Citation Brainstorming

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Part of the overall effort to develop a citation microformat.

Contents

Use Cases

To focus the discussion, please add use cases below that will help show what problems the citation microformat will be solving.

Use cases for both publishing and consuming citation information can help to focus citation brainstorming on efforts that provide real world utility to users.

For now, please add any uses cases you think of, however common or obscure (feel free to note opinions as to expected/known frequency of use of such use cases).

improve web citations

Articles on the web often cite other online articles with permalinks (e.g. blogs quoting other resources, including blogs). Such web citations could be improved both in content and interaction in a number of useful ways:

Additional useful rich citation enhancements:

I read this

A reader wants to collect a set of things they've read (e.g. on the web), perhaps for the purposes of cataloging them, adding notes, and using the information to generate later citations, potentially in other forms, such as BibTeX or Docbook, for inclusion in a publication of their own.

If web articles (e.g. blog posts) contained discoverable descriptions of self-citations (e.g. permalinks plus authorship), browsers/aggregators could both automatically collect these, perhaps as part of an enhanced browser history functionality, or allow explicit collection, e.g. bookmarking with additional structure.

Notes: In this case, it isn't important to the user what style the citation takes as displayed on the page where they find it. What *is* important is that it contains enough information to allow generation of the format they will ultimately re-publish it in. This implies that it may be worthwhile to err a little on the side of verbosity, but at most enough to provide typical TCMOS/APA/MLA citations.

collect further reading

Was part of Acquiring reference information from the web.

A reader finds a list of citations (e.g. a paper's bibliography, an author's papers page, results of a search for academic papers), and wants to add them to a queue of things they'd like to read, perhaps as part of further research on whatever subject/person they were reading/researching.

Marking up the list of citations with a microformat would enable to browsers/aggregators to present an explicit list of structured citations with a user interface for one-click addition to a read it later list (or a local reference database).

Links to downloadable full representations of the cited work (e.g. link to the PDF of a journal article, or to a music file) would help the reader find cited works, and perhaps even have their browser/aggregator prefetch/cache/download them.

Subscribing to reading lists, periodicals, etc

I would like to be able to leverage my news aggregator with hAtom to subscribe to a remote source for citation information, for example:

Aggregating reading lists and reviews

A citation microformat-specific aggregator could provide a decentralized version of CiteULike. Libraries, authors, research groups, and publishers could mark up their collections, while other people on weblogs or review sites could add tags and reviews.

At least, having a well-adopted microformat would make writing tools like CiteULike much better, since it relies in some cases on screen-scraping publisher web-sites.

Cut & Paste from web pages

Capturing/copying HTML from web pages for use in other applications (especially when those apps present HTML as output), such as pasting into Word, or a specialized application like Google Notebook, Onfolio or Kaboodle. When such captures are made, it makes sense to keep track of the full citation data, including the date it was accessed, which may or may not be the date it was published.

Finding in Library

Find a copy of the cited work in a nearby library (as with OpenCOinS).

Buy a copy

Find the cited work on, for example, Amazon or ABE; or subscribe to a journal via its own website.

Find reviews

Find third-party reviews of the cited work.

Give citation data for the page being visited

Adding a class of, say, "self" to an attribute of the proposed strawman would allow users (or user agents) to extract the data required to cite the page being visited, when referring to it elsewhere. There would be the added advantage of allowing the citation to be ignored by any parser which might be building a "tree" of citations, and preventing the setting up of an infinite loop.

For evidence of published "self citation" data (albeit on a secondary page) see the "cite this article" link on any Wikipedia entry, e.g. [1] from [2].

See also Proposal to include on-page citation data in Wikipedia

Cite a journal on Wikipedia

if you want to cite a [biomedical journal] journal article on Wikipedia [...] you can export a correctly-formatted citation for Wikipedia from HubMed using unAPI... http://hublog.hubmed.org/archives/001408.html

principles

Principles help guide and compare various different brainstorming proposals.

In the first three years of development the citation microformat effort generated a number of brainstorm proposals without clear consensus or adoption of any of them in particular. Thus any new (2012+) proposals must be written with references to particular principles for each design decision, justifying why/how the new proposal is an improvement upon previous proposals.

