| Carl Friedrich Gauß Faculty | Department of Computer Science

Managing Bibliography Data and Using the IBR Library

AuthorFrank Steinberg
KeywordsBibliography BibTeX Library Literatur Bibliothek
CategoriesAdministrivia, Software


It is reasonable to put all data on literature references into a central place, so that

  • all entries can be used by all users for authoring papers and web pages,
  • entries exist just once, reducing redundant management and inconsistent appearance in documents and web pages,
  • a large and growing database of entries is accessible to all user for searching.

Such a central place on the IBR servers is /ibr/www/bib where you can find bibliography databases in two forms:

  • BibTeX files, primarily used for references in papers, etc.
  • subdirectories containing XML files, each representing a "bibitem", primarily used for references in web pages

BibTeX files are converted automatically to the XML format immediately when changes are made. The conversion from XML to BibTeX is still missing, but currently most data is managed in BibTeX format.

BibTeX Files

There are BibTeX databases owned by individual users (identified by the filename and with file modification permissions restricted to one user) and BibTeX databases which can be edited by multiple users. In the latter case, you have to take care to use RCS appropriately. Don't forget to release your lock after editing so that you don't inhibit your fellows from editing.

Whenever you save one of those *.bib files, the according XML files in subdirectories are re-created automatically for referring on the IBR website. However, this procedure may fail, if the *.bib files contain errors. To ensure that there are no errors, you should always use the command

make check
(although this does not find all errors).

Also, note that there are some new IBR-specific attributes, that you can add to your bibitems:

  • ibrslides = {http://www.ibr.cs.tu-bs.de/papers/...pdf};
    This adds an URL to the slides of a conference talk. This information will be added to bibitem references on web pages.
  • ibrgroups = "vs cm";
    This adds information of IBR groups that participated in authoring this document. This allows to create automatic publication lists on web pages. Multiple groups are separated by whitespace. NOTE: Do not forget to also specify the publication year and also the month, if possible, e.g.: year = 2005;month = may;
  • ibrauthors = "bechler wolf";
    This adds information of IBR user names (note: really the account name in lowercase letters). Multiple users are separated by whitespace. This allows to create automatic author based publication lists on web pages.
  • ibrprojects = "libsmi";
    This adds information of IBR projects by the project ID. Multiple projects are separated by whitespace. This allows to create automatic project based publication lists on web pages.

XML Files

Bibitem files in the XML format have to conform to an XML Schema that is strictly based on the BibTeX format. Usually, you don't want to edit XML files manually. In fact, those XML files that are converted automatically from BibTeX files usually have file access permissions that don't allow writing.

The IBR Library

The bibitems that represent books and other media in the IBR library are managed as XML files. They have a flag that signals that these are loanable items, and during the time they are loaned from the library by anyone they also contain according information. However, the file modifications that reflect these changes in the loan status are done through simple web front end operations:

At the IBR library web page you can seek for books in all bibliography databases. Those search result entries that are marked with a green or red dot represent library items. If you click on them you will get their detailed information and if you are logged into the IBR web site as an IBR staff member (group "mitarb"), you should find buttons at the left bottom to loan or return the item. There might also be a button to edit an entry. If you find typos or other errors in an entry, please take a few seconds to fix them. Futhermore, if you loaned a book and gave it to one of your students you can edit the bibitem and change the name of the loaner to any person with an IBR user account.

References on Web Pages

Bibitems can be referenced simply by their ID (BibTeX "key") or as an implicit search result through an XPath expression.

A simple list of bibliography entries on a web pages might look like this:

<ul class="bibitem">
  <li idref="RFC2578"/>
  <li idref="RFC2579"/>
  <li idref="RFC2580"/>

An example of using the features of IBR-specific BibTeX attributes is to put the following code into a personal webpage to list all papers authored by a given user, sorted in descending order by publication year and month:

<ul class="bibitem"

last changed 2011-03-04, 11:09 by Frank Steinberg