[open-bibliography] Best (or least bad) bibliographic interchange format?

Peter Murray-Rust pm286 at cam.ac.uk
Wed Aug 31 08:27:22 UTC 2011

I have forwarded this to the Open Bibliography group of the Open Knowledge
Foundation. We have developed an approach the Open Bibliography based on
JSON (BibJSON, Jim Pitman) . Many of the OKF-OB team will be present at

On Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 8:51 AM, <Fenner.Martin at mh-hannover.de> wrote:

> **
> I second Peter in that a format based on JSON is probably better than a
> legacy format. The JSON input format for CSL is a good starting point, I
> don't know whether there are alternative JSON-based formats.
> The CSL input format needs to define the citation type "dataset", citation
> of datasets will hopefully soon be a common practice.
> Best,
> Martin
> P.S. I hope to see some people on this list at the Science Online
> Conference in London <http://www.scienceonlinelondon.org> this Friday and
> Saturday. We will discuss several topics relevant to "Beyond the PDF".
> ------------------------------
>  *Von:* beyond-the-pdf at googlegroups.com [mailto:
> beyond-the-pdf at googlegroups.com] *Im Auftrag von *Carl Leubsdorf, Jr.
> *Gesendet:* Mittwoch, 31. August 2011 04:26
> *An:* beyond-the-pdf at googlegroups.com
> *Cc:* Bruce D'Arcus; ptsefton at gmail.com
> *Betreff:* Re: Best (or least bad) bibliographic interchange format?
> Peter Sefton wrote:
>> I forwarded this to Bruce D'Arcus who invented CSL - the Stylesheet
>> processing language used by Zotero and Mendeley.
> Thanks for passing that along.
>  > But this general approach (with focus probably on JSON) would, in my
>> > view, be better than the legacy formats.
> I can see the value of this approach.  But (and not to be too short-sighted
> on this) how immediately useful are future formats for people who, today,
> have hundreds or thousands of references already compiled in legacy formats?
>  I suppose one answer is to import them into Zotero or Mendeley and then
> export to CSL.
> We also may take the approach, since we need to save to NLM-DTD, to simply
> store the citations in a subset of the NLM tag suite, and work on
> CSL-compatibility for a later version.
>  JISC has just funded some work on HTML5 in the UK which I will be
>> involved in - one of the things we're looking at is how to represent
>> citations in HTML - I think that microdata compatible with the
>> Zotero/Mendeley/CSL format will be worth investigating. We will be
>> looking at automated bibliography formatting using CSL, probably in
>> Javascript - maybe you could work with us on that?
>> I'm definitely willing to work on this; I suspect there will be some
> interest at NLM in this work as well.
> In the meantime I will have a closer look at CSL.
> Thanks!

Peter Murray-Rust
Reader in Molecular Informatics
Unilever Centre, Dep. Of Chemistry
University of Cambridge
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