I have just finished writing an article for a journal – and I suspect the comments apply to all publishers. To create the Citations (or “references”) they require:
CITATIONS Citations should be double-spaced at the end of the text, with the notes numbered sequentially without superscript format. Authors are responsible for accuracy of references in all aspects. Please verify quotations and page numbers before submitting.
Superscript numerals should be placed at the end of the quotation or of the materials in which the source is mentioned. The numeral should be placed after all punctuation. SR follows the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, published by the University of Chicago Press. Examples of the correct format for most often used references are the following:
Article from a journal: Paul Metz, “Thirteen Steps to Avoiding Bad Luck in a Serials Cancellation Project,” Journal of Academic Librarianship 18 (May 1992): 76-82.
[Note: when each issue is paged separately, include the issue number after the volume number: 18, no. 3(May 1992): 76-82. Do not abbreviate months. When citing page numbers, omit the digits that remain the same in both the beginning and ending numbers, e.g., 111-13.
PMR: It’s the author who has to do all this. In a different journal it would be a different style – maybe Harvard, or Oxford or goodness knows. Each with their own bizarre, pointless micro syntax.
As we know there is a simple effective way of identifying a citation in a journal – the Digital object identifier – (Wikipedia), It’s a unique identifier, managed by each publisher and there is a resolution service. OK not all back journals are in the system, and OK it doesn’t do non journal articles but why not use it for the citations it can support. IN many science disciplines almost all modern citations would have DOIs.
Not only would it speed up the process but it would save errors. Authors tend to write abbreviations (J. Acad. Lib), mungle the volumes and pages, get the fields in the wrong areas. They hate it, and I suspect so do the technical editors when they have to correct the error. I can’t actually believe the authors save the technical editorsany time – I suspect it costs time.
You may argue that the publisher still has to type out the citation from the DOI. Not at all. This is all in standard form. Completely automatic.
Why also cannot publisher emit their bibliographic metadata in standard XML on their web page. It’s a solved problem. It would mean that anyone getting the a citation would get it right. (I assume that garbled citations don’t get counted in the holy numbers game, so it pays to have your metadata scraped correctly. And XML is the simple, correct way to do that.
It’s not as if the publishers don’t have an XML Schema (or rather DTD). They do.
It’s called PRISM. Honest. Publishing Requirements for Industry Standard a worthy – if probably overengineered approach. But maybe the name has got confused.
Of course the NIH/Pubmed has got this problem solved. Because they are the scientific information providers of the future.
Why not borrow their solution?