This question is about organizing and retrieving data, which in this case is a list of studies in medical journals. I thought many other people might want to do something similar also: collect studies and allow the public to search them by topic or #tag.

I want to make the list in a single table, one column for the authors, one for the year of the study, and one column for one or more #tags which would be topics covered in the study, etc. Google Spreadsheets work fine for entering data but I want the public to be able to search the data, and I want to present it in a more easily readable form, like an HTML web page.

Is there a website that can help me implement the searching and display part?

I've looked at TiddlyWiki. While it has tags, and fields, the format does not lend itself to exporting to other formats like a database or spreadsheet would.


  • Bibtex: "Used for formatting lists of references." But I want users to search on the references by clicking one or more tags.
  • I don't know that much about searching and filtering XML. Could that be an option? Where could I get more information on filtering and showing XML? What are your favorite sites for that?

There are 2 tag columns right now: substance studied (some studies look at multiple substances), and body system affected (the study could talk about one or more body systems that were affected by Substance A.

EDIT 2: Publication fields I would like to track:

  • Authors (one field can hold up to 20 authors)
  • Tags for substance tested.
  • Tags for body system affected.
  • Publication name, a medical journal for example.
  • Date of publication of the study.
  • Title of study.
  • URL of abstract.
  • URL of full study.
  • DOI data if any.
  • Other data that doesn't matter to me.

EDIT: 5/3/2016

I'm currently looking at Zotero.com which is free and I've seen no ads yet when using the FF addon. It has a Firefox and Chrome plugin to help you site any given webpage, it will extract many fields from webpages like Pubmed, you can add your own tags, but it does not have user-defined fields. (I wanted tags for symptoms, substances tested, and type of subjects (human, rat, mouse, plant,etc). I also wanted a user-defined field for number of subjects tested. A study with only 5 subjects is virtually useless.) It seems to meet most of my needs anyway as the search system can be restricted to only 1. title, creator and year, 2. all fields and tags, 3. everything. And it syncs with their server so you can use it on any desktop.

  • what do you want? a format for publications? or a way to put that onto a page? format for publications is opml, placing that on a page is simply a matter of marking up the data. am i missing something here?
    – albert
    Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 17:23
  • Well, I want to track publication data. What are my options? I'd input the data and the users would show either all data, or they would choose a tag, and the output would be all studies that have that tag. There are 2 tag categories I would be using: Substance tested, and body system.
    – Bulrush
    Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 18:40
  • still not sure what you mean by publications data. at first i thought you wanted a list of pubs, which is why i say opml. now it sounds like you want rss. i'm just not sure what you want.
    – albert
    Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 19:21
  • 1
    Please see my original topic, EDIT 2. :)
    – Bulrush
    Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 19:36
  • 1
    ah, that makes sense
    – albert
    Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 19:39

2 Answers 2


The answer to your question heavily depends on the types of studies that interest you.

If you check out PubMed (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PubMed), you'll find the option to export search results to several formats. Also, of course, you'll want to see how you can retrieve search results from Google Scholar (scholar.google.com).

As long as you're interested in scholarly work, I would suggest learning more about BibTex and its format. BibTex is a widely used open format for citation management, and easily manipulated with the right software or the right command-line skill.

This is only a brief answer to your question, but I hope being pointed in those three directions (pubmed, BibTex, Google scholar) is useful.


From Is there any established database schema to store references?:

For example, the Perl package Bib2ML (aka. Bib2HTML) contains a bib2sql tool that generates a SQL database from a BibTeX database, with the following schema:

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