The question Citation tool on Math.SE, can we get it? showcases a really nice feature that started as a userscript some three years ago and which has now been officially enabled on MathOverflow and Math SE, which enables direct and easy referencing to papers in the literature.

Unfortunately, however, it seems that the search function depends on an API provided by Zentralblatt Math, which means that it is heavily skewed towards mathematics and indeed some early testing indicates that it doesn't have enough of a physics coverage to really be useful. On the flipside, though, the front-end and the back-end are nicely decoupled, which means that we can adapt this to physics if we manage to find a suitable back end. In particular, this needs to:

  • Accept search strings as input, including things like titles, authors, journal references, urls, dois, arXiv ids, the more the better.
  • Return as output a reasonably-formatted JSON object containing the bibliographic information about the potential matches.

Thus, as a first step in the road towards porting the feature, I propose that we as a community look around and see what tools are available that fit this description, which can then be fit into the front-end to adapt the userscript to this site, on the road to official adoption. So, please have a look around, provide as much detail as you can about the API, and let's get this rolling!


This is a CW post with possible leads to follow up on if people want to chase them up.


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