We need a simple app that would make blog posts more citable (UPDATED)

Back when I was at the Oikos Blog, I discussed emerging standards for citing blog posts.* Of which I heartily approve. The purpose of a citation is to give credit where it’s due, and if credit is due to a blog post, that’s where it should go.

Via email, a correspondent suggests a really handy idea that would make blog posts more citable. There should be a button at the end of the post that would automatically download the citation information for the post to your reference management software. Like the buttons for sharing the post on social media.

Unfortunately, I don’t know if such a thing exists (anyone know?) And even if it does we couldn’t implement it because our blog is hosted for free by WordPress and so isn’t infinitely customizable.

UPDATE: See the comments; there are at least a couple of systems for doing this.

*Yes, people are doing this, including in ecology. Currently working on a post discussing a striking example…

17 thoughts on “We need a simple app that would make blog posts more citable (UPDATED)

  1. Hi, I may not have properly answered your question (need more coffee on a Monday!) I think what you’re looking for is not a simple list of citations, but you’re looking for a specific format link for each citation/pub that links to the service: ie:small toolbar menu with: Endnote, Refworks, Mendeley, etc. with the icons that let’s your readers grab the citation that they can import?

    That’s a different animal altogether! You might be able to do that with the specific applications but Research Blogging does not do that. Instead, you only link your citation to the journal publication /abstract page directly. I think that’s actually better because it takes the reader to the publication page and then the service is provided by the publisher directly – taking the work off your hands. Just a thought.

  2. +1 to Ben Bolker’s comments that Zotero already does a great job of this. Several other reference managers also have built in “import citation from web” bookmarklets etc. The down side here is that it leaves everything up to the user.

    The Winnower thing looks promising; though I think you may need to be independently hosted (see “wordpress.org vs wordpress.com”) to add that plugin to wordpress?

    The Greycite app by Phil Lord is also designed for this purpose. You can paste any URL into it’s search box http://greycite.knowledgeblog.org/ and it will return the metadata for the citation in variety of formats, including BibTex, RIS, rdf, etc.

    I think you could add a little button to do this on wordpress with just a bit of HTML. I believe wordpress.com let’s you add footer / sidebar boxes that contain HTML text, so I think you could just create a link the the service like so:

    <a href="http://greycite.knowledgeblog.org/bib?uri=“>BibTex Citation
    <a href="http://greycite.knowledgeblog.org/ris?uri=“>RIS Citation

    A user clicking on the link would be given the citation data without needing a plugin.

    • Thanks Carl. Yes, we’re hosted by wordpress.com for free, so we can’t add in a plugin from Zotero or other reference managers. Thanks for the tip re: adding html to a footer or sidebar. I’ll look into this. Actually, might be best to add this html to the bottom of each post. Not sure if our chosen format gives us the option of having a footer/sidebar section on each post, at least not one that will show up next to each post for readers who just visit dynamicecology.wordpress.com and then scroll down to read posts.

  3. Perhaps a consequence of my sheltered life, but I do not recall seeing blog posts cited in peer-reviewed literature. Based on the discussion I assume they exist and that I have not honed in on them for one reason or another. I am curious, though, under what circumstances it would be appropriate to cite a blog post?

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