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 :-). However, importing highlighted text is pretty… far from being perfect. Currently, it works only with PDFs edited with Skim. Anyway, importing comments works quite well. In addition, more BibTeX attributes are shown in the mind map (journal, year and authors in addition to bibtexkey and title). Also the BibTeX processing is more tolerant which makes it easier to use SciPlore MindMapping with manually created BibTeX files and other reference mangers than JabRef. And, we fixed several bugs. As a consequence all export formats should work now (e.g. HTML, XHTML, Java Applet, Flash, PNG, PDF, …). Here is the complete list of our changes:
- New: Comments in PDFs and highlighted text can be imported
- New: Show more BibTeX attributes in mind map (author, year, journal/conference)
- New: Icons for most important actions in incoming folder window added
- Improved: BibTeX processing is more tolerant
- Improved: Incoming folder window remembers width
- Fixed: Update reference keys did not work if one BibTeX key in BibTeX file was empty
- Fixed: Some export formats did not work properly
- Fixed: Status window lost focus on click on background
- Fixed: If monitoring directory was non-existent, an exception occured
- Fixed: Reference key was not assigned if file name had special chars
Beta 12 has many new features and improvements
- New: Incoming PDFs are now displayed in seperate window
- New: ‘Import All’ and ‘Import New’ Bookmarks
- Improved: Update of the monitoring node is now MUCH, MUCH faster
- Improved: Better understandable error messages when the web service is not available (for mind map backup, user validation etc.)
- Improved: Logging events are sent up to three times if connection breaks
- Improved: Better exception handling if no internet connection exists
- Improved: Icons are now in higher resolution (more…)
Are you using Google Scholar? For finding scientific literature? For obtaining citation counts and publication lists of researchers? Have you ever thought about how trustworthy the information is you get on Google Scholar?
My colleague and I performed several tests with Google Scholar and found out that it is really easy to fool Google Scholar. You can easily increase citation counts of articles and therefore increase the article’s rankings. You can easily add invisible keywords to articles and make the article appear relevant for searches it actually isn’t. You can also create complete non-sensical articles with the paper generator SciGen and make Google Scholar index them. And you can place any kind of advertisement in manipulated articles and make users of Google Scholar downloading them.
Of course, our results do not mean that you cannot trust Google Scholar at all or shouldn’t use it at all. Despite our results I am using Google Scholar frequently – imho it’s still the best academic search engine on the market. However, as with all other search engines you should be aware that there might be spam and manipulated information and you should really be carefully using citation counts from Google Scholar. Maybe there are no, or little, manipulations right now. But the more citation counts from Google Scholar are used for performance evaluations, the higher the incentive for researchers to manipulate them (and, as said, it’s really easy).
What I am interested in now is: What’s you opinion on this subject? Have you every found something on Google Scholar that was suspicious? Please let me know.
If you are interested in more information read the full article, titled “Academic Search Engine Spam and Google Scholar’s Resilience Against it”, here.
We got a few questions when we did the experiments on Google Scholar (unfortunately we didn’t state that in the paper). The answer: Between early 2009 and mid of 2009. We first submitted the paper to WWW2010 in November 2009 but it was rejected. Well, and then it took… many many month (and edits) before the Journal of Electronic Publishing finally accepted and published the paper :-).
There is another really interesting article about spamming Google Scholar: Cyril Labbe created a fake researcher called Ike Antkare and made him one of the most cited authors of all time (according to Google Scholar). Read the article here.
Today we released Beta 11 of SciPlore MindMapping. There is a number
of new features, namely:
- New: Copy several BibTeX keys from different nodes at once
- New: Open the folder that contains the software’s log files via the menu
- New: Keyboard shortcuts for the most important functions
- New: Backup reminder (user is asked to activate backup after 10th software start)
- New: Information retrieval reminder
- New: Usage statistics implemented
- New: More options for PDF monitoring (update automatically on opening a mind map and read (no) sub directories)
- Improved: PDF Bookmarks (more…)
Most users of SciPlore MindMapping (including me) use JabRef to manage their references. However, I always was thinking about switching to Mendeley because they offer automatic extraction of metadata from PDFs which saves lots of time when creating your bibliography. But Mendeley is not that compatible with SciPlore MindMapping and has some other shortcomings, so I always sticked with JabRef and accepted the time consuming and annoying task of typing titles, author names etc. manually.
