I'd be cool with a dedicated citation syntax, or using a
yet-to-be-introduced extensible syntax for citations. 

But link syntax does make sense to me -- after all, citations do point
to things. And unlike one of the opinions you cited, I think link
descriptions *are* meaningful in citations, and can be made more
meaningful yet (code attached).

First, with links, you can have an easily human-readable reference in
the description, and the link keyword and citekey tucked away, e.g. as
you note:

>          [[cite:jones-etal-2000][Jones et al., 2000]]

That makes for a better authoring experience when revising your document
months or years later. Sure, Bibtex users usually keep their citekeys
mnemonic. However, there are alternatives to Bibtex, and people will
increasingly be keying their references to very non-mnemonic DOIs,
Zotero IDs or other database keys, etc.

But second, and more interesting: 

Parsing the description part as meaningful would also let us think
outside the latex box and handle things like page numbers and post-notes
a bit more intuitively. The following is an example of thinking like latex:

>        So, a possible extension of that could, for instance,
>        use a third pair of [] as in
>          [[cite:jones-etal-2000][Jones et al., 
> 2000][[citationcommand][prenote][postnote]]]
>                 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>                 key           displayed in org

Why should the prenote go nearly at the end? Do we really to add a
citation command? (Or define a bunch of different link types, one for
each citation command, as in Thomas S. Dye's excellent setup?) And do we
need all those brackets anyway?

My preference would be to write something like:

  [[cite:jones2000][(see further: Jones et al., 2000: p.18)]]

and  use a simple algorithm and a smidgen of extra processing power to
make sense of different human-meaningful forms of description, so that

  [[cite:jones2000][(2000: p.17)]] becomes a \citeyear
  [[cite:jones2000][Jones, 2000]] without round parens becomes a \citet


I have a rough, working example of this enabling Zotero cites for ODT
export (attached). I've been meaning to polish it up as a contributed
module for Zotero users, but if there's interest in a unified citation
syntax along these lines, I could rewrite it to work for Bibtex as well.

Christian Moe

Attachment: org-zotero-export.el
Description: application/emacs-lisp

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