Mendeley makes it easy to embed publications in a public group on your personal website or other pages with convenient embeddable widgets. However, this display is very basic and many of you have asked for something a little more customizable. You have a few options, ranging from no code required to patching Drupal. I’ll be explaining the easy option and leaving the more complicated solutions as an exercise for the reader. So let’s get started!
The method below uses the Exhibit framework and will require a BibTeX file as input. Mendeley automatically generates these files for you and keeps them up to date as you add or remove files. To get your BibTeX file, go to the Tools menu in Mendeley Desktop, select Options, and click on the BibTeX tab. Pick the options that are appropriate for you and you’ll find a set of files in your specified directory that have a .bib extension. This is what you’ll use as input for the procedure below.
Use Exhibit to convert and display your collection.
This is an easy way to take a set of documents and make an interactive faceted display. In order to make it public on the web, you’ll need a web hosting account or some other way to make the page web-accessible. Email me if you’d like hosting suggestions.
- Put the .bib file somewhere where you can access it by going to a link that references the file. For example, you could upload the file to a server and get a link that looks like http://example.com/mybibfile.bib or you could drop the .bib file in a public Dropbox folder, getting a link that looks like http://dl.dropbox.com/stuff/mybibfile.bib
- Copy the HTML page code from here, open your text editor(i.e., not MS Word), and paste the code in.
- Edit the line at the top of the file, changing it from:
href="...put your BibTeX URL here..."
- Save the file with whatever name you like, using .html as the extension.
- Upload the file to somewhere you can visit in a web browser, not necessarily the same place as the .bib file, and take a look. Here’s an example.
- Style the file as you like, add different facets or a timeline view, add links, have fun.
This method works great as it’s very simple, you can get a .bib file for any document group you have (including My Publications), and using Dropbox or a script to periodically copy the BibTeX file to the web folder, you can have the display automatically update as you manage things in Mendeley. It’s also highly customizable with CSS styles. However, there are a few things to be aware of.
- If you’ve chosen the “Create one BibTeX per collection”, it will create a .bib file for every collection, including private groups. If you specify your public Dropbox folder as the location for your BibTeX files, it’s possible that someone might be able to guess or otherwise obtain the URL and thus be able to see what files are in a private group.
- You’re depending on a third party service to convert the BibTeX file to the Exhibit format, and this service could become unavailable at any time. You can manually convert the file via Babel if you prefer.
- Some BibTeX files generated by Mendeley aren’t able to be converted by the service to Exhibit format. If the page never gets past “Working…” this may be what happened. Try converting via Babel directly. If you get an error, then that file won’t work as is in this method.
- Finally, as the display is running entirely inside your web browser and not querying a database, you’ll probably don’t want to make an Exhibit containing more than a few hundred citations using this method, as the performance may suffer.
You can use the MIT Citeline service to make the above page for you, but you lose the automatic updating benefits of the method above and you still need hosting of some sort.