Citing journal articles in blog posts and blog posts in journal articles

Wheel I’ve written before about what seems to be the most persistent and error-proof way to handle citing journal articles in blog posts and blog posts in journal articles (1,2), because it seems like some people have gone to quite extensive efforts to address this problem, apparently without looking to see if someone else has already gotten started on a solution. I’m glad to see that people are starting to talk to one another about how to handle things, as opposed to creating their own version of the wheel.

Recent developments:

  • The people at WebCite are talking to CrossRef:
  • But what if we provided a different service for more informal content? Recently we have been in talking with Gunther Eysenbach, the creator of the very cool WebCite service about whether CrossRef could/should operate a citation caching service for ephemera.

    As I said, I think WebCite is wonderful, but I do see a few problems with it in its current incarnation.

    The first is that, the way it works now, it seems to effectively leech usage statistics away from the source of the content. If I have a blog entry that gets cited frequently, I certainly don’t want all the links (and their associated Google-juice) redirected away from my blog. As long as my blog is working, I want traffic coming to my copy of the content, not some cached copy of the content (gee- the same problem publishers face, no?). I would also, ideally, like that traffic to continue to come to to my blog if I move hosting providers, platforms (WordPress, Moveable Type) , blog conglomerates (Gawker, Weblogs, Inc.), etc.

    The second issue I have with WebCite is simpler. I don’t really fancy having to actually recreate and run a web-caching infrastructure when there is already a formidable one in existence.

    The people at Crossref know about,, and they share my rather dim opinion of the NLM’s recommendation’s for citing websites. However, the people at apparently didn’t know that you can deposit things upon request into If CrossRef goes forward with their idea, perhaps working with like they did with DOI, it would pretty much make WebCite irrelevant, and I wouldn’t have to be frustrated by seeing in a paper and never knowing if it’s worth following the link or not(at least there’s a greasemonkey fix for YouTube Links).

  • The people are talking to the people at Postgenomic:
  • “Bloggers for Peer-Reviewed Research Reporting strives to identify serious academic blog posts about peer-reviewed research by offering an icon and an aggregation site where others can look to find the best academic blogging on the Net.”

    It is all great except that it already exists and for a long time before BPR3. You can go to the papers section in Postgenomic and select papers by the date they were published, were blogged about, how many bloggers mentioned the paper or limit this search to a particular journal. I have even used this early this year to suggest that the number of citations increases with the number of blog posts mentioning the paper.

    See comments hereand at Hublog.

    Clearing up the confusion around citations of internet sources

    Since I wrote that last post, it has become apparent that there’s a lot of confusion regarding citing material on the internet, which isn’t surprising given that there’s a lot of confusion surrounding the internet itself. Put your mind at ease, gentle reader, for clarity awaits.

    Continue reading

    The NLM’s Ted Stevens moment

    FAILThe NLM has published a comprehensive set of guidelines for citing email, usenet, websites. It’s great that they’re attempting to come up with some standard rules, but one has to wonder if the group coming up with the proposed rules has ever used our fine series of tubes.

    There’s a number of issues with their recommendations, some egregiously bad, some just kinda funny. For example, they have one set of rules for citing websites, and a different set of rules for citing electronic mail and discussion forums. This, in itself isn’t so strange, but look at the subcategories in each case:


  • Homepages
  • Parts of Websites

    Electronic mail and discussion forums

  • Electronic Mail
  • LISTSERVs and Similar Discussion Lists
  • Blogs
  • Wikis
    Apparently “homepages” are somehow different from other Websites, and both are altogether different from blogs and wikis, which don’t even merit inclusion in the Website category. Email gets cited one way, except if it’s an email from a mailing list. That categorization is but a harbinger of the confusion shortly to become apparent.

    For example, while one might cite a part of a website with the full URL to the cited page, the rules for blogs call for only citing the front page. Never mind that blogging is responsible for the invention of the permalink as we know it today. Mention of URIs or DOIs is nowhere to be found.

    That’s the seriously wrong stuff, but as I said, there’s some humor to be found as well. The content type of these sources is given as “blog on the internet” or “discussion list on the internet“.