Jodi Schneider wrote:
Interesting. I'd really like ID's to be not
only comprehensible but
also to have a fair chance of being directly inputtable by humans.
Usual bibliographic catalogs do not provide a mnemonic key as soon as
their size is more then a few hundred entries. There are various IDs
like ISBN and OCLC number but there is no large-scale system that has
simple identifiers. Why do you want to type in the ID by hand anyway?
What is the use-case?
For instance, on Wikipedia, if I know that I am
looking for the
article on "citation signals" I can type the URL directly, without
In my ideal citation-wiki-in-the-sky, you could get to the citation
directly in this way -- and sensible disambiguation pages would be
Why do you want to directly work with fragile identifiers? Every
modern web application provides auto-suggest: you type in a keyword,
title, author, anything and get a list of publications and a link to
create a new one. Then you select a publication from the list and its
ID gets copied into your editor (an ideal editor would also send a
pingback to the citation database to know where a publication
identifier is used). Done.
I also like mnemonic identifiers, they are useful if you have to read,
memorize and type in them. But if your workflow is truly digital then
their limitation is just a burden. I would value uniqueness and
stability much more then readability - and you cannot get both!