Downloadable references

From: Jessel, Tanner – FS
Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 4:31 PM
To: Vanni, Frank -FS < >
Cc: Chau, Tiffany T -FS < >; Miner, Cynthia L -FS < >
Subject: RE: Downloadable references

Hi Frank,

Thanks for passing this along.

The ability to download citation information for each publication is something I admire about the Southern Research Station.


SRS allows a user to download 3 citation formats:

1. BibTeX (.bib)

2. EndNote (.enw)

3. Research Information Systems citation file (.ris)

After a user downloads their preferred citation file (see attachments), they can open it in the citation management software of their choosing (EndNote, Mendeley, Zotero, etc).

I’m unable to determine how the SRS generated their .bib, .enw, and .ris files.

I’ll venture a guess that a computer program or script generated the basic data elements for each file.

I suspect that, if providing a downloadable citation is a service we wish to provide to our site visitors (and this is fairly common in academic publishing), we could either:

a) Copy whatever steps SRS took to generate downloadable citations

b) Develop new steps drawing on existing XML data for PNWRS pubs to generate downloadable citations

Case study:

Here is a publication downloadable from SRS:

Here is the same record in TreeSearch:

Note the link to XML from that page:

While I don’t presently have the coding skills to write a computer script that converts existing XML data (.xml) into .ris, .enw, or .ris, I do suspect that would be the likely path.

The overall process might be:

1) Obtain all .xml files for publications relevant to PNW

a. Note: this step potentially involves “web scraping,” e.g., computer “bot” or “spider” that crawls over a specified Web directory)

2) Write computer program that:

a. Inputs/reads .xml document

b. translates fields in XML document to matching citation file headings

c. outputs/writes citation file

3) Upload output citation file to PNWRS website.

That’s extremely rudimentary, but outlines an overall “flow” of steps.

Tiffany might have these coding skills; my skill level has not yet caught up with my interest level.

That being said, I have some elementary coding experience, and the basic domain knowledge to understand the issue.

I’m attaching a .PPT file (“citation-file-overview.pptx”) with some images I captured exploring the case study presented here; please let me know if I can elaborate on anything.



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About Tanner Jessel

I am a recent M.S. in Information Science graduate from the University of Tennessee School of Information Science. I was formerly a graduate research assistant funded by DataONE (Data Observation Network for Earth). Prior, I worked for four years as a content lead and biodiversity scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Biodiversity Informatics Program. Building on my work experience in biodiversity and environmental informatics, my work with DataONE focused on exploring the nature of scientific collaborations necessary for scientific inquiry. I also conducted research concerning user experience and usability, and assisted in development of member nodes with an emphasis on spatial data and infrastructure. I assisted with research designed to understand sociocultural issues within collaborative research communities. Through August 1, 2014, I was based at the Center for Information and Communication Studies at the University of Tennessee School of Information Science in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Posted on November 16, 2016, in Uncategorized, USFS Research. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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