But now this will change: our team just created a modified version of JabRef which is able to extract metadata from PDFs. What does that mean? Well, whenever you find a PDF on the internet, you store it on your hard drive, drag&drop it to JabRef and then JabRef will automatically find the right meta data (authors, title, journal, year, page numbers, …) and create a new BibTeX entry which is linked to the PDF file.
And this is how it works:
1. Go to www.mr-dlib.org (more information about this new project is coming soon), download our version of JabRef and install it.
2. Open the software and drag&drop one or several PDFs somewhere on the table which lists your BibTeX entries.
3. A dialog will open in which you select “fetch meta data from Mr. dLib”.
4. The next steps should be self explaining 🙂
If you need a PDF for testing take this one. This should definately work. If not, please contact us.
And maybe the best thing: Our modified version of JabRef also accepts drag&drop directly from SciPlore MindMapping. That means you can drag&drop a PDF from SciPlore MindMapping into JabRef, there the metadata is extracted and a BibTeX entry created and then you can access the BibTeX data directly in SciPlore MindMapping. This will dramatically improve your workflow (if you don’t know about how to use SciPlore MindMapping and JabRef for managing your academic literature and drafting papers read here or check out this video)
Some words about how all this works in detail: The meta data extraction does not take place on your computer but JabRef will transfer your PDF to our server on which it will be analyzed. Our server then returns the extracted meta data. In most cases (I would assume something around 80%) you should get at least the title. And if your PDF is an article in the field of computer science you have a good chance to get much more information. However, we are constantly improving our algorithms and database. And btw. we will not store your PDF on our servers or any information of it. Once we have analyzed it and returned the meta data to you it will be deleted from our server.
We have talked to the JabRef team and our new features will be integrated into the official JabRef version soon 🙂
Today we released Beta 10 of SciPlore MindMapping. There are no new features but SciPlore MindMapping should run now smoothly with Linux and MacOS. I guess, there will be still some problems but you certainly will tell us if that’s the case (at least I hope so) 🙂
Download Beta 10 here.
Update: The final article is published. I am currently in Toronto presenting our new paper titled “On the Robustness of Google Scholar against Spam” at Hypertext 2010. The paper is about some experiments we did on Google Scholar to find out how reliable their citation data etc. is. The paper soon will be downloadable on our publication page but for now i will post a pre-print version of that paper here in the blog: In this research-in-progress paper we present the current results of several experiments in which we analyzed whether spamming Google Scholar is possible. Our results show, it is possible: We ‘improved’ the ranking of articles by manipulating their citation counts and we made articles appear in searchers for keywords the articles did not originally contained by placing invisible text in modified versions of the article. Researchers should have an interest in having their articles indexed by Google Scholar and other academic search engines such as CiteSeer(X). The inclusion of their articles in the index improves the ability to make their articles available to the academic community. In addition, authors should not only be concerned about the fact that their articles are indexed, but also where they are displayed in the result list. As with all ranked search results, articles displayed in top positions are more likely to be read. In recent studies we researched the ranking algorithm of Google Scholar
I am currently in Toronto presenting our new paper titled “On the Robustness of Google Scholar against Spam” at Hypertext 2010. The paper is about some experiments we did on Google Scholar to find out how reliable their citation data etc. is. The paper soon will be downloadable on our publication page but for now i will post a pre-print version of that paper here in the blog:
In this research-in-progress paper we present the current results of several experiments in which we analyzed whether spamming Google Scholar is possible. Our results show, it is possible: We ‘improved’ the ranking of articles by manipulating their citation counts and we made articles appear in searchers for keywords the articles did not originally contained by placing invisible text in modified versions of the article.
Researchers should have an interest in having their articles indexed by Google Scholar and other academic search engines such as CiteSeer(X). The inclusion of their articles in the index improves the ability to make their articles available to the academic community. In addition, authors should not only be concerned about the fact that their articles are indexed, but also where they are displayed in the result list. As with all ranked search results, articles displayed in top positions are more likely to be read.
In recent studies we researched the ranking algorithm of Google Scholar
We conducted some experiments to find out how robust Google Scholar is against spamming. The experiments are not all completed yet but those that are completed show interesting results which are presented in this paper. (more…)