The Probability Abstract Service (PAS) is a free and open digital archive of research article abstracts in the field of mathematical Probability. The service is provided as a joint effort of Prof. Jim Pitman from the University of California, Berkeley and the SciPlore project.
The PAS offers comprehensive, integrated information about articles and authors in the probability community. All data in the PAS is easily accessible through a web-interface and openly available for download in JSON and XML format. The PAS updates itself daily by retrieving new articles from the Open Access preprint collection arXiv. arXiv is widely adopted by the probability community for offering pre-print full-text articles. The PAS, which predates arXiv, continues to be a valuable service, offering a sharper focus, more convenient and condensed display and browsing options, and disambiguation of authors.
The PAS was started in 1991 by Rich Bass (Univ. of Connecticut) Krzysztof Burdzy (Univ. of Washington) and Mike Sharpe (UC San Diego), who initiated the service as an email newsletter that informed interested readers about new articles in the field. The service gradually evolved from a newsletter to a web-interface offering browsing and search capabilities. Until October 2004, Krzysztof Burdzy and Larry Susanka (Bellevue College, Washington) maintained the service before transferring it to Stefano M. Iacus (Univ. of Milan, Italy), who hosted it until 2010. In 2010, Prof. Jim Pitman took over responsibility for the PAS. Today, Prof. Pitman is hosting the service in cooperation with SciPlore at the University of California, Berkeley.
In cooperation with Prof. Pitman and partially supported by a NSF grant, SciPlore extended the PAS for machine-readability by developing a new data backend. Since this renewal, Mr.DLib, an acronym for Machine‑readable Digital Library, handles all data-related tasks. Mr.DLib manages the import and disambiguation of records from arXiv, their storage and maintenance, and provision of JSON and XML exports of data in form of a RESTful web service. SciPlore’s improvements to the web-interface comprise the addition of an author index, which allows displaying all articles of specific authors, among other usability enhancements.