Facts & Details: 

The LitDB, a novel open source literature database solution for easy maintenance of publication lists assigned to various topics. The LitDB system is accessed via a web browser. Publications can be uploaded through direct exports from reference manager libraries or by entering PubMed IDs or DOIs. Single users or user groups can track their citation counts, h-index and impact factor statistics and gain insights into the publication records of other users. It offers various visualization functions like coauthor networks and provides ways to organize publications from dedicated projects and user groups. The latter is in particular beneficial to manage publication lists of large research groups and research initiatives through a “crowd-sourcing” effort.

LitDB is implemented in Python with the Django web framework. LitDB has been tested on Microsoft Windows and Linux servers for the past two years. LitDB can make use of the open LDAP protocol (via the django-auth-ldap python package) which is a standard for user management in most university’s computer systems, but is also capable of managing users as a stand-alone tool.






  • Python v3.5
  • Django v2.0
  • django-auth-ldap (if LDAP-authentication shall be used)
  • psycopg2 (if a PostgreSQL database shall be used)
  • wordcloud


Running the development server:

  • Creating a sqlite database:
    • python
  • Loading initial data:
    • python loaddata paper_fixtures.json
    • python loaddata list_fixtures.json
    • python loaddata institute_fixtures.json
  • Create a superuser:
    • python createsuperuser
  • Start the development server:
    • python runserver