[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [O] Citation syntax: Underscore MUST(?) be allowed in cite keys?

From: Thomas S. Dye
Subject: Re: [O] Citation syntax: Underscore MUST(?) be allowed in cite keys?
Date: Mon, 09 Mar 2015 06:37:02 -1000

Richard Lawrence <address@hidden> writes:

> Hi Tom and all,
> "Thomas S. Dye" <address@hidden> writes:
>> Richard Lawrence <address@hidden> writes:
>>>  But my opinion probably shouldn't count for much on this
>>> point, because I don't use a citation manager myself (I use org-bibtex),
>>> and I write my own keys.
>> Oh my.  This is a lot to keep in your head as a bibliographic database
>> grows.  The one I've created with my colleagues over the last two
>> decades has more than 5,000 entries.
> Yes, I realize this method probably isn't going to scale well in the
> long run, but it's working for me for now.  The vast majority of my keys
> are just the author's last name plus the year.  I just write a key like
> that when I add something to my reading list, and fix the rare duplicate
> cases as necessary.
> (Just to explain why it makes sense to me to do it this way: I used to
> work in a psychology lab, where I had to write a lot of little programs
> to do data analysis.  The worst part of that job was always dealing with
> malformed, missing, and otherwise-corrupt data captured by someone else.
> Since then, my attitude has always been that it's much easier to correct
> that data at the point where it's captured than figure out what to do
> with it somewhere further down the processing pipeline, after the reason
> *why* it is malformed has been lost.  In the context of this discussion,
> that translates to: a work doesn't get a key in my reading list unless I
> have complete citation information for it.  Sometimes I put items on my
> reading list that I don't have citation data for yet, but I don't do
> org-bibtex-create-in-current-entry on that item until I have the
> citation data and can assign it a key.)

We've had a couple dozen contributors to our bibliography over the
years.  Initially, we assigned keys by hand but we found this led to
very many duplicate entries.  Generating keys has helped a lot in this
situation because most duplicates are caught when we merge the
project-specific database, which has already been edited, with the
central one.

>>> I don't disagree, but I think there is an empirical question that needs
>>> to be answered here: within the keys people actually use, how many do
>>> not conform to the syntax?  Of those that don't, do they represent
>>> `normal' cases or not?
>> A good friend of mine is a military historian who writes books
>> describing how the Army habitually plans to fight the last war over
>> again, then has to adapt hurriedly when the next war turns out to be
>> different.  It strikes me that basing core features of the citation
>> syntax on the software users happen to be using today is a bit like
>> this--at some point the design of the system will prove unprepared for
>> new developments.
>> I think Vaidheeswaran C's example of a citation scraped off the internet
>> with Zotero should carry a lot of weight.  This kind of thing is bound
>> to happen more and more as authors increasingly harvest citation
>> information on-line (my generation typically looks on this with horror,
>> but we'll be swept aside).
> That's a fair point.  
>> I kind of like Rasmus' idea to make the citation insertion routines
>> aware of punctuation and use a full citation where a shortcut would
>> introduce ambiguities.
> That would work for me.  Like Rasmus, I don't particularly like the idea
> of letting the syntax of keys vary in the shortcut case and the full
> citation case, but if the only difference is whether or not they can end
> in clause-ending punctuation, maybe this is the least-bad option.
> Another option would be to allow clause-ending punctuation in all keys,
> but introduce some kind of optional syntax to express `this key ends
> here'.  This could be used to disambiguate the key from any following
> punctuation in those cases where this is needed.  Perhaps something like
> '{}', since even LaTeX won't allow '}' at the end of a key, or maybe
> just '\'.  Thus, in these examples:
>   This is an in-text citation, as was shown by @Doe99{}. The next sentence.
>   This is an in-text citation, as was shown by @Doe99\. The next sentence.
> the key would be parsed as `Doe99', but in this example:
>   This is an in-text citation, where @Doe???? is mentioned mid-sentence.
> the key would be parsed as `Doe????'.
> What do you think?  

The {} terminator is used elsewhere in Org mode, so it might be the
least bad option in this instance.

All the best,

T.S. Dye & Colleagues, Archaeologists
735 Bishop St, Suite 315, Honolulu, HI 96813
Tel: 808-529-0866, Fax: 808-529-0884

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]