Zotero is a powerful scientific-article manager that is part of my 'cannot-live-without' toolbox for research. Its one drawback compared to ReadCube or Mendeley is the lack of a 'find relevant articles' engine to smartly expand your library. But, unlike the aforementioned rivals, Zotero is an open-source project, and is naturally hackable and open to exploration with programs such as R. To make up for the deficiency, I made a script that i) provides R access to your Zotero database; ii) loops through articles and finds them online via the Microsoft Academic Search API; iii) finds the references and 'cited by' articles; iv) and outputs html files with links to Google Scholar, dx.doi.org, and the publisher's website to make it as easy as possible to get high-relevancy articles into Zotero.
The principle is simple: find articles that are most frequently cited by the authors in your Zotero database (and which you haven't yet read) and find other articles that cite the articles in your database. Rather than using keyword similarity algorithms, this script just assumes that Authors who think and read similarly as you do probably know what's relevant.
Below is the code which can be yanked to your R terminal. There is one source-code file that should be downloaded into your working directory (download from here) and called: "SQL_zotero_query.txt" (thank you Royce). The sections which need to be customized are the location of: a) your Zotero database folder (which has zotero.sqlite) and b) the folder to save the output html files. If you use this frequently, you should also get your own free MSA API key (mine is provided below but has limited amount of queries allowed).
Enjoy! Please send me any suggestions and questions!
And some example output...
Why R? The above script just serves as a one-stop-shop for SQL and JSON processing. One the side, I also use R's wonderful visualization tools and matrix processing facilities to play around with author and keywords. But really, the above script could probably be run more efficiently in Python or Java.
A special thanks to the post by Royce Kimmons at http://royce.kimmons.me/tutorials/zotero_to_excel for the SQL command to access Zotero databases.
BTW, in case you're wondering why I'm using two open-source projects with a Microsoft project: other online and free-tools such as CiteUlike or CiteseerX do NOT provide the needed forwards-citation or backwards-citation information, neither through an API or thourgh webscrapping. I'd love some alternatives