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DBLP was started in 1993 as a pure HTML application. Later essential parts were converted to XML, but the input "language" remains to be in HTML style. The idea is to enter tables of contents (TOCs) in a format, which is very close to their appearance on the DBLP TOC web pages.
The TOC of a journal issue is the smallest unit of information we usually enter. For a first example compare
- the input file of a journal issue, and
- the DBLP table of contents page of the journal volume, the issue is part of.
A TOC entry, that is the bibliographic description of paper, always has the same format:
- It is started with a <li>-tag,
- the names of the authors are separated by commas - please include the given names (initials only often are insufficient to identify a person),
- the last author name is sepatated from the title by a colon,
- the title must end with a period, question mark, or exclamation point, the title should use mixed upper/lower case letters, completely capitalised titles are not acceptable,
- the page numbers should be specified by an interval ( from-to ). If there are no page numbers, please use the null value '0-'.
- The <ee>-element is optional: It may be used to specify the URL of an 'electronic edition' of the paper.
For conference proceedings the input format is very similar. Our input file example shows the main difference: HTML <h2>-elements (and <h4>, <h4>, ...) may be used organize large tables of contents. For DBLP users tables of contents are simply more readable if the papers are grouped by sessions etc. as in our example....