BibSonomy via OAuth

Note: You can download example code for the access to BibSonomy via OAuth here.

BibSonomy's API allows you to access all of your posts systematically. The API's help page describes how you can authorize your requests using your API key and secret. If you want to access BibSonomy within your application in behalf of a user, this approach is not feasible, as users would have to store their API key and secret within your application.

OAuth is an established protocol for secure API authorization which allows users to grant third party applications access to their data without being obliged to enter credentials outside of BibSonomy.

On this page you will learn how to acess BibSonomy from your application using OAuth and making OAuth requests to BibSonomy's API.

How to access BibSonomy from your application using OAuth

1) Request an OAuth Consumer Key and Consumer Secret

Before your application can access BibSonomy's API, both applications must establish a secured communication channel. This is done by initially exchanging credentials, a so called consumer key which identifies your application and a corresponding consumer secret which is used for signing and verifying your requests. Both symmetric (HMAC) and public key (RSA) encryption is supported.

If you want to obtain a consumer key and consumer secret for your application, please write an email to api-support@bibsonomy.org, with the following information:

  • Name of your application
  • Short description of your application
  • The type of your consumer secret (HMAC or RSA)
  • The callback url of your service (if applicable)

Note: To ensure a safe communication via e-mail, the use of a encryption standard (for example PGP) is highly recommended. It protects the data from unauthorized access and helps to verify the identity of the sender.

2) Implement OAuth's authorization process

If a user grants your application access to his data in BibSonomy, the user is redirected back and forth between your application and BibSonomy for eventually passing a so called access token to your application which can then be used to authorize your requests to the API. This process is explained in detail in the OAuth user guide.

Essentially, your application needs to redirect the user to BibSonomy's OAuth authorization page with previously obtained temporary credentials given as request parameters (e.g. https://www.bibsonomy.org/oauth/authorize?oauth_token=xxxxxxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx):


If the user authorizes your temporary credentials, they will either be redirected to your site (if you provided a callback URL) or the user has to manually switch to your application. These authorized credentials can then be used to obtain the access token which authorizes requests.


BibSonomy's OAuth Rest-API client for Java facilitates this process. If you use maven, just add the following code to your pom.xml:

<project xmlns="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
xsi:schemaLocation="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0 http://maven.apache.org/maven-v4_0_0.xsd">


         <name>Releases von BibSonomy-Modulen</name>




Alternatively, you can download the jar files directly.

Obtaining a temporarily credential is as easy as:

BibSonomyOAuthAccesssor accessor = new BibSonomyOAuthAccesssor("<YOUR CONSUMER KEY>", "<YOUR CONSUMER SECRET>", "<YOUR CALLBACK URL>");
String redirectURL = accessor.getAuthorizationUrl();

You now have to redirect the user to redirectURL. Afterwards, the previously obtained temporarily credential is transformed to an access token:


Now that your authorization request is completed, you can make OAuth requests to BibSonomy's API. Learn more about this here.

Click here to go back to beginner's area and learn more about the basic functions.