly added to the PDF node in the mind map and there won’t be any new node in the incoming node. However, if you prefer the old concept, don’t worry. You can keep your old incoming mind map and use Docear as you were used to be.
There is a new version of Docear available for download. It’s basically the (experimental) RC1 version done right. RC2 fixes a lot of bugs that were caused by the new workspace model with multiple projects, it features a refined and polished version of the Ribbon, fixes a lot of bugs in general and supports the standard PDF viewers of MacOSX (Preview and Skim) and probably a lot of other viewers as well!
If you are still using Beta9 of Docear, a lot of things will change and improve with this new version of Docear. However converting your old maps to this new format is a one-way process (you can’t use these files with Beta9 of Docear anymore) and the process itself might take some time, depending on the size of your mind maps. Please backup your files before upgrading to Docear RC2.
The last version of Docear was released three month ago and you might wonder what we were doing. Well, I can tell you we were really busy. Besides working on some research papers for conferences in Indianapolis and on Malta (read here and here), we finally implemented two major milestones for Docear. These two milestones actually were the last ones we had on our road-map for releasing the final 1.0 version of Docear. And here it is, Docear 1.0 (RC 1) with:
1. A new setup dialog
We have completely redesigned the dialog that appears when Docear is first started. We believe it to be much more user friendly and intuitive. We also listened to those users who criticized that our terms of service had to be accepted even when no online services were activated. Now you have the choice. You can either use Docear as a registered user and enjoy the full potential including PDF metadata retrieval, online backup, online mind map viewer, and recommendations. Or you can use Docear as a local user with no data at all being submitted to Docear and no requirement for accepting any terms of service (just use Docear as you would use any other GPL desktop software).
The 9th Beta of Docear is available for free download. It contains no new features but several bug fixes and feature improvements. One improvement includes the removal of line breaks in imported annotations. So far, when you highlighted text over several lines in a PDF, Docear imported the lines breaks of the highlighted text which sometimes caused a not so nice layout. In the new Docear you can do a right click on a node that links an annotation and select “PDF->Remove lines breaks from annotation”. Bug fixes include a fix for the bug that the Adobe Acrobat Professional PDF Viewer wasn’t recognized under MacOS. On Linux the splash screen does not hide any more the setup screen on the very first start of Docear. For a detailed list of all changes see the following change log. And keep in mind – we are always looking forward for your feedback and don’t forget to have a look at the new preview of Docear’s Online Viewer.
- #678 Adobe Acrobat Professional is included in PDF Viewer recognition on MacOS
- #782 Function to remove line breaks in annotations
- #784 More default file types to be imported
Beta 8 of Docear is available for download. There is no major new feature but a few bug fixes. In addition, we merged Docear’s source code with the latest version of Freeplane (1.2.21 beta) which includes many new features and bug fixes not listed here. Feature improvements include: #672 Create Read more…
Docear4Word is ready to release but before we make it available for public download, we would like to publish another test version for our users. We have fixed several bugs, and added the feature to select a BibTeX file. By default, Docear4Word used the BibTeX file that is specified in Docear but you can specify any other BibTeX file you want. We also enhanced the field mapping but we cannot guarantee that everything is perfect. If you are missing some information in your bibliography (that are available in the BibTeX file), please let us know. But be aware that the reason might be the citation style – not all citation styles do show all fields. So, before you report some missing information, please test several citation styles and if they all don’t show a certain piece of information – well, than probably it’s a bug of Docear4Word.
Yesterday we released Beta 5 of Docear with two major improvements. First, Docear fully supports Zotero. That means as a Zotero user you can use Zotero as you are used to and work with the same PDF files and references in Docear. For instructions on setting up Docear for Zotero read our manual. Second, we strongly improved the support for many PDF readers. Annotations from http://www.cerience.com/products/reader
RepliGo may be imported by Docear and PDF XChange Viewer (PDFXV) now is fully supported: Docear will automatically adjust the settings of PDFXV so that all kind of annotations (highlighted text, comments, bookmarks) may be imported. In addition, on first start of Docear, or when you install a new PDF reader, Docear lets you select your preferred reader and, if the reader supports this, automatically sets the right settings for the “jump-to-page” feature (i.e. the PDF will be opened on the page of an annotation).
