Just for everyone's attention, a nice question has popped up in the MathOverflow meta: Formatting citations to the literature on MathOverflow, shooting towards a button that will insert a formatted citation given a DOI or arxiv link, or even pop up a search window to connect with some back end. It looks pretty preliminary but it's something to keep an eye on if it goes through, and maybe it's a nice project for some of our better coders (though I don't want to point fingers).
For your convenience, here's the question text:
We'd like to make it easier to cite articles from the literature, on MathOverflow.
I propose adding a single button to the edit toolbar while writing posts, which will pop up a search dialog, allow the user to select a result, and then insert a nicely formatted link to the paper back into the edit box.
To get a sense of how the search dialog might work, please look at this prototype. (Obviously this would need some polishing; suggestions for improvements welcome.)
Once a search result has been selected, I propose inserting into the edit box something like:
which will render simply as the hyperlink A mathematics paper. The hyperlink should be the 'best available URL', e.g. the DOI resolution address, a direct link to the published version, or the link to the corresponding record on MathSciNet.
I would like to include the extra
<span>tag around the actual hyperlink for several reasons:
- it makes the extra citation data available, in case the user wants to also show the authors or journal reference in the text,
- it allows us to render citation links differently via the CSS selector
- it allows us to programmatically detect and reformat citation links after the fact, if desired (e.g. to provide links to your local library's resolver).
There are a number of things we'll need to do:
- verify we really can add a button to the edit interface
- pick a 'backend' for the search dialog (the prototype above is a hack; it would be nice to run off MathSciNet or Zentralblatt, etc, but this may require a lot of coordination)
- design and build the search dialog
- beta test with some users