[openbiblio-dev] github

Peter Murray-Rust pm286 at cam.ac.uk
Thu Nov 17 16:43:07 UTC 2011

On Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 10:36 AM, ianibbo at gmail.com <ianibbo at gmail.com>wrote:

> (With apols to PMR for duplicate, forgot to cc list first time)

No probs, and thanks Ian

> This is vaguely reminiscent of a discussion I was having with Owen
> Stepehens on twitter (And in person with Tony H last weekend)

Hirst? Hey?

about a
> bib-hub style service... It's not clear to me from your text exactly
> what features of github you're talking about exploiting, but I think
> there's a massive parallel between some of the big-scale issues we
> have with bib data management and git style branch/merge. I suspect it
> would be missing a huge trick if you were to treat git as essentially
> "Just another bitstore" and not look carefully at it's workflow.
> We aren't treating it as a bitstore. We want to treat it as a set of
quasi-autonomous interconnected nodes involving humans. I am a neophyte (I
use mercurial, which I think is closer to a versioned bitstore) and want to
learn about the power of git.

> I also think this points back to a discussion on this list that
> questioned the wisdom of creating yet-another ultimate
> copy/aggregation of bib data when what we really need to do is better
> manage the collections already out there.
> No! We are exactly  not trying to do that. What BibSoup does is to let
everyone manage their own collections and link them through a common syntax
and semantics. We are trying to give people more opportunity to manage
their own bibliography in an Open fashion - i.e. published to the Web. So
rather than a department laboriously typing up "publication lists" into
HTML, BibSoup allows them to create them in whatever form and then turn
them into structured bibliography automatically.

Remember many of the "collections already out there" *we* cannot manage -
they are closed and proprietary. BibSoup allows us to make Open collections
(of course we cannot take the proprietary ones as our scholarship "belongs"
to the commercial publishers). So in STM - which is my orientation, there
is a need for systems to manage and publish local bibliographies free of

It's an idealist's dream but every University and every department in the
UK could publish its output to the world as local BibSoups. But most
universities are only concerned with publishing the output to the REF and
for that they buy proprietary tools and services.


Peter Murray-Rust
Reader in Molecular Informatics
Unilever Centre, Dep. Of Chemistry
University of Cambridge
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