Principles to use:

Semantic HTML Design Principles

  1. Reuse the schema (names, objects, properties, values, types, hierarchies, constraints) as much as possible from pre-existing, established, well-supported microformats.
  2. When new schema are needed, reuse the schema (names, objects, properties, values, types, hierarchies, constraints) as much as possible from pre-existing, established, well-supported other formats/standards by incorporation, following the microformats naming-principles. Re-do constraints expressed in the source standard from the perspective of microformats design principles and designed primarily for web authoring. Informatively mention source standard for reference purposes.
    1. For types with multiple components, use nested elements with class names equivalent to the names of the components.
    2. Plural components are made singular, and thus multiple nested elements are used to represent multiple text values that are comma-delimited.
  3. Use the most accurately precise semantic HTML building block for each object etc.
  4. Otherwise use a generic structural element (e.g. <span> or <div>), or the appropriate contextual element (e.g. an <li> inside a <ul> or <ol>).
  5. Use class names based on names from the original schema, unless the semantic HTML building block precisely represents that part of the original schema. If names in the source schema are case-insensitive, then use an all lowercase equivalent. Components names implicit in prose (rather than explicit in the defined schema) should also use lowercase equivalents for ease of use. Spaces in component names become dash '-' characters.
  6. Finally, if the format of the data according to the original schema is too long but still human readable/listenable, use <abbr> instead of a generic structural element, and place the literal longer data into the 'title' attribute (where abbr expansions go), and the briefer equivalent into the contents of the element itself. If however, the format of the literal longer data data is not human-friendly, instead of <abbr>, use the value-class-pattern or HTML5 <time>/<data> elements as most semantically appropriate.

Brainstorm proposals should take into account the Semantic HTML Design Principles.

semantic elements to consider

One of the guiding principles of Microformats is to encourage the use of the most precisely semantically rich element to describe each node (Point 2 of Semantic HTML Design Principles: Use the most accurately precise semantic HTML building block for each object etc). Since we are dealing with HTML and citations, several elements are candidates to be used to enrich the semantic meaning. CITE, BLOCKQUOTE, Q, A, (are there more?)

brainstorm proposals

web citations

Main article: h-cite

This brainstorm has now been moved to a draft microformat:

The remainder of this brainstorm proposal is left here for historical purposes:

The web citations proposal uses a smaller, simpler set of only eight properties to solve the specific problem of how to markup citations in an article on the web that refers to other articles on the web. Offline to offline, and online to offline references are specifically not addressed.

web citations background

This work is based on how existing citation format styles (APA, MLA, TCMOS) represent references to articles on the web, and is designed to match the implied schema of those styles. The web citations proposal defines how to markup such reference representation styles in order to satisfy the use-cases above.

web citation illustrative example

Here is a simple minimal abstract web citation example:

<span class="h-cite">
  <time class="dt-published">YYYY-MM-DD</time> 
  <span class="p-author h-card">AUTHOR</span>: 
  <cite><a class="u-url p-name" href="URL">TITLE</a></cite>
</span>

web citation properties

root classname: h-cite

In rough order of presentation and relevance/frequency:

properties:

web citations vs previous proposals

I think the biggest problem with all previous proposals is that they tried to do too much. They didn't design a citation microformat that could be used as a building block, but rather, erred on the side of attempting to describe the myriad types of references to dead-tree resources. They were so over-designed that their authors didn't even dogfood them on their own sites. -- Tantek 00:56, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

A primary goal of the web citation effort is to both start small, and always "make small possible", that is, no matter how it is extended, continue permitting very small meaningful citations with perhaps only 2-3 properties (e.g. date published, author, name of work).

web citations design principles

Principles driving this proposal:

web citation property details

(stub)

All web citation properties are derived from the implied schema in existing citation styling guides for citing permalinks to articles and short text notes online.

Date-time properties (dt-published, dt-accessed) may optionally include time information in addition to the date if relevant to the citation (e.g. when citing short text notes (tweets) of which there may be several in a single day).

