[R] tm: custom reader for readPlain

Simon Kiss sjkiss at gmail.com
Tue Jan 8 21:56:58 CET 2013

I have a series of newspaper articles from a Canadian newspaper database (Canadian Newsstand) that look just like below.

I've read through this vignette (http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/tm/vignettes/extensions.pdf) about creating a custom reader to extract meta-data, but I can't understand how to apply this in the context of a text document, rather than in the tabular format as in the vignette.  You can see there's all kinds of valuable information in each document -Author, page number, publication year, section, publication title....
Can anyone provide some suggestions to someone unfamiliar with the tm package as to how to go about creating a custom reader for this situation?
Yours truly,
Simon Kiss


Document 1 of 40
First Nation agrees not to block trains
Author: SHAWN BERRY Legislature Bureau
Publication info: Daily Gleaner [Fredericton, N.B] 07 Jan 2013: A.3.
Abstract: Participants are also concerned about Chief Theresa Spence who stopped eating solid food on Dec. 11 in a bid to secure a meeting between First Nations leaders, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Gov. Gen. David Johnston to discuss the treaty relationship.
Links: null
Full Text: A bunch of text about a story here
Subject: Railroads; Native North Americans; Meetings; Injunctions
Title: First Nation agrees not to block trains
Publication title: Daily Gleaner
First page: A.3
Publication year: 2013
Publication date: Jan 7, 2013
Year: 2013
Section: Main
Publisher: Infomart, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.
Place of publication: Fredericton, N.B.
Country of publication: Canada
ISSN: 08216983
Source type: Newspapers
Language of publication: English
Document type: News
ProQuest document ID: 1266701269
Document URL: http://remote.libproxy.wlu.ca/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1266701269?accountid=15090
Copyright: (Copyright (c) 2013 The Daily Gleaner (Fredericton))
Last updated: 2013-01-07
Database: Canadian Newsstand Complete

Simon J. Kiss, PhD
Assistant Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University
73 George Street
Brantford, Ontario, Canada
N3T 2C9
Cell: +1 905 746 7606

Please avoid sending me Word, PowerPoint or Excel attachments. Sending these documents puts pressure on many people to use Microsoft software and helps to deny them any other choice. In effect, you become a buttress of the Microsoft monopoly.

To convert to plain text choose Text Only or Text Document as the Save As Type.  Your computer may also have a program to convert to PDF format. Select File, then Print. Scroll through available printers and select the PDF converter. Click on the Print button and enter a name for the PDF file when requested.

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