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My institution currently tracks its members' publications by sending them an email every six months and then manually compiling publication lists from the replies. I am looking into updating the organisation's web site, and I would like to implement a system where users can maintain their own publication list on their academic web page. This data should go into a central database, so that we can (for example) easily pull up the last six months' worth of new publications for reporting purposes.

My question is whether there is a standard solution to this problem: is there any free or commercially available software that will allow us to set up a user-editable publication list system with a database backend?

If it's relevant, we're looking at using Wordpress as the backend for the whole site, with one of the many "user profile" plugins being used to create the individual personal pages. (This is all being done on a shoe string budget.)

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This sounds like a job for an institutional repository (though you don't have to publicise its existence as such...)

The two most commonly used open-source packages for repositories are ePrints and D-Space, though there's a few others. Anecdotally, D-Space is somewhat more complex to set up than ePrints, though I've only got experience of the latter.

Both have comparable levels of functionality, including metadata feeds/export, and it should be easy enough to export material into a Wordpress site - I've certainly seen it done, for example in this rough proof-of-concept. I'll see if I can find a more polished example.

  • Thanks, this is very useful information! (For clarity, the specific way I want to embed it into WordPress is for each user to have a profile page, handled via a Wordpress plugin, with their own publications listed on their profile page. This way they will be able to post to our institutional blog using the same user profile.) – Nathaniel Jun 16 '15 at 8:37
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A commercial service designed to solve this problem is Epistemio Outcomes. Users can maintain their publication list, in most cases, by just confirming results of an automatic search. The publications of scientists within an institution are aggregated into the institutional list of publications, with automatic deduplication. Aggregation is automated, therefore no more emailing and manual compilation of lists from the replies will be needed. Scientists may embed their own list of publications on their personal pages, while the institution may also embed the aggregated list on its page. The lists of publications can be exported at any time, in a variety of formats, for reporting purposes.

Disclaimer: I am affiliated with Epistemio.

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Nobody in academia is really a fan of Elsevier, but they have a product called Pure that provides a fairly comprehensive solution for tracking research activities, including publications but also conference attendance, grants, collaborations, etc. I've used it as a faculty member at my current institution (it is used by all Danish universities) and my experience has been positive from that perspective.

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