To be added:

web citation additional uses

The web citation proposal could be used for simple web-to-off-web citation use cases. As suggested by Ed Summers, dropping the hyperlink to the cited web article provides a simple off-web citation:

<span class="h-cite">
  <time class="dt-published">YYYY-MM-DD</time> 
  <span class="p-author h-card">AUTHOR</span>: 
  <cite class="p-name">TITLE</cite>
</span>

Next steps:

web citation examples in the wild

Real world in the wild examples:

Real but not quite wild (use by the brainstorm author)

<blockquote><p>
  <cite class="h-cite">
    <a class="u-url p-name" href="http://tantek.com/2013/104/t2/urls-readable-speakable-listenable-retypable"> 
      URLs should be readable, speakable, listenable, and unambiguously 
retypable, e.g. from print: tantek.com/w/ShortURLPrintExample #UX 
    </a> 
   (<abbr class="p-author h-card" title="Tantek Çelik">Çelik</abbr> 
    <time class="dt-published">2013-04-14</time>)
  </cite>
</p></blockquote>

web citation references

I've been iterating on this design for some time, however, first publicly proposed it as the result of an interactive web citation design discussion during IndieWebCamp2012:



A Prescriptive Proposal

(Contributed 2008-07-09 by User:Paramaeleon to the citation page). Tantek 19:31, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

Here is a proposal which was derived from what one actually has to give as information in a citation in university work. (I don't know where to put that, so I put it right here.)

First, we need a frame, let's say "hcitation". Multiple citations can be put in a "hcitation" frame. Inside there, we need to describe the type of citation; I suggest "monograph", "anthology", "periodical" , "reference", "thesis" , "standard", "internet", or "specialist".

If a "label" was used to refer to the resource in the text (often in square brackets) it can be named so.

Here comes the list of field names we need: "article", "atime", "author", "ctime", "department", "edition", "editor", "eligibility", "employer", "number", "overalltitle", "pagerange", "part", "place", "publisher", "subseries", "title", "type", "url", "volume", "volumetitle", "year".

The field "page" is to mark up which page you actually quote from. Marking up whatever as "prefix" should give you a hint that this is to be put at first place, but not to refer to when sorting. E.G. "The" should be marked as "prefix" either in "The Crocodile" and also in "Crocodile, the".

Field Description monograph anthology periodical thesis standard internet specialist
article Name of the Article in question   3 3        
atime Last access time for online resources. Use abbr convention for datetime encoding.     11     5  
author Creator. Use fn or n markup for every single entity. 1 1 1 1   1 1
ctime Date / Last modification. Use abbr convention for datetime encoding.     8     4 5
department special field / faculty       6     3
edition Edition information 6 8     2    
editor Editors of an anthology. Use fn or n markup for every single entity. Add "transl" for translators and "comp" for compilers   4          
eligibility Qualification of a specialist             2
employer Name of university eg.       4     4
number Number 10 12 9   1    
overalltitle Overall Title / Title of series 9 11         8
pagerange Page range of an article in an anthology / periodical   13 10        
part Part of article (if having several parts)     4        
place Place of publication 7 9   5      
publisher Publication house 8 10          
subseries Name of subseries, if any     6        
title The main title. Anthology: name of anthology. Periodical: name of periodical 3 5 5 3 3 3 6
type Type (type of thesis or type of utterance (radio interview, e-mail, ...) of a specialist)       7     7
url URL     12     6  
volume Volume information (eg. Vol. 22) 4 6 7        
volumetitle Volume title 5 7          
year Year of appearance. 4 digit year. Use abbr convention for datetime encoding. 2 2 2 2   2  

This table shows what has to go together. Numbers give the typical ordered structure of the values. Other Information than given here (eg. ISBN, ...) actually has not to be put into citations, students would recive negative evaluations if they do so. (I hope this will help somehow. sorry for bad english.)

