The Bibliography of Life platform was developed within the EU FP7 project ViBRANT and consists of two integral tools, RefBank and ReFindit. While RefBank is the place to store, parse, edit, and download bibliographic references, ReFindit is designed to discover and download references from a wide range of open access online bibliographies, such as CrossRef, PubMed, Mendeley, Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), RefBank, Agris and others.
RefBank is an open, coordinator-free network of independent nodes that replicate bibliographic references on each node, eliminating any single point of failure. This architecture further prevents any single entity from governing the data because everyone can set up a node and participate in the network with their own full copy of the whole data set. Pull-based replication prevents erroneous data from being actively pushed into the network.
Contributing to RefBank is easy: everyone can upload individual bibliographic references or entire bibliographies. ReCAPTCHA protects the upload forms without the need for login or user accounts; API-based upload only requires a node-specific pass phrase. RefBank embraces near duplicate references, exploiting their inherent redundancy for automated reconciliation. The web interface further supports manual curation.
ReFindit provides an easy search function, based on a simple interface, which also collates and sorts the results from the search engines for presentation to the user to read and with the option to refine the results presented or submit a new search. The searched references may be used for different purposes, e.g. conversion in some 600 citation styles and download in widely accepted bibliographic metadata standards. The tool is available through the Bibliography of Life as a standalone application at www.refindit.org, and will also be integrated as a search interface in other tools, e.g., Scratchpads and Pensoft Writing Tool (PWT).