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Under review

article icon

Olivier Cailloux 2 years ago updated 2 years ago 3

When a url is given (in the bibtex source) that ends with “.pdf”, bibbase shows a PDF icon instead of the default link icon. Nice!

But when the link to the PDF does not end with “pdf” (for example, https://arxiv.org/pdf/1801.05644), this does not happen.

I would like to be able to specify the icon from within my bibtex source. For example, url_Article would always display a PDF icon; or a supplementary field would be used for this, something like url_Article_type = "PDF".


Even better, bibbase could detect when the server sends PDF at the given url. But this would be much more difficult to implement, I suppose, and I would be satisfied already with a simpler solution.

Under review

That's not currently possible for icons, only for text. As described in the documentation (https://bibbase.org/help) you can append url fields with a description of the type of link, and that text will be used when using text instead of icons (as used, e.g., in the "simple" style, "&theme=simple").

As for arxiv links specifically, you can actually use a link with pdf at the end, e.g., https://arxiv.org/pdf/1801.05644.pdf. Clearly, this may not be the case for all publishers, but I would argue that when it isn't then that's a flaw on the publisher's side.

Note that you might be able to change the icons at will using CSS. For instance, a pair of CSS rules like this may work for you:

a[href*=pdf] { background-image: url(URL to the icon of your choice) }
a[href*=pdf] .bibbase_icon { display: none; }

We'll leave this idea open in case others want to vote it up, but I suspect that the available options might already be sufficient for most users. CSS is a very powerful tool for customizing the appearance of your BibBase publications list.

Thinking a bit more about this, it would be nice to distinguish visually categories of links. Some links refer to articles; some to presentations (slides); some to yet something else (source code on GitHub, web site of the conference, …). These should not be tied to formats: a PDF format may be used for multiple categories, and an article may be published under (in principle) a variety of formats (word, …).


I think arXiv or other publishers are correct in providing links that do not mention the format, thereby implementing a recommendation of Tim Berners-Lee: in a later version of a given article, I might decide to change the format; the URL should not (or not necessarily) depend on that choice.

If you agree with this reasoning, it would be nice if BibBase could provide three icons, for the three categories just mentioned, with a possibility for authors to indicate in their bibliographic source which category each URL belongs to. Authors could use any category they want, with two categories (“article” and “presentation”) being associated to the corresponding icons, and other categories being associated to the “default” icon (as currently non-PDF links are) and requiring edition of the CSS for specification of different icons.

For an example with multiple link categories, see here.