From March 6th to 10th, 2012 we will be at the CeBIT in Hannover, Germany. CeBIT is the digital industry’s largest and most international trade show. This event is always worth a visit. We will be at Halle 9, Stand A 10 to present Docear. You are welcome to visit us and meet the Docear team (or at least part of the team).
Today, on February 15th, 2012 we released the first public version of Docear. It’s a Beta version and still has some bugs and missing features but overall it will give you a thorough impression of what we consider an academic literature suite should be.
The main idea behind Docear is that you annotate everything you consider important in a PDF. That means, you highlight text, write comments, or create bookmarks in the PDF. To create bookmarks and comments, you can use almost any PDF reader (highlighting text is a bit more complicated). These PDF annotations are then imported by Docear to a mind map. In this mind map you can organize all your annotations into categories, create further nodes and add more text. With the integrated reference manager, bibliographic data can be added to each of the PDF annotations (and all other nodes in the mind map). Subsequently, you can create a new mind map, drag e.g. a research paper, copy your annotations to the draft and if you need more information you just click on the PDF annotation and the PDF will open on the page the annotation was made. Watch this video to get a better idea of what Docear can do (watch it in full-screen mode). Read more First public version of Docear released (1.0 Beta 1)
We decided to make our internal test releases public. Every one or two weeks we will publish an experimental release of Docear in our forum. Those releases are not thoroughly tested but have the latest features. You can subscribe to the forum to be notified about new experimental releases (we won’t post them in the Blog or mention them in the newsletter). If you try an experimental release, your bug reports are highly welcome in our bug forum.
We created an introductory video for Docear. It aims at providing a brief overview of Docear’s capabilities and the basic workflow. Please let us know what you think could be improved. Personally, I believe it could be done much better in general but we don’t have the skills to do it . If you have experience with video editing, please don’t hesitate to make your own video. If someone is interested I would also gladly share the raw material.
We are happy to announce that we can offer paid internships to German, British, and North American (USA & Canada) Bachelor students, in cooperation with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Some of the internships are in cooperation with our partner SciPlore or for our project Mr. DLib. However, all results will be used by Docear, too. These are the internships we are offering (all in the field of software development).
Docear Internships (preferably in Magdeburg, Germany)
If you are a Bachelor student from the US, Canada or the UK you can apply for a DAAD scholarship which will fully fund your internship (only “Docear internships”). To do so, visit the DAAD Rise website, register, search in the database for the Docear internships and apply. In case you application is successful, your internship will take place in Magdeburg, Germany in summer 2012. Deadline for applications is January 31, 2012.
If you are a German Bachelor student, you can apply for a DAAD scholarship too, but only for the “joined internships”. To do so, visit the DAAD Rise Worldwide website, register, search in the database for the joined internships, and apply. In case your application is successful, your internship will take place in fall 2012 in Berkeley (USA). Deadline for applications is January 15, 2012.
If you are neither a German nor US/UK/Canadian Bachelor student or if you don’t like the location or time the sponsored internships require, you can still apply for the internships with a date, location and duration of your choice. However, we won’t be able to pay you. If you are still interested, send us an email with application letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is also possible (and highly welcome) to combine the internship with writing a (Bachelor) thesis.
Up to now we recommended using BibTeX4Word to cite your papers in Microsoft Word. However, the installation of BibTeX4Word is complex and its use is not that user friendly (the Word add-ons from Zotero and Mendeley are much more intuitive).
Originally, we planned to develop our own Docear4Word but we just didn’t have the time because we want to focus on Docear itself. Therefore we wrote a detailed specification of what we want to have developed. If you think you could help us (for money or even free), or if you have ideas of what is missing in the specification, please let us know.
We released the first preview version of the new Docear, the successor of SciPlore MindMapping. Please visit our new website www.docear.org for more information and read in our blog about the preview version Alpha 1. Please note that from now on, SciPlore MindMapping will not be updated any more. In addition, we won’t write in this Blog about updates of Docear. Please visit (and subscribe) the new Docear Blog for future notifications about new releases.
We have create a draft for our new Docear website (comments are welcome ). Now we want to implement the design in WordPress, probably with the Atahualpa theme. However, we are no experts with WordPress. Therefore my question: Can anybody of you help us with implementing the design from the screenshot in WordPress (ideally with the Atahualpa theme)? If so, please send an email to “beel A/T sci plore.org”.