Sample Usage

<h1>The Bibliography</h1>

<table class="hcitation">
<tr>
    <th scope="row" style="font-variant: small-caps; ">[MR06]</th>
    <td class="monograph">
        <a name="sr06">
            <span class="author firstauthor">
                <span class="family-name" style="font-variant: small-caps; ">Miller</span>, 
                <span class="given-name">Michael</span>
                <span class="additional-name">C.</span>
            </span> ;
            <span class="author">
                <span class="given-name">Mathew</span>
                <span class="family-name" style="font-variant: small-caps; ">Roth</span>
            </span>
            (<span class="year">2006</span>):
            <span style="font-style: italic; ">
                <span class="title">Students' Jokes : A complete collection of jokes students laugh about</span>.
                Vol. <span class="volume">23</span>:
                <span class="volumetitle">Computational Linguists' Jokes</span>.
            </span>
            <span class="edition">4th completely revised Edition</span>.
            <span class="place">München</span> :
            <span class="publisher">Weltbild</span>
            (<span class="overalltitle">Fictional publications of munich's students</span>
            <span class="number">2675</span>)
        </a>
    </td>
</tr>
<tr>
    <th scope="row" style="font-variant: small-caps; ">[R08a]</th>
    <td class="anthology">
        <a name="r08a">
            <span class="author firstauthor">
                <span class="family-name" style="font-variant: small-caps; ">Roth</span>, 
                <span class="given-name">Mathew</span>
            </span>
            (<span class="year">2008</span>):
            „<span class="article">Using semantic HTML for bibliographic citations</span>.“
            In: 
            <span class="editor">
                <span class="given-name">Michael</span>
                <span class="additional-name">B.</span>
                <span class="family-name" style="font-variant: small-caps; ">Smith</span>
            </span> ;
            <span class="editor">
                <span class="given-name">John</span>
                <span class="family-name" style="font-variant: small-caps; ">Miller</span>
            </span>
            (Eds.)
            (<span class="year">2008</span>):
            <span style="font-style: italic; ">
                <span class="title">Being POSH : Usage of semantic HTML in web pages</span>.
                Vol. <span class="volume">4</span>:
                <span class="volumetitle">Whatever you read</span>.
            </span>
            <span class="edition">1st Edition</span>.
            <span class="place">New York</span> :
            <span class="publisher">Public Press</span>
            (<span class="overalltitle">Books on data processing</span>
            <span class="number">1435</span>)
        </a>
    </td>
</tr>
<tr>
    <th scope="row" style="font-variant: small-caps; ">[R08b]</th>
    <td class="periodical">
        <a name="r08b">
            <span class="author firstauthor">
                <span class="family-name" style="font-variant: small-caps; ">Roth</span>, 
                <span class="given-name">Mathew</span>
            </span>
            (<span class="year">2008</span>):
            „<span class="article">Using semantic HTML in scientific work</span>.“
            P. <span class="part">1</span>; P. <span class="part">2</span>.
            In:
            <span style="font-style: italic; ">
                <span class="title">The Computational Linguist</span>.
            </span>
            <span class="subseries">Development of the Semantic Web</span>.
            <span class="volume">2</span>
            (<span class="ctime">2008</span>)
            No. <span class="number">16</span>,
            Pp. <span class="pagerange">124–131</span>
            (Access: <span class="atime"><abbr title="20080714T1612+0200">14.07.2008 16:12 CEST</abbr></span>)
            <<span class="url">http://www.sample.url/web/address/1234.pdf</span>>
        </a>
    </td>
</tr>
<tr>
    <th scope="row" style="font-variant: small-caps; ">[S07]</th>
    <td class="thesis">
        <a name="s07">
            <span class="author firstauthor">
                <span class="family-name" style="font-variant: small-caps; ">Smith</span>, 
                <span class="given-name">John</span>
            </span>
            (<span class="year">2007</span>):
            <span style="font-style: italic; ">
                <span class="title">Semantic Data Extraction from the World Wide Web</span>.
            </span>
            <span class="employer">University of <span class="place">Munich</span></span>,
            <span class="department">Department of Computational Linguistics</span>,
            <span class="type">Diss.</span>
        </a>
    </td>
</tr>
<tr>
    <th scope="row" style="font-variant: small-caps; ">[SVG11]</th>
    <td class="standard">
        <a name="svg11">
            <span class="number">ISO 1234567</span>
            (<span class="edition">1-2003</edition>):
            <span style="font-style: italic; ">
                <span class="title">Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.1 Specification</span>.
            </span>
        </a>
    </td>
</tr>
<tr>
    <th scope="row" style="font-variant: small-caps; ">[Wik08]</th>
    <td class="internet">
        <a name="wik08">
            <span class="author firstauthor">
                <span class="family-name" style="font-variant: small-caps; ">Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia</span>, 
            </span>
            (<span class="year">2008</span>):
            <span style="font-style: italic; ">
                <span class="title">Microformat</span>.
            </span>
            (Version: <abbr class="ctime" title="2008-06-19">19th June 2008</abbr>.
            Access: <abbr class="atime" title="20080703T1423+0200">3rd July 2008 14:23 CEST</abbr>)
            <<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Microformat&oldid=220275451" class="url">http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Microformat&oldid=220275451</a>>
        </a>
    </td>
</tr>
<tr>
    <th scope="row" style="font-variant: small-caps; ">[W08]</th>
    <td class="specialist">
        <a name="w08">
            <span class="author firstauthor">
                <span class="family-name" style="font-variant: small-caps; ">Wang</span>, 
                <span class="given-name">Wu</span>
            </span>
            (<span class="eligibility">Professor of Informatics</span>,
            <span class="department">Department of Applied Sciences</span>,
            <span class="employer">University of Michigan</span>)
            (<abbr class="ctime" title="20000801T0918+0100D0007">01.08.2000, 9:18–9:25 MEZ</abbr>)
            <span class="title">Science News</span>.
            <span class="type">Interview</span>.
            <span class="overalltitle">Michigan Television</span>
        </a>
    </td>
</tr>
</table>



