PubMan Days 2008

Berlin, 5th and 6th November 2008

Here you can find the agenda of PubMan Days 2008.

Summary of the two days:

Day 1



Before the main workshop started two different workshops were offered.
Rupert Kiefl (MPDL) organized usability interviews, based on the “thinking aloud”-method, which is used to identify necessary usability improvements of PubMan. Modern web applications are expected to deliver a high degree of usability, while user participation within the development process is essential to meet those expectations. UIE Workshops can help clarify

  • how users approach their tasks.
  • how they expect the interface to behave.
  • employed metaphors.

Friederike Kleinfercher and Ulla Tschida (both MPDL) organized a workshop on the genre-specific submission mask. The current specification for the genre-specific entry mask was presented, as well as overall outcome of the re-design. The major benefits include

  • shorter submission procedure, as only the important metadata for each document type have to be provided
  • improved usability (outcome of UIE workshops and evaluations)
  • improved grouping of metadata on the mask.

The specification was developed together with the PubMan Pilot Group. As a greatest common denominator, the current genre-specific submission mask is a good start. Still, the workshop outcome showed that „special“ bibliographic use cases are not covered. The discussion with participants brought up the need for a tool to independently configure submission masks, i.e. to define on local base, which metadata are relevant for which document types. To provide a „user-friendly“ tool and to ensure the compatibility of individually designed submission data with standard submission data, the eSciDoc team will need more time to design such a tool.
In addition, the institute-specific usage of certain metadata on eDoc (such as comment of the author, research context) was discussed. This institute-specific usage will be considered when migrating each institute to the new system.

State and Outlook eSciDoc-PubMan

With the beginning of the conference, Malte Dreyer (MPDL) gave an overview about the current state and outlook of eSciDoc-Pubman. eSciDoc is an eResearch environment, developed specifically for use by scientific and scholarly communities, in order to collaborate globally and interdisciplinary. It comprises a set of services and solutions that enable multiple eScience scenarios. PubMan is one solution of the eSciDoc infrastructure, meanwhile in use by six Early Adopter MPIs (MPI for Biogeochemistry, MPI for Chemical Ecology, MPI for Gravitational Physics, MPI of Colloids and Interfaces, MPI of Molecular Plant Physiology, MPI for Psycholinguistics). Various external organizations show interest in eSciDoc (e.g. NIMS, CNRS, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, GFZ Potsdam, HU Berlin). Malte Dreyer provided an outlook on the future of PubMan developments, starting with the release 3.8 over the upcoming releases 4 (GUIv2), 4.1 (further citation- and export formats, EndNote Import), and 5 (further preparation for going productive -> manuals, support and coordination of policies), to enable for productive use of PubMan until May 2009 by all MPS Institutes.

Current PubMan Release 3.8

Ulla Tschida (MPDL) reported on the details of the current release 3.8. Here are some of the most important improvements:

  • export (or send per email) of BibTeX records
  • fetching metadata and full text from arXiv by providing arXiv IDs
  • autosuggest for journals and languages (CONE Service)
  • copy (multiple) authors from articles and paste them into an author field in PubMan
  • single items can now be exported directly from the full item view
  • export options are now also enabled in the workspace

The presentation of the new release led the participants of the meeting to a lively discussion about their future requirements for PubMan. Following functionalities were mentioned:

  • EndNote import/export
  • control and handling of duplicates
  • a bigger choice of citation styles (MPS Yearbook style)
  • PubMan should provide at least the same functions as eDoc
  • simple and clearly arranged interfaces for easy and full submission, in order to achieve better acceptance by the scientists
  • more support for teching metadata from external databases (e.g. Web of Science, PubMed Central … etc.)
  • fine-granular access rights
  • “Yearbook-button”
  • integration of PubMan and local library catalogue
  • context-sensitive help
  • “copyright handling workflow”
  • normed data; persistent author-IDs
  • local configuration of genre-specific masks
  • improvement of journal autosuggest (sorting)
  • history of affiliations

Outlook GUIv2

Rupert Kiefl (MPDL) presented the new version of the overall look-and-feel, which is planned for the next release. Some highlights are:

Improvements in usability

  • file upload changed
  • page jumping minimized
  • submission simplified (Easy Submission, Full Submission, Import)
  • position of form buttons as expected
  • collection selection changed
  • additional help text added
  • advanced search redesigned, according to workshop outcome and usage statistics from eDoc
  • validation messages appear in place
  • more clear menu structure
  • improved browser compatibility and accessibility

Improvements in user experience

  • open/close on screen areas with transitions
  • date input improved (any date format is now converted into the standard format by
    pressing enter, any meaningful text is converted automatically)
  • a more appealing icon set
  • a modest colour scheme
  • preparation for institute specific color scheme
  • autosuggest of frequently used journal names
  • more verbose interface elements (small hints appears on „mouse over“)

Examples for MPDL projects in context of eSciDoc-PubMan

Anja Lengenfelder, Ulla Tschida and Andreas Gros (all MPDL) provided an insight on various MPDL projects based on PubMan. Within the §137-L project PubMan is used for long-term-archiving of publications between 1966 and 1994, for which the authors have granted “merge right” to the MPDL. Furthermore PubMan is used to store the retro-digitized Reinhold von Sengbusch Collection and Zeitschrift für Naturforschung. At the National Institute for Material Sciences (NIMS) PubMan is applied in the administration of researcher portfolios (Author ID), statistics and internationalization.

Exemplary cycle of software development process

Ulla Tschida (MPDL) gave an insight into the process from requirement engineering to system deployment of PubMan . Software development at the MPDL is characterized by different phases (Requirements Phase, Specification Phase, Design Phase, Development Phase, Staging Phase, Production Phase). Different teams (Service Management, User Interface Engineering, Software Development) take responsibility for different phases. Tools (such as JIRA Issue-Tracking, CoLab) and internal coordination processes are used to work efficiently and effective.

Day 2

Reports of Early Adopter Institutes

Three Early Adopter Institutes gave an insight of their work with PubMan. At the MPI for Psycholinguistics, the PubMan Search & Export interface is used to feed local webpages. Andrea Seesko (MPI for Gravitational Physics) presented a short introduction to how the publication workflow (particularly in easy submission) looks like at their institute. The MPI for Chemical Ecology will join the Early Adopter team at spring 2009, dependent on features for Author ID handling and Endnote Import/Export. Diana Mewes presented what their workgroup expect from working with PubMan.

Presentation of project (ideas) for discipline-specific use of PubMan

In the further course of PubMan Days Sylvia Kortüm (MPI for Intellectual Property) and Gisela Lausberg (MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology) showed their ideas for discipline-specific extensions of PubMan. The publication management solution for five legal MPS Institutes (with own CMS)requires discipline-specific aspects of data entry, depending on discipline-specific metadata and content types, as well as configurable citation styles based on juristic standards . Gisela Lausberg (MPI EVA) gave a deeper insight into the project Linguistic Literature (a cooperative project with partners from the MPDL, MPI PL an MPI EVA), which delivers personalized collections and access to it and referencing parts of fulltexts.

Insight into publication management solutions of external organizations

Roland Bertelmann (GFZ Potsdam) and Dina Brandt (Fraunhofer Society) demonstrated their publication management systems and gave insight into their expectations, functionalities and problems.

Future developments

Ulla Tschida (MPDL) and Matthias Razum (FIZ) presented upcoming developments for eSciDoc and PubMan expected within the next months. For second quarter 2009 the following features were mentioned:

  • ongoing migration eDoc data to PubMan (start with MPI PL)
  • implementation of GUIv2
  • genre-specific submission mask
  • EndNote import
  • copy and paste of authors with affiliations
  • administrative search
  • extension for statistics (visualizations)
  • fine-granular access rights
  • OAI-PMH / RSS-feeds
  • persistent IDs
  • author-IDs
  • compatibility to Google/Google Scholar
  • new citation styles (AJP, MPS Yearbook)
  • extension of fetching metadata (BioMed Central)

Interest in Workshops

As an outcome of PubMan questionnaires, which could be filled in within the two days, a demand for more workshops and information sessions was identified. The following topics were mentioned most often:

  • usability
  • digital curation / long-term preservation
  • integration and work with normed data

Summary and Outlook

As a result, the PubMan Days were able to better spread information about current activities of Early Adopters, other MPIs, and external organizations while also raising awareness and interest for participation in selected areas. By request of participants and others, who couldn’t join this workshop, a second edition of the PubMan Days is planned for February 2009.

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