Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Discussing Citation by Example

I've started a set of pages at the Digital Classicist Wiki on the topic of Citation in digital scholarship. In progress, under construction, etc., etc., etc.

The goal is to move existing practice towards a broad understanding of how to make citations to such categories of evidence as primary written sources, geographic entities, cataloged objects, and secondary scholarship so that those citations are:
  • Clearly identified in a robust yet rich fashion
  • Recognizable by automatic agents
  • To resources that are stable over the long-term

But I don't think it will be possible to establish and drive adoption of one very detailed standard. Better to have a simple notation - I follow others in suggesting 'class="citation"' for (x)html - that can indicate the presence of more detailed markup. I'm a fan of RDFa so I further discuss that on the page "Citations with added RDFa.

The Digital Classicist community is pretty open and I'm very grateful to G. Bodard (a.k.a palaeofuturist) for saying the equivalent of "Go for it." when I raised the possibility of hosting these materials in his realm.

There's a category for all the pages and I hope that list will grow.

1 comment:

Eric Kansa said...

Hi Sebastian,

These are great ideas. However, I think that some support from tools would drive adoption. I'm thinking specifically of Zotero. If Zotero understood your citation metadata, then there would be more reason to adopt it.

There's also the interesting example of unAPI. unAPI has a validation service that lets you know if you're doing the right thing. It would be fun to have such a service check the RDFa that you describe to make sure it makes sense.