Easily Create Community Pages

Published: 11/16/2014, 9:11:01 PM

Research Community Pages

Conferences are the primary occasion for scientists to get together with others in their field and exchange ideas, insights, and results. These get-togethers are essential for researchers to coordinate their efforts, evaluate each others work, and most importantly, build something that is greater than the sum of its parts. You can't stand on the shoulder of giants if you don't know where they are. But the pace of research is accelerating, and conferences only happen so often. Furthermore conferences are prohibitively expensive for some people to attend, which runs counter to the fundamental principle of science of being open to everyone. This may be one of the reasons why in several areas of research people have recognized the need and benefit of having a community web page where they can share ideas, keep in touch, and last but not least collect and curate the relevant publications in the field (e.g., http://deeplearning.net/, http://www.coin-or.org/, http://sumo.dlr.de/wiki/Publications).

Maintaining Community Pages

While these pages have a lot of benefit and do not cost much to setup and run, they do usually require a committed individual or group of people who volunteer to create and maintain them. That individual or group often needs to reach out to members of the community on a regular basis to remind them to contribute their latest publications, or they need to curate list of new papers themselves. It is this overhead of setting up and maintaining them which often stops these pages from being created in first place, or cause them to be outdated when the volunteers change jobs or become overwhelmed with other work for a different reason.

Creating Light-weight Community Pages wit BibBase

Just like BibBase makes it easy to create and maintain publication pages for individuals, it now provides the same benefits to communities via keyword pages.

Keyword pages exist on bibbase.org for all and any keywords mentioned in the publications of any BibBase user, for instance, for machine learningdemocracy, human-computer interaction. They provide a very low-maintenance way of seeing what has been published in these respective areas by BibBase users. The pages are generated automatically and show all papers that have the respective keyword in their bibtex's `keywords` value, which is a comma-separated list. While is is already useful, it often makes more sense to have a designated site for a community page where also other functionality, such as discussion forums, event lists, and lists of relevant open-source software are used to build the community. For this reason, BibBase allows the embedding of keyword pages into other web pages, in the same way individual publication lists can be embedded into personal web pages. As an example see the community page for Golog.

To embed a keyword page into a web page, you can simply use the following URL: 


where you replace MYKEYWORD with the keyword you want. This URL can be used with any method of embedding, as described in the documentation. For instance, using PHP to embed the machine learning keyword, you would use the following in your .php file:

<?php $contents = file_get_contents("http://bibbase.org/all/keyword/machine%20learning"); print_r($contents); ?>

Once set up, there is no more action required to maintain the page other than community members adding their new publications to their own BibBase pages by editing their respective bibtex files, and using the keyword. The embedded publications list will be kept up-to-date automatically.