Ivan’s private site

June 24, 2007

Zitgist, publications, bibtex, Zotero,…

Filed under: Semantic Web,Work Related — Ivan Herman @ 12:58

A bit of artificial mental jumps here but, well, this is how mind works…

I had some fun with Zitgist’s Semantic Web browser. Great to see these things coming up one after the other (Fred should probably add an entry to the SW tool list when he feels it is mature enough…). The templating mechanism on Zitgist is clearly powerful to make the output more enjoyable for humans (will I be able to add/use my own templates, b.t.w.? I wonder. I hope…).

Frederick used my publication list (in RDF) as an example in his blog on the browser which leads me to a related subject. In one of his emails (or was it IRC?) Fred referred to a possible project on bibliography ontology, which reminded me of an older blog I had on bibtex and RDF (and Bibsonomy) a while ago. Well, the publication list referred to and (nicely!) displayed in the Zitgist browser is actually a static dump of the RDF bibliography generated by Bibsonomy. And the good thing is that some of the grudges that I had in January are gone (authors and editors are displayed in correct order).

So what is Zotero, and what does it have to do with this? I discovered this tool about a month ago and I have been using it since. It is a Firefox extension to manage, organize, maintain collections of research resources, eg, article references. One can easily add notes, define cross-relationships, tags, add attachments, etc, to article references. The scholarly references can then be exported in various formats, including RDF. Yes, it is yet another RDF format for bibliography (see my note of January again…): at the moment the generated RDF is a mixture of dublin core and FOAF tags (plus some local tags). But, as far as I know, the Zotero developers want to work on this part of their system further (Zotero is still in Beta). I think that if some work on bibliographies is really picked up by the community the Zotero developers should be included somehow, too. Zotero might become a very powerful tool for data exchange in the the scholarly research community, would be good to have them on the (SW) board all the way! It would be nice if there was an easy connection and data exchange between Bibsonomy (which is great to maintain bibliography on line and share them with your peers) and Zotero (which I regard more as a personal management tool).



  1. Ivan — I’ll just say the same thing I wrote in your post on BibTeX: most tools and ontologies in this space are designed for the sciences, and are way too limited for many scholars (including me) the humanities, social sciences, and law. Zotero is run mostly by historians.

    See the new work that Fred is also involved in.

    Comment by Bruce D'Arcus — June 24, 2007 @ 16:14

  2. Hi Ivan,

    Than ks for this blog post about the zitgist rdf browser.

    Also, I would suggest you to read this recent blog post: http://fgiasson.com/blog/index.php/2007/06/04/my-personal-library-and-the-semantic-web/

    Something related to this will be released later this week or the following one (possible that the example on the blog post doesn’t work anymore, should check back the demo server).

    Also, check bibliontology.com (wiki.bibliontology.com) and the google groupd related to it. Much activity there.

    Take care,


    Comment by Fred — June 24, 2007 @ 23:30

  3. Bruce,

    I do not dispute that BibTeX is mostly used by scientists. But if anything is done, we should be careful to make an easy move to and from BibTeX. Lots of people are using it; in some areas, together with EndNote, it is some sort of a de-facto standard…

    Comment by Ivan Herman — June 25, 2007 @ 9:59

  4. Fred,

    this is awesome. Unfortunately, my list of (private) books is in a database on my PDA and I still have to find a way to get it out of its own format to feed it into, say, Virtuoso…

    Comment by Ivan Herman — June 25, 2007 @ 10:02

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