So almost all of those identifiers can be formatted as a URI. Although sometimes it takes an info: uri, which some people don't like, but I like, for reasons relevant to their usefulness here.

ISBN, ISSN, LCCN, and OCLCnum all have registered info: URI sub-schemes. I once tried to figure out how to express an EAN as a URI, and I think I _did_ eventually find _something_, but it was kind of confusing and hard to track down (The EAN/UPC/etc people have some info URI subschemes registered too, I think, but it's hard to figure out what it all means). For ASIN, I have been in the habit of using an Amazon http URI, the problem is that Amazon really offers several http URIs for the same ASIN, so you kind of just have to pick one format.

Oh, and you can do DOI as an info: URI too.

So your annotation _could_ simply be "a URI". And get a lot of stuff. But this leaves out a lot of things that don't really have good identifiers at all: Articles in popular (not scholarly) newspapers/journals; most daily newspapers as titles themselves (don't usually have an ISSN); Movies; books too old (or for other odd reasons lacking) an ISBN (or lccn or oclcnum). Scholarly articles that don't have a DOI (the majority of them).

Maybe you could use the citation microformat extended to take arbitrary URI identifiers? So for stuff without an identifier, you've got the citation details, but you can still stick identifiers in with URIs?

And as someone else mentioned, this _is_ pretty much the use-case of traditional "OpenURL", and it does handle it well enough: allowing you put enough structured citation in to identify the referent for things without identifiers, allowing you to put arbitrary URIs in rft_id. But OpenURL is kind of a monster to work with. And doesn't deal too well with certain kinds of citations like movies or music either, it's really focused on published textual materials.


Tim Spalding wrote:
I was wondering if there was a good microformat. The trick is that the
citation format is very much about stuff that gets displayed, and
lacks the critical linking ids you'd want—ISBN, SSN, LCCN, OCLC, ASIN,
EAN, etc.

If people know of others that would work, maybe that's the answer.

On Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 8:38 AM, Karen Coombs <> wrote:
Have you looked the the citation microformat ( ? Don't know where work with this
stands but it seems pretty interesting to me.


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