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

Ross Singer ross.singer at library.gatech.edu
Mon Sep 25 19:51:24 PDT 2006

On 9/25/06, Michael McCracken <michael.mccracken at gmail.com> wrote:

> A side note - I'm not in charge, I'm just loud :)

Hey, me too!  :)  Also, I should mention at this point (since you so
graciously led the way) that I don't speak for the library/OpenURL
community as a whole -- I just speak a lot.

> 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.

Well, what's good for BibDesk is also probably in concert in what's
good for OpenURL and, really, libraries as a whole.  Bruce's proposal
also works in concert.  In fact, the more the metadata, the merrier.
But bibtex isn't a horrible baseline and Bruce's rdf proposal isn't a
horrible ideal.  We (libraries) can work with any of that.  DC... not
so much, probably.
> I just felt l should note all the options available. My last sentence
> might have been misleading.
Or I might have misinterpreted... I do that :)

> > 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?

This is exactly what I'm saying.  There are cases where a type isn't
necessary (DOI, PMID, any standard identifier that's resolvable in a
certain way -- ISBN/ISSN don't really count).  Given the amount of
'stuff' that might be 'cited', ambiguity is 'bad' when it comes to
trying to figure out what it is.  So, basically, it's a lot easier to
define a set of rules for 'books' (or 'most books') and have different
behavior than, say, a journal article or a patent.
> 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?
Hidden types are fine with me.  It's non-existant types that make me antsy.

> 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.
Now we're talkin!  And imagine the cool databases that could be
created by crawling this content...


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