Docear 2013 in review and our plans for 2014

It’s almost a bit late to review 2013 but better late than never. 2013 doubtlessly was the most active and most successful year for Docear, so far. First and foremost, we finally released Docear 1.0, after releasing many Beta and Release Candidates. Of course, Docear 1.0 is far from being perfect, but we are really proud of it and we think it’s an awesome piece of software to manage references, PDFs, and much more. But there were many noteworthy events more, some of which we took pictures of:

We presented several research papers at the JCDL in Chicago, TPDL on Malta, and RecSys/RepSys in Hong Kong. It is always a pleasure to attend such conferences. Not only because they take place at really nice locations, but because you meet really interesting people (for instance Kris Jack from Mendeley, a really enthusiastic and smart guy who develops Mendeley’s recommender system, or Joseph A. Konstan, who is a true pioneer in the field of recommender systems).

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TPDL on Malta

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JCDL in Chicago

2013 hong kong

RecSys in Hong Kong

Almost every year, our mentor Prof. Andreas Nürnberger is inviting his team members to a sailing turn, and so he did 2013. For several days we were sailing the Baltic Sea, learned a lot about team work and had a lot of fun.

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Sailing turn with our mentor Prof. Nürnberger, the Docear team, and some PhD students of his working group

We had the honour to supervise an excellent student team at HTW Berlin thanks to Prof. Weber-Wulff. The students did a great job in developing the Docear Web prototype. It’s a pity that the prototype has not yet found its way into our live system, but we have not had the time to give the prototype the last bug fixes and features it needs. However, this is very high on our todo list.

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Four of the five students at HTW Berlin who developed a prototype of “Docear Web”

Docear is primarily located in Magdeburg, Germany, which is close to Berlin. Therefore, we didn’t think twice when Researchgate hosted the 10th “Recommender Stammtisch” (regulars’ table) in Berlin. There, we could listened to an enlightening talk of Andreas Lommatzsch, and an entertaining introduction of Researchgate’s CEO Ijad Madisch.

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In July, Dr. Georgia M. Kapitsaki visited Docear. She stayed for several weeks, gave some interesting seminars e.g. about software engineering, and helped us a lot to improve Docear’s recommender system. If you are interested in a research cooperation, contact us, we have many ideas what we could to together.

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Dr. Georgia M. Kapitsaki

We are a rather small team, and hence, sometimes, it was necessary to work late until we could hardly read the screen any more, but mostly…

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Stefan, barely able to stay awake 😉

…. 2013 was a lot of fun 🙂

Stefan and Marcel during a photoshooting in our university's library

Stefan and Marcel during a photoshooting in our university’s library

For the number-guys among you, a few statistics:

  • Number of visitors in 2013: 169,242
  • Number of unique page views in 2013: 507,749
  • We had visitors from almost anywhere in the world, but most often from the US and Germany
  •  Chrome and FireFox were by far the most used browsers (each about ~40%)
  • 70% of our visitors used Windows, 13% Mac, and 11% Linux.
  • The most-read Blog posts
    1. Which one is the best reference management tool?
    2. Preview of the Docear Online Viewer
    3. What makes a bad reference manager?
    4. Docear 1.0 (stable), a new video, new manual, new homepage, new details page, …
    5. Docear4Word 1.0: Managing citations, bibliographies and references in Microsoft-Word based on BibTeX (already published in 2012)

What’s coming in 2014? Well, there is good news, and there is bad news. The good news is, that we have an oral agreement with our university to get financial support for at least one year (cross your fingers that everything works out fine). The somewhat bad news is that we have to do some software development for our university. Although it’s a pretty cool project we will be working on, it means that we will have slightly less time for Docear. However, it should still be more than enough time to bring you lots of new great features. Currently, we plan to completely redesign the PDF metadata extraction process, and to finish “Docear Web” that allows you to work on your data in the Web browser, and hopefully we will also be able to offer some features such as synchronizing your files among different devices. We also plan, to give more work to external freelancers and students. Some of these features are the add-ons for LibreOffice or maybe also the PDF metadata extraction. Since we don’t have any funds to pay these freelancers, we will occasionally ask you to donate for specific features. More information is coming soon…

So, stay tuned, spread the word, and tell us what you want us to do in 2014.

 

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