[uf-discuss] [citation]: Brian's outstanding issues 2:

Michael McCracken michael.mccracken at gmail.com
Mon Sep 25 19:18:08 PDT 2006

On 9/25/06, Ross Singer <ross.singer at library.gatech.edu> wrote:
> On 9/25/06, Michael McCracken <michael.mccracken at gmail.com> wrote:
> > The option of just ignoring types altogether - not including a type
> > property at all - is certainly possible - it would make human-reading
> > and publishing easier but automatic parsing somewhat harder. This
> > might be a worthwhile tradeoff.
> >
> I feel this is a very short-sighted decision, if it's the route hCite
> goes...

A side note - I'm not in charge, I'm just loud :)
hCite won't go that route unless a lot of people say it should.
I'm personally in favor of including types and having language along
the lines of "producers SHOULD include type information" - because
it'll make my life easier when I write the BibDesk parser for
microformatted citations.

I just felt l should note all the options available. My last sentence
might have been misleading.

> You'd never be able to link to an appropriate copy (because
> you wouldn't be able to determine with any semblance of confidence
> what an item actually is) and I'm therefore not sure what the point of
> this is.

I'm not sure I really understand what you're saying here, but if it is
that "you won't be able to generate a valid OpenURL with no type
info", then that's a very good point. If you meant something else,
could you elaborate?

I think the argument that the formatted (APA, etc) style is enough to
denote the type of a resource is misleading - it's enough for a human,
even with incomplete information, but for a program, in the (all too
common) presence of incomplete info, it's hard to get the type without
being told.

Actually, is anyone really making that argument? I might be worrying
about nothing.
I think we shouldn't require types because even a typeless citation is
better than not knowing there is a citation there.

Does anyone think we shouldn't have types? Certainly it sounds like
Bruce doesn't want to display them - but how bad is that, really? And
the flip side is - how bad, really, is hiding the types if someone
wants to do that?

> I guess the way I look at it is this: the entire point of formatting a
> citation in a standardized way is so that another scholar can then go
> in and know how to find the item again to follow the first person's
> research.  If the second scholar's /browser/ can do this work, the way
> that it looks on the screen is rather insignificant (much to the
> chagrin on the MLA and the APA, but they'll probably be happier in the
> long run).

Agreed - wouldn't reference lists be more readable if they didn't need
to show the volume number and pages of an article, for instance? Just
people, titles and years is all I care to see as long as there's a
link to the full item.

> I've gone on record repeatedly that I don't care if hCite looks like
> OpenURL as long as it's easy to make something remotely OpenURL from
> it, but this is a fairly vital part of OpenURL... the very basic
> notion of knowing what something is.  I would recommend that we at
> least use the basic the journal (journal, article, issue, proceeding,
> conference, preprint), book (bookitem, book, proceeding, conference,
> report), dissertation (or thesis), or patent that are currently
> defined under the San Antonio profile in OpenURL (and it's actually
> trivial to add other formats if necessary -- yes, that's an open
> invitation to you, Bruce ;)).  No, you don't have to use these labels,
> but if you want to get the darn thing, choose something that we can
> map to.

Michael McCracken
UCSD CSE PhD Candidate
research: http://www.cse.ucsd.edu/~mmccrack/
misc: http://michael-mccracken.net/wp/

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