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BibPort: Creating Bibliographic References

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Bibliography Management

In Word 2007, the WOM has been expanded to allow programmer access to the new Source Manager. However, the interface provided by WOM is not native; inserting a source involves passing a string containing the XML representation of the source. Unfortunately, this schema was not available on the Internet at the time of writing, so we have reverse engineered the tags used to describe a source; see Table 1. The references in the Source Manager can also be found in the XML file in the user's Application Data directory under Microsoft\Bibliography\Sources.xml.

Adding a new reference involves a simple call to the VSTO method called Globals.ThisAddIn.Application.Bibliography.Sources.Add(xml), but this addition can have some level of complexity because the the source's Tag field must be unique. Due to the COM facilities used in VSTO, exceptions are not trivial. These are typically mapped to an integer and returned as an error code.

Tag Contains
<b:Source> All tags listed below; represents a single reference
<b:Tag> A unique identifier string for this reference as a string. This must be present.
<b:SourceType> A reference type name as a string, e.g. JournalArticle, Book, ArticleInAPeriodical, or Misc.
<b:Guid> A unique identifier, often provided by Word, as a string. This is not required when inserting a reference, but is generated. This is used in addition to the Tag mentioned previously.
<b:Author> This tag is interesting: It is used in two places, one inside another. There is a "root" use, which contains another Author tag along with Editor, Translator, Compiler, and another Author. Each of these tags under the root Author tag contains a NameList.
<b:Editor> A NameList of the editors.
<b:Translator> A NameList of the translators.
<b:Compiler> A NameList of the compilers.
<b:Namelist> Any number of Person entities.
<b:Person> A First, Last, and Middle entity. Represents a person's name.
<b:First> A string that is a first name.
<b:Middle> A string that is a middle name.
<b:Last> A string that is a last name.
<b:Title>, <b:Year>, <b:Month>, <b:Day>, <b:City>, <b:StateProvince>, <b:CountryRegion>, <b:Pages>, <b:Volume>, <b:Edition>, <b:Issue>, <b:Medium>, <b:ShortTitle>, <b:StandardNumber>, <b:Comments> Strings corresponding directly to the tag name.
Table 1: XML tags used to describe a source.


There are many challenges that make text mining difficult [1]. The wide variety of file formats—RTF, .doc, .wpd, and the like—require a text-mining application to parse multiple document types, while also being able to output to multiple formats. BibPort hides such complexity transparently behind an abstraction layer to help you in writing text-mining applications in a more generalized manner. The combination of VSTO with VS 2008 removed many of the accidental complexities in processing Word files to extract bibliographic information. Furthermore, Word 2007's Source Manager provided a convenient repository for this information, and VSTO provided the mechanisms necessary to use this new resource.

There are several projects that share similar goals to BibPort. There is a strong need to mine bibliographic citations from documents available from a web search and digital libraries [2]. Perhaps the most well-known example is CiteSeer [3], which is a popular website that understands citations in different formats to allow cross-referencing of research papers.


  1. [1] Andrew McCallum. "Information extraction: Distilling structured data from unstructured text." ACM Queue, 3(9):48-57, November 2005.
  2. [2] Steve Lawrence, C. Lee Giles, and Kurt Bollacker. "Digital libraries and Autonomous Citation Indexing." IEEE Computer, 32(6):67-71, June 1999.
  3. [3] C. Lee Giles, Kurt Bollacker, and Steve Lawrence. "CiteSeer: An automatic citation indexing system." Third ACM Conference on Digital Libraries, pp. 89-98, Pittsburgh, PA, June 1998.

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