New Article Download Features

We first launched our article download functionality back in January of 2009, giving users the ability to create their own PDF of selected pages from an item in BHL. Since that time, over 79,000 articles have been created by our users. That’s an average of 80 articles created each day (thanks! Clearly the ability to create your own PDF of selected pages, rather than download the entire book or volume, is a useful service; something we have been working on to make improvements whenever possible.

Today we are releasing new features that will make it easier for you to create your own articles:

  1. We’ve simplified the start page for the PDF Generator to make the process more efficient.
  2. We’ve added a Yes/No option, asking if users are interested in contributing the content they are creating to BHL’s citation repository, CiteBank CiteBank is a domain-specific repository of citations and content files about biodiversity. It evolved out of a need to access content from the BHL at a more granular level. CiteBank is a work in progress and continues to develop its collection and services. By contributing title, author and subject data to the PDF you are creating, you will allow other users to gain access to this content through CiteBank.
  3. Selecting “Yes” will allow you to enter the title, author and/or keyword data we need to index the content in our citation repository. Selecting “No” will skip over this step, eliminating any opportunity for other users to benefit from the content you’ve already taken the time to create (please say Yes!).
  4. Drawing from the functionality provided by our colleagues on the BHL-Australia web site,, we have added the ability for you to review your page selections before you generate your PDF. You will also have the opportunity to review the title, author and/or keyword data you’ve provided and make any necessary corrections/edits.

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We surveyed some of our most active PDF creators and received positive feedback about these changes and many good ideas about changes that could be made for the future. As always, we welcome input from our users, especially regarding the changes we make in an effort to improve BHL functionality and services. If you have any questions/comments, please do not hesitate to send us your feedback or comment directly to this post.

Avatar for Bianca Crowley
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Bianca Crowley is the Digital Collections Manager for the Biodiversity Heritage Library, headquartered at Smithsonian Libraries and Archives. She has spent her career in this role helping consortium Partners grow and curate BHL's collection. Her main responsibilities revolve around program administration and collection management, but you can also find her tackling technical development, documentation, copyright, and cataloging issues as time allows. She received her MSLIS from The Catholic University of America.