Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Embedded Citation Examples

I have seen a few examples of embedded citations in the past few weeks. I would love to get a more complete list of good examples of sites that already have embedded citations. If you are aware of them please leave a comment with some links to exampls sites or send me an e-mail, lawyerdc@ldschurch.org.

One site that comes to mind is fact monster. They have a simple implementation with a link at the bottom of each page that opens a pop-up with the citation detail. Follow this link and look at the bottom of the page for the button.

A co-worker (thanks Steve) also sent me information about a NISO standard called OpenURL 1.0 (Z39.88-2004) which has come out of the library information community as a means to embed citation metadata in webpages. More detail can be found at the OpenURL COinS website.


Michael said...

Based on this post I have spent some time trying to get my head around COinS and OpenURL. If you are new to OpenURL like me then be ready for some pretty intense thinking. Here are some links I have found helpful:

A presentation that provides a fairly decent overview of OpenURL.

A page to download the OpenURL standard in PDF form.
This is definately not lite reading.

The registry mentioned in the OpenURL standard.
OpenURL its self defines a method of defining ways to cite sources in a machine readable way. The registry contains the rules for citing specific types of information. For example, if you keep clicking you can find the definition of the fields for citing a journal article.

A page that generates OpenURLs for a book from form input.
It sure would be helpful if the field definitions were included in the form.

Dan Lawyer said...

I've started looking into the OpenURL stuff and must admit I'm a bit overwhelmed at the complexity for the simple purpose of automatically citing a source. Anyone else have feelings on OpenURL?

John Vilburn said...

I'm with Dan on this one. OpenURL seems to have more power than is necessary for this application. While a citation mechanism is a part of it, OpenURL is so much more than that. My vote would be for a simple XML definition.

John Vilburn said...

Ok, the more I look at microformats, the more I like them. They are simple to create, simple to parse, easily integrated into a web page, and powerful. On top of all that, there is a citation microformat working group. See http://microformats.org/wiki/citation

Dan Lawyer said...

I've taken a deeper look at the work being done on the citation microformat and really like the direction. I think we should see if we can participate to help it meet our needs a little more closely. Depending on the success of the citation microformat we may need to implement something that is similar prior to a standard being finalized.

John Vilburn said...

Ok, I have jumped in at http://microformats.org/wiki/citation-brainstorming. It appears to me that the straw format on that page includes most of what is needed. I added a language element to the list. The author(s) of the the straw format included a "series" element as follows:

series (aka volume/issuenum) , optional (not as sure how to handle these - suggestions?)

I believe this is where the film number, frame number, page number type of data belongs. Suggestions anyone?

Anonymous said...

Non-locator identifiers (e.g. URNs) have never had any practical significance on the Internet because there is no standard infrastructure to de-reference them, no standard transfer representation, and no standard presentation format.

OpenURL is a simple solution to the first problem, by defining not only an extensible family of citation schemas, but standard way to embed them in URLs, allowing existing browsers to dereference them.

OpenURL is no more complex than any other generalizable meta-format. If one is not in the business of defining new citation types, creating and using OpenURL citations is about as simple as can possibly be imagined, certainly as simple or simpler than doing the same thing in GEDCOM.

What would be nice to add however, is a standard format for the content the citation refers to (not just the citation itself), so that an intelligent application could do more than simply render whatever random HTML the selected resolver decided to give it.

A document or document fragment should be able to be retrieved in a content oriented semantic representation such as DocBook, in addition to default HTML and PDF representations.

- Mark Butler