Been talking with Alf Eaton (now at Nature) and Thomas Zander (of KWord) about what it would take to make it easy for different bibliographic applications to plug-in to word-processors: OOo, KWord, AbiWord, Google Docs, etc. Thomas put up a couple of use cases to help think this through.
I think it’s clear we’d need:
- standard citation IDs; URIs
- standard in-document citation fields, which hold URIs + local parameters
- some kind of system service or API
An idea that emerged from this discussion is a system-level bot that could take a list of URIs from a client, and then return the formatted strings and/or raw metadata. This bot would first look in a local database, and if the items were not present, could then go out on the net and find the relevant metadata.
I think still to be settled is how to allow a tighter coupling of editor and service (for example, to be able to browse citations from within the editor), and the precise technology to make this all happen. It would be nice to see a generic mechanism for this, though, so that when need applications like Zotero come on the scene, they can instantly plug-in to this infrastructure.