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Bibster is a Java-based system which assists researchers in managing, searching, and sharing bibliographic metadata (e.g. from BibTeX files) in a peer-to-peer network.

The advantage of the system is it provides the possibility to search on a distributed peer-to-peer network using Semantic Web technologies. It provides an easy way to share data with other researchers.


In the everyday life of researchers, one has to search for publications or their correct bibliographic metadata. Currently, people search with engines like Google and CiteSeer, via university libraries. Another method is by simply asking other people that are likely to know how to obtain the desired information.

At the moment bibliographic data has to be handled manually and as a result it is not always possible to have an overview over these data masses. It is a time consuming business to search for special topics or publications, be it locally or on several bibliographic databases.

Bibster targets a decentralized knowledge sharing environment that allows researchers to

  • easily share bibliographic data
  • save work in trying to finding this data
  • avoid re-typing this data by hand

Bibster builds on the fact that many researchers keep lists of bibliographic data that they must laboriously maintain manually, for which they do not have an easy overview and that has varying data quality. At the same time many researchers are willing to share these resources if they do not have to invest work in doing so.

A centralized solution does not exist – and in this case cannot exist. The generation and usage of bibliographic data seems to be determined to a great extent by the overlapping user communities that already exist and there is no resource that covers all communities.

Bibster provides capabilities to search and to share bibliographic data using peer-to-peer technologies. The Bibster client on its own (e.g. disconnected from the P2P network) provides added value to users via overview and search facilities of local bibliography data. Bibster users do not need to invest further work beyond installing the system.

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