The screenshot shows the PDF-Reader selection dialog. It should list the following PDF readers (if installed on your system): Foxit Reader, Adobe Reader, PDF XChange Viewer, Skim, Preview. Adobe Acrobat Professional probably will be support in the next Beta. If on your system not all installed readers are displayed, please let us know.
So, which PDF reader is the most recommendable?
Wow, today really is a special day. First, we released Beta 4 of Docear with literature recommendation, and now… we have the pleasure to present Docear4Word (Beta). The Beta of Docear4Word is a fully functional Microsoft Word Add-on to create formatted references and bibliographies in over 1,700 citation styles (APA, IEEE, ACM, Havard, Chicago, …). Similar to Zotero, Mendeley, and other reference managers we use the citation style language (CSL) and citeproc-js. However, in contrast to MS-Word Add-Ons of other reference managers, Docear4Word is not a proprietary tool functioning only with its own database. Docear4Word works with any BibTeX file from any BibTeX reference manager (at least it should ;-)). Of course, there is BibTeX4Word, a tool offering similar functionality as Docear4Word (and also working with any BibTeX file). However, BibTeX4Word is very difficult to install, not really easy to use, and there are not that many citation styles as far as we know.
Beta 4 of Docear is available for download. There are many minor changes and enhancements. For instance, your existing PDF reader (e.g. Foxit) is automatically pre-selected, handling BibTeX files from Mendeley improved (you can automatically resolve duplicate BibTeX keys), and we did many bug fixes. But, there is one major improvement: Docear Beta 4 offers free full-text literature recommendations. In your workspace panel you find a link “Show Recommendations”. If you click this link, a tab will open with a list of research papers that might interest you. If you are a long-time user of Docear and also used SciPlore MindMapping, you might remember that we already had recommendations in SciPlore MindMapping. And you probably remember that they were… well, let’s face it, they were really … crappy. Docear’s recommendations are way better. From my experience I would say they are quite decent and let me tell you that the recommendations will become even better in the future. However, the quality of recommendations also depends on the field of your research. Most of our papers are the field of computer science, accordingly recommendations in this field probably are best. But maybe the best thing about the recommended papers is – they are completely free. Just click on them and they will be downloaded to your literature repository or open in your web browser. Please note, to get recommendations you must have used Docear for a while and must have added at least a few papers to your literature repository.
We are very interested in your opinion: What do you think about the recommendations? How good or bad are they? How important are recommendations for you?
The third Beta of Docear was released today (download here). Besides several bug fixes, the major changes are:
Here are all the changes:
Beta 2 brings many new features and even more bug fixes. The most important new feature probably is the online backup. You can register and Docear will create backups of your mind maps on our sever each time you save a mind map. That means, if you should have data loss or need an old version of your mind map you can log-in and easily restore your mind map.
Today, on February 15th, 2012 we released the first public version of Docear. It’s a Beta version and still has some bugs and missing features but overall it will give you a thorough impression of what we consider an academic literature suite to be.
The main idea behind Docear is that you annotate everything you consider important in a PDF. That means, you highlight text, write comments, or create bookmarks in the PDF. To create bookmarks and comments, you can use almost any PDF reader (highlighting text is a bit more complicated). These PDF annotations are then imported by Docear to a mind map. In this mind map you can organize all your annotations into categories, create further nodes and add more text. With the integrated reference manager, bibliographic data can be added to each of the PDF annotations (and all other nodes in the mind map). Then, you can create a new mind map, drag e.g. a research paper, copy your annotations to the draft and if you need more information you just click on the PDF annotation and the PDF will open on the page the annotation was made. Watch this video to get a better idea of what Docear can do (watch it in full-screen mode). (more…)
Lots of great news: Beta 16 ready for release, Cooperation with Freeplane team, Docear receives funding, …
There is lots of great news. Beta 16 is about to be released (Preview for Blog readers available now) The last Beta was released in March, quite a while ago. We were really busy with preparing the relaunch of SciPlore MindMapping as Docear. However, we also had time to finish Read more…
Beta 14 of SciPlore MindMapping is out: Import comments & highlighted text; more BibTeX attributes, Export works now, …
We added some new features to SciPlore MindMapping Beta 14 that should help you a lot in managing your academic literature: Many users told us they would like not only to import bookmarks but comments and highlighted text from PDFs to their mind maps. Well, this is now possible :-). Read more…