As an increasing number of authors are publishing articles online, there is a very real need for a simple way to build links between an online document and the documents which it cites. ParaCite was created in parallel with the EPrints.org software as a possible solution to this problem, and has since grown into a usable yet powerful system for both reference parsing and location.
ParaCite consists of two core modules, a parser and resolver. Typically a reference is supplied via the web interface, and the parsed reference is passed to the resolver, but further interfaces have been developed for both modules. Figure 1 shows the current structure of the ParaCite system.
The ParaCite components. The Reference Parser and Resolver are linked via an OpenURL `proxy', which converts the metadata obtained from the reference into an OpenURL-Compliant format.
ParaCite is written entirely in Perl, with its regular expression support making up the core of the parsing functionality. The web service interface uses the SOAP::Lite module, together with a WSDL description of the services, and a MySQL backend is used to store resources, interfaces, publications, and subjects, together with information about previous searches.
The OpenURL resolver is compliant with the OpenURL 1.0f specification, although an optional subject field has been added to support the fourth stratum. This takes a Library of Congress category code which is used to reduce the matches to resources within the selected subject.
ParaCite is already integrated with the EPrints.org software, and links are currently being investigated between CiteBase, RefLink, and ISI Web of Science. Furthermore, I believe the resolver could provide a variety of other services. As the resources can be found by subject or publication it could act as a very useful way to find the most popular resources for certain subjects, or could be used to find free online versions of existing journals. Finally, it would be possible to use the web service interface in plug-ins for existing software, such as web browsers and document editors, that would automatically create OpenURLs for references.
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