XHTML Structure

With my exprience working X2V and hCa* has taught me what elememts are easy to find and which are not. Since the Citation microformat is very new it is possible to not make a lot of the same errors twice and to make things easier for extracting application to find and imply certain properties.

Note: This section was the original content of the document. Since then, class='hcite' has been agreed on as the root class name. See explanation.



how to use with HTML5

Per Edward O'Connor's email to public-html: Add a section in the citation microformat describing how to use the citation microformat in HTML5, including optional use of HTML5's <time> element and microdata feature. Encourage HTML5 to drop the "BibTeX" predefined microdata vocabulary and reference an updated citation microformat spec instead. Tantek



OCLC's WorldCat for titles

Question: what about using something like OCLC's WorldCat for linking titles? - Tim White



This and That

After reading through alot of different citation encoding formats, i noticed that each format was being used in one of two ways. It was either to describe the Current page (THIS.PAGE) or being used to encode references that point to external resources (THAT.PAGE)

The informatation being encoded was identical for both resources (author, date, name, etc) they just reference different things. For this microformat, i'm not sure if we want to try to solve both problems, or just one? The meta tags in the head element would be the ideal place for information about the THIS.PAGE, but that is not in following with the ideals of microformats where information is human-readable. The THAT.PAGE idea where a list of references is at the end of a document in the form of a bibliography is more inline with the ideals of a microformat where the data is human-readable. That doesn't mean that data about the current document shouldn't be human-readable, so some of the same properties used to reference extermal resources can be used for the current document (THIS.PAGE). To do this a different root item could be used and transforming applications could either extract the citation data about the current page, or information about this page's references.

This is open for discussion, but either way, i believe that the properties used to describe a page will be the same for both THIS and THAT. brian suda

More on This and That

Citation microformats are being explored as a possibility for citing genealogical information at Dan Lawyer's blog.

This is a case where frequently the citation would refer to (THIS.PAGE), but would have nested within it a reference to (THAT.PAGE), possibly a few levels deep. For instance, a web page might contain data extracted from a microfilm of a census. The citation would need to include information about the web page, information about the microfilm, and information about the census. Genealogical citations are expected to include the repository (where can this book or microfilm be found. Is this the same as venue?). So, at each level the information should contain the repository of the referenced item. A nesting (recursive) mechanism for citation microformats would be useful in this case. Is this the function of the "container" element in the Straw Format?



MARC / MODS / Dublin Core

The MODS (example) and Dublin Core (example) transformations of MARC21 may contain some useful ideas.

