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Except for articles, for which journals usually provide relevant information, I feel that preparing a proper bibliography is a tedious task. A few available tools (ottobib, Mendeley, Refworks, zotero) may help but it looks to me that they are still limited in terms of providing exact reference information. For instance, it is sometimes hard to chose among @book, @inbook, @incollection, @collection and available databases are decently vague on this. Also, first names of authors, annotators, translators is most always missing. What I am thinking of (it may exist already) is then a social network oriented database mainly in a bibtex sense that could be modified, updated and discussed by users in a way similar to what happens on this http://tex.stackexchange.com site where users may correct other users' messages. Based on these concerns, could a collaborative http://bibtex.stackexchange.com/ site be set-up soon?

migrated from tex.stackexchange.com Jun 2 '12 at 17:52

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  • I like the idea and I'll upvote it as soon as I have new votes available (spent my daily quota... :)). But is this not rather a question for TeX.meta? – Count Zero Jun 2 '12 at 15:36
  • yes, it is probably for TEX.meta but I had forgotten about this section of the website. – pluton Jun 2 '12 at 15:39
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    @CountZero If this is essentially an idea for a new SE site, it should go on Area 51. However, I doubt that the quite rigid Stack Exchange format is appropriate for such an undertaking, even though I like the idea behind it. – doncherry Jun 2 '12 at 16:31
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    The obvious issue here is that the number of 'overlapping' references between different people will be pretty small out of the total number of references they need. At the same time, different people will still have differing ideas of the 'correct' format. In addition, as @doncherry says this does not look like a good fit for a Q&A format. Perhaps one to do as a GitHub or BitBucket shared repository, where interested people can all add to one (or more) .bib files? – Joseph Wright Jun 2 '12 at 17:58
  • but on a github like framework, discussion is not very easy, is it? I agree that the overlapping at the beginning will be limited but this could grow quite quickly I guess – pluton Jun 2 '12 at 18:14
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    @pluton The SE model is also not good for discussion: that's what mailing lists are for. On GitHub or BitBucket, you would go for a issue-based approach, or look for someone to host a 'proper' mailing list (TUG would be obvious). – Joseph Wright Jun 2 '12 at 18:36
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I am using the (commercial) program Papers2 on my mac. It has a search function that directly taps into web of science (if you have access), arxiv and e.g. Google scholar. It imports the paper including the provided meta information.

Then, you can use lifve to share that information with other people. It is some kind of social network that uses a twitter account to connect people. I played only a little with it, but it sounds like something you might be interested in.

Unfortunately, I don't know how to use or access it outside of papers 2, but since it is based on twitter, there might be solutions for other platforms as well.

  • I have to investigate more but this twitter oriented strategy may be of interest here. Is it something like: on twitter I am following a guy who I know is looking for a reference. I am myself in a library and take time to find this reference and then send the information? – pluton Jun 9 '12 at 17:08

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