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Re: wip-cite status question and feedback

From: Bruce D'Arcus
Subject: Re: wip-cite status question and feedback
Date: Mon, 13 Apr 2020 08:33:51 -0400

On Mon, Apr 13, 2020 at 8:05 AM Gustav Wikström <address@hidden> wrote:

> I'm curious. So take this for what it is; I.e. curiosity. What /exactly/ is 
> meant with a citation here? Is it a new general concept in Org mode, or is it 
> something more narrow, as an extension for some specific third party 
> software? Would I be able to use it without that third party software? What 
> would the content of a citation be? Is it a link to some source plus 
> annotations and formatting? Is it only the link? Is it also the formatting? 
> Is it something else entirely? I'm wondering since Org mode has existing 
> facilities for much of this already. But maybe not packaged together for 
> citations just yet? Is there any purpose of thinking of citations as a 
> wrapper for already existing functionality? Or could the links-syntax be 
> extended with more properties and auxiliary functionality to fulfill the need 
> for citations?

I'm not sure of the value of this sort of question thrown in the
middle of a long-running, many year, conversation. You seem to assume
nobody considered this.

But to answer anyway ...

Citations are references to bibliographic sources.

They are a convention for citing references that developed over
decades, and even centuries, before the internet even existed.

So, they are links of sorts, but lot more.

They're complicated because of the addition of diverse, prescriptive,
and often obscure output formatting requirements, and also because we
have to include additional information beyond just the source.

For example, if I cite some thing, I may need to include page number
references; like (Doe, 2018:18). This says, X info from the Doc, 2018
source, page 18.

So practically, if I submit a manuscript to one journal, it has one
set of formatting requirements; perhaps the above citation style, and
then a separate bibliography style.

If it's rejected and I resubmit it to another journal, it will have a
different set of formatting requirements; perhaps citations look like
this instead (Doe, 2018 p. 18), or are rendered as footnotes.

So we use these systems to decouple authoring from those output requirements.

One can say that academic citation practice is inflexible and archaic,
and one would be right. But it's the world we live in, and very slow
to change. 100 years from now it likely won't look too different!

Effectively, I see this long thread, and similar ones before it, as
how best to reconcile well-known requirements as reflected in existing
systems, but to do so in a way that fits with org.

I think we're close!



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