Here's a first attempt at rewriting the linked examples in XHTML (written in response to a mailing list query about encoding book information with microformats):

<div class="book" lang="en">
  <h3 class="fn">Arithmetic /</h3>
  <p>By <span class="creator"><span class="fn">Sandburg, Carl</span>,
     <span class="date">1878-1967</span></span>,
     and <span class="illustrator">Rand, Ted</span></p>
  <p>Publisher: <span class="publisher"><span class="fn">Harcourt Brace Jovanovich</span>,
     <span class="locality">San Diego</span></span></p>
  <p>Published: <span class="issued">1993</span></p>
  <p class="description">A poem about numbers and their characteristics. Features
     anamorphic, or distorted, drawings which can be restored to normal by viewing
     from a particular angle or by viewing the image's reflection in the provided
     Mylar cone.</p>
  <p class="note">One Mylar sheet included in pocket.</p>
  <p>Subjects:</p>
  <ul>
    <li class="subject">Arithmetic</li>
    <li class="subject">Children's poetry, American.</li>
    <li class="subject">Arithmetic</li>
    <li class="subject">American poetry</li>
    <li class="subject">Visual perception</li>
  </ul>
</div>

comparison and use of other microformats

Citation vs. media-info

What distinguishes a cite from say media-info (e.g. media-info-examples) is that a cite is a reference to something explicitly external to the current piece of content or document, whereas media-info describes information about content embedded or inline in the current document.

Date Formatting

Since microformats are all about re-use and the accepted way to encode Date-Time has been pretty much settled, then this is a good place to start when dealing with all the different date citation types.

These are all the different fields from various citation formats that are of temporal nature:

* Date (available | created | dateAccepted | dateCopyrighted | dateSubmitted | issued | modified | valid)
* originInfo/dateIssued
* originInfo/dateCreated
* originInfo/dateCaptured
* originInfo/dateOther
* month
* year
* Copyright Year
* Date - Generic
* Date of Confernce
* Date of Publication
* Date of update/revisou/issuance of database record
* Former Date
* Entry Date for Database Record
* Database Update
* Year of Publication

There are several common properties across several citation domains and will certainly be in the citation microformat, the unique instances will need further consideration, otherwise there could be no end to posiblities.

There are also several properties (year, month, Year of publication) that can be extracted from another source. Therefore, if you only encode a more specific property such as; Date of Publication, you can extract the 'year of publication' from that. Since the date-time format we are modeling after is the ISO date-time format, just the Year portion is an acceptable date. So if you ONLY know the year of publication, the you can form a valid 'Date of Publication' as a microformat (which inturn is a valid 'year of publication') - you milage may vary when it comes to importing into citation applications.

...

It seems to me that these can be collapsed to maybe one or two different date properties. As far as the specific human readable formatting of the date, that can be chosen per whatever the presentation style guide says, and the datetime-design-pattern used to simplify the markup. - Tantek


Important Sometimes we need a date range and not simply a date (e.g. 4-6 May 2006). See Conference Citation examples later on this page. - Discoleo

Seasons Some journals have seasonal issues (e.g. "Summer 2006 edition") instead of, or as well as, editions labelled by month or other calendar-date. AndyMabbett 05:05, 4 Nov 2006 (PST)

Tags

Some of the citation formats has a place for 'keywords' or 'generic tags', etc. This might be a good place to re-use the RelTag microformat. The downside would be that they are then forced to be links, which might be the correct way to mark-up these terms.

past discussions

Original hBib Discussion

During the WWW2005 Developer's Day microformats track, Rohit Khare gave a presentation where he discussed the microformats process, and then did a quick demonstration wherein a bunch of us got on a shared Subethaedit document, and brainstormed some thoughts on what an "hBib" bibliography citation microformat would look like. Rohit placed the document on his Commercenet site.

An attempt to summarize and inline the linked document follows. -Mike

Two major goals were outlined by the group:

The fundamental problem was discussed in terms of display - the ability to transform XHTML+hBib into the many journal-specific formats. For example, how to display "et.al" when all authors are present in the source, and how to re-order the elements if a style defines a set order of elements that conflicts with the ordering in the source. Using hCard for authors was agreed on, and the beginnings of an example were shown.

Outstanding Issues

See citation-issues.

Examples in the wild

Pages which start to use the discussion above to create working examples in using hcite: (This section could be used as a base for a page like "hcite-examples-in-wild" later).

Please add new examples to the top of this section.

discussions

See also

Citation Brainstorming was last modified: Friday, June 7th, 2013

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