We are considering to implement a “workspace” for Docear (the successor of SciPlore MindMapping). It should be similar to the workspace some of you know maybe from the IDE Eclipse. Also Zotero and Mendeley do have something like a workspace. For instance, Zotero has a workspace where the root is called “My Library” and this library can contain multiple sub folders. It’s the same with Mendeley. Mendeley has also a workspace which contains “My Library”, “Groups”, and “Trash” whereas the Library has several sub folders named “All Documents”, “Recently Added”, etc.
I really like this concept but feel we cannot copy it 1:1 as mind mapping is more complex. I would really like to hear the thoughts of you, the users. Please use our discussion forum totell us your ideas (no registration required) and do not post a comment here in the Blog.
Beta 16 is about to be released (Preview for Blog readers available now)
The last Beta was released in March, quite a while ago. We were really busy with preparing the relaunch of SciPlore MindMapping as Docear. However, we also had time to finish Beta 16 with two really nice new features and lots of improvements and bug fixes. This will be the last version of SciPlore MindMapping. The next release will be a Beta version of the all-new Docear. Before releasing Beta 16, we would like to ask you – our Blog readers – to test it. If you should find bugs during the next two days, we will fix them before releasing Beta 16 officially. All bugs discovered after that deadline will be fixed in the first Docear Beta scheduled for September.
Here is the change log:
New: Bookmarks and comments in PDFs are renamed when the linking node in a mind map is renamed
New: PDF can now be opened on the page where the bookmark is (only Acrobat)
Improved: Recommendations are now also based on selection in incoming window
Improved: Recommendations can be deactivated
Improved: Smart Update is default update mechanism now, instead of Thorough Update
Improved: Import Highlighted text is selected by default
Improved: Zotero and Mendeley BibTeX file support should work now more reliably, also under Linux
Improved: Layout of recommendations changed
Fixed: Under some circumstances CPU load of the software was 100% even if nothing was done Fixed: Null pointer exception when last opened mind map was closed
Fixed: Some users could not open PDF links out of a mind map
Fixed: Mind Maps were destroyed in some cases when the user was using a proxy server
Fixed: Exception under MacOS when monitoring folder was updated
This weekend, the entire Docear team went to Munich to meet Dimitry Polivaev and Volker Börchers from the Freeplane team. As announced earlier, it was clear that Docear and Freeplane wanted to cooperate but it wasn’t sure in which way. This weekend we met to figure out the details and I have to say that I really enjoyed the meeting. Dimitry and Volker are two amazing software developers who created a really great piece of software that is just perfect for our purposes. In addition, it was a real pleasure to meet with them and discuss our ideas for the future of Freeplane and Docear.
Working together with the Freeplane team
The outcome in short: Docear will be developed as a independent Add-On for Freeplane. That means you will be able to download the complete package (Freeplane+Docear) from our website but you can also install Freeplane updates whenever you like (until now, you had to wait for us, integrating a new version of FreeMind to our own code). Also, the Docear team will closely work together with the Freeplane team to assure that developments of Freeplane will not contradict the interests of our users. And, the Docear team will also engage in the development of basic Freeplane features such as an enhanced search function. We also will use a common repository for our code.
Originally we planned on working together on Saturday and Sunday, but the meeting went so well that we discussed all the points on our agenda on Saturday already. This meant, we had plenty of time left to visit Munich and its pubs
The Freeplane and Docear teams having a beer in "Löwenbräu". From left to right: Dimitry (Freeplane), Stefan (Docear), Volker (Freeplane), Christoph (Docear Volunteer), Marcel (Docear), Joeran (Docear)
Docear team receives funding for one year (100,000€)
During the last years only a few hours a month could be spend on the development of SciPlore MindMapping because we had lots of other work to do. This has changed since July 1, 2011. We (that is Stefan Langer, Marcel Genzmehr, and I – Joeran Beel) got a scholarship from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology for one year, worth 100,000€ (~143,000 US$), to work full-time on the development of Docear. Our goal is, to develop Docear into an academic literature suite helping you in all aspects of literature management, i.e. literature search, literature organization and literature creation. I would like to stress, that we are extremely happy to have this scholarship as there are no strings attached. It’s not a loan we would have to pay back, and it’s not an investment from some investors expecting a huge return on investment. It’s almost like winning in a lottery because we can just focus on developing a great product during the next year and we will have enough money to pay our rent and food. After the year, we hope we will be able to continue the development of Docear in a similar way as Zotero is doing it, with research grants and funding from non-commercial organizations.
We plan to release Docear’s first public Beta and new website in September 2011. However, feel free to use already now our new forum for bug reports, general questions and submit your ideas to our idea tracker. More information will come soon .