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Re: org-cite: how to include a cite with no key?

From: Matt Price
Subject: Re: org-cite: how to include a cite with no key?
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2021 02:55:09 -0400

Certainly citation of personal communications is common in the fields of history and philosophy of science, where it represents an effort to responsibly represent the source of ideas owed to other persons.  It's not really a question of whether you personally would do it; it's a question of whether org will support a practice that exists in some real-world contexts.  

On Mon., Jul. 19, 2021, 8:48 p.m. John Kitchin, <jkitchin@andrew.cmu.edu> wrote:
On Mon, Jul 19, 2021 at 7:28 PM Emmanuel Charpentier <emm.charpentier@free.fr> wrote:
> In natbib there is \citetext{priv.\ comm.} which is used to add a
> textual citation to the bibliography that doesn't have a key
> associated with it.

Hmmm... why should you bother to reference a personal communication ?
Such private communications may be mentionned in the text (possibly by
a footnote) but can't be properly referenced (since there is nothing to
refer to). If you feel that this communication must be referred to, you
should give it some (written) support and (properly) reference this

Who is to say why someone would bother. It is a command on page two of
http://tug.ctan.org/macros/latex/contrib/natbib/natnotes.pdf that one can use. 

It is also possible to use  \nocite{*} as a cite, which includes all
references from a bibliography, and yet contains no key. Even funnier in a way is \nocite{key} which just adds entries to the bibliography, but does not cite them in the body of a document.

Footnotes are not always allowed in publications, and for various reasons not worth defending, in proposals one might want to put this in the references because of space limitations.

I count at least 10 examples of such personal communications in the references in my library of ~1800 pdfs, so they aren't very common, but certainly they exist in the wild. Whether people should do it or not, they do.

ISTR that at least CSL and BibLaTeX have types appropriates for a
manuscript or a letter. You may also consider your own notes as
documents and reference them (properly).

> I don't see a way to get something like that in org-cite, since it
> seems that a key is always required.

Indeed : the key is, in relational algebra terms, the primary key of
the bibliographic relation...

I think of it more like a lambda function, but for a cite reference, where you
define what you want inline. It is pretty common in scientific papers
and proposals to see that. 

It may not make sense to make an @misc bibtex entry for that purpose, since it is a one time citation for that document, and is like a lambda reference.

> This isn't currently recognized as a cite, but something like this
> seems like a reasonable solution to me.

> [cite/text:@ private communication]

Such special casing is probably a bugs' nest... err.. hive. And
pointless, as explained /supra/.


Emmanuel Charpentier

> John

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