Is there an open and free endpoint for researchers bibliographical references?

edited May 9, 2017

I am making a website for a researcher network using Jekyll and hosting it on github pages.

Each researcher (250+ people) should have his own document with an up to date bibliography.

I could request from them the bibliography in a BibTeX format and include it using Jekyll-Scholar plugin. However, it would require them to update it each time they publish a new paper.

So I looked into ResearchGate, hoping to find an API (they landed 35 Millions to make one 2 years ago). No luck, they only have a plugin system far from fulfilling my requirements.

So I wondered if there is any reliable endpoint to fetch an individual researcher bibliography, assuming she or he would agree and keep it up to date.

I am very surprised that I can't find a place where a researcher can upload their bibliographical references in popular formats and that can be used as a mirror to perform several tasks like keeping up to date all the websites displaying their bibliography (e.g. your lab, your personnal page, your researchGate account), cross-posting new publications etc.

So I am looking for 2 things:

1 - A website/webservice fulfilling the above requirements
2 - A guidance on the design of that service. I could put up an EC2 server with an RDS or cloud database and provide a webservice based on a researcher ID that returns the list of their publications.

I would do that as a non-profit app, assuming the production would not cost me any money (maybe putting up a Patreon or something).

Concerning the stack, I was thinking to implement a nodejs server with feathersjs to handle the webservices part, with a mongoDB behind, and nuxt to handle a frontend featuring the following services :

- search for a researcher id by name (public part)
- expose a researcher bibliography using COinS (public part)
- document the api and provide several use cases to integrate the data into a website (public part)
- create a researcher account (private part)
- submit/edit/delete new publications references (private part)

I am not a business guy the I don't know it is a good idea, money-wise.
  • There are a number of services that have trieds something along these lines, with limited success, as you've noticed. The biggest challenge is not the coding but the sociology: you need to get people to sign up:

    I'd say the most promising one may by ORCID:
    - ORCID has a pretty decent API (which, among other things, produces citeproc json and bibtex)
    - ORCID auto updates scholars' citations if they enable it based on CrossRef and DataCite DOI data
    - ORCID is endorsed by most publishers, most of which now ask for and some require ORCIDs when publishing articles, making it more likely for researchers to actually sign up

    It should also work for your purposes.
Sign In or Register to comment.