Monday, April 20, 2009

Connotea tags

For fun I quickly programmed a little tool for bioGUID that makes use of Connotea's web api. When an article is displayed, the page loads a Javascript script that makes a call to a simple web service that looks up a reference in Connotea and displays a tag cloud if the reference is found. For example, the paper announcing Zoobank (doi:10.1038/437477a) looks like this:

The reference has been bookmarked by 6 people, using 15 tags, some more popular than others. The tags and users are linked to Connotea.

This service is can be accessed at<doi here>, for example By default it returns JSON (you can also set the name of the callback function by add a &callback= parameter), but you can get HTML by adding &format=html. The HTML is also included in the JSON result, if you want to quickly display something, rather than roll your own.

Basically the service takes the DOI you supply, converts it to an MD5 hash, then looks it up in Connotea. There were a few little "gotcha's", such as the fact that the Connotea user may have bookmarked "doi:10.1038/43747" or the proxied version "", and these have different MD5 hashes. My service tries both variations and merges the results.

1 comment:

Hilmar said...

Doesn't Connotea meanwhile collapse URLs to papers with the same DOI to one "URI"? I thought that I've seen Pubmed URLs and DOI URLs pointing to the same paper being treated as the same paper reference.

Nice service though!