Just to clarify, encoding identifiers as URI's, my suggestion, is NOT "externalizing the information under another URL". It is just picking a standard format for identifiers, the identifier format of the web, to re-use standards and cut down on custom vocabulary. If your 'simplebib' idea made sense, it could look like:

'simplebib' : {
   identifier:  info:isbn:1234556X

or identifier: info:oclcnum:whatever

Note that "info" URIs not only don't need to be "looked up from another URL" to "resolve" -- info URIs are actually un-resolvable! While the ASIN http URI is (sort of) resolvable, it still doesn't _need_ to be looked up to resolve. Nothing is externalized.

'simplebib' : {
  identifier:  http://amazon.com/asin/whatever
or whatever.

Likewise for "OpenURL". Despite the name, OpenURL is, in practice, a standard vocabulary/encoding for citation details, it is not a method of 'externalizing the information'. This is an OpenURL context object in KEV format that identifies a particular book:

rft.title=Manufacturing Consent&rft.au=Noam Chomsky&rft_id=info:isbn:whatever


If you want to make up your own brand new citation format, then of course that is within your capabilities. It seems to me that trying to re-use as much infrastructure that already exists is good. Even if that's just re-using URI infrastructure (including info: URIs). Especially if you expect anyone other than you to 'adopt' this.


Tim Spalding wrote:
Unless someone can come up with a perfect pre-cooked format—one that
not only covers what we need but is also super easy and
space-efficient (we have only 1/2k to use!)—Why don't we just decide

'simplebib' : {


and start filling in fields. I don't think it makes sense to
externalize the information under another URL, at least in the first
instance. That at least doubles the calls involved, and makes whatever
you build dependent on lots of external services that may or may not


On Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 10:45 AM, Jonathan Rochkind <rochk...@jhu.edu> wrote:
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 <librarywebc...@gmail.com>

Have you looked the the citation microformat (
http://microformats.org/wiki/citation) ? Don't know where work with this
stands but it seems pretty interesting to me.


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