[uf-discuss] Citation format straw proposal on the wiki

Tim White tjameswhite at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 29 18:17:47 PST 2006

Well, this is a lot to process at the end of the day. Here's just a few
of my initial thoughts.

First, and I've asked this before, what are we trying to do? For me, I
just want a *simple* way to mark up books, be it a title, title &
author, or slightly more.

We are NOT replacing OpenURL, etc.
We are NOT building library/scholarly citation records
(in my opinion)

Those already exist and, as has been shown on the list, are very
complicated. They also serve a specialized audience and I don't think
reflect the 80/20 of general users.

The format should be as simple as possible.

As for type attributes (ie, class="book"), Bryan Suda and I had a
lengthy discussion a while ago about that. I too believed it was
necessary, but came to see that it is purely extraneous metadata. Look
at a sample citation, something like:

R. Buckminster Fuller. Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, Pocket
Books, 1970, pp. 13, 14.

No where does it tell you what this is. We infer (from the blog post in
this case) that it is a book. Or, we look it up via Amazon or library
card catalog to find that it is a book.

Think of hCard. For organizations do we include a type identifier?
I.e.: <span class="org webdevelopment">Webs - R - Us</span>.

A simple format also makes the MF usable for more than books. Works of
art have been mentioned. Just use the same layout:

Edvard Munch. "The Scream", 1893.

It still has a creator, title and date.

--- Alf Eaton <lists at hubmed.org> wrote:

> OK, so a minimal microformat for a citation could look like this:
> <x class="citation [type]">
>     <x class="title">Item title</x>
>     <x class="creators"><hcards></x>
>     <x class="container citation [type]"><hcitation for the
> container></x>
>     <x class="pages">n-n</x> [and anything else specific to this  
> particular type of citation]
> </x>

This seems to be on the right track; similar to what I had in mind.

At work, we have need of a citation microformat and are going to be
using mark up like this for now:

<div class="citation">
    <span class="articleTitle">"Accelerated Aging: Human Progeroid
    <span class="author">Author Name</span>.
    <span class="pubTitle">Encyclopedia of Aging</span>.
    <span class="volume">Vol. 1.</span>
    <span class="pubCity">New York:</span>
    <span class="publisher">Macmillan Reference USA,</span>
    <span class="pubYear">2002</span>.

It's not perfect, but it fits our needs. Transforming that:

<cite class="hcitation">
    <span class="articleTitle">"Accelerated Aging: Human Progeroid
    <span class="author vcard"><span class="fn">Author
    <span class="pubTitle">Encyclopedia of Aging</span>.
    <span class="volume">Vol. 1.</span>
     <div class="publisher vcard">
    <span class="locality">New York:</span>
    <span class="org fn">Macmillan Reference USA</span>,
    <abbr class="dtpublished" title="2002">2002</abbr>.

I know it isn't perfect, but it's based on reusing existing MF, and (I
hope)in keeping with the principles.

(In looking back at it, wouldn't it be possible to do only on vCard,
perhaps way up in <cite>, that would encompass the author and
publisher? Those who know parsing (Brian S.) -- does that screw up
hCard parsing?)

~ Tim

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