Citations with CTS and Microformats

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The page Citation_in_digital_scholarship describes a convention for indicating citations that relies on the 'class' and 'title' attributes when implemented in (x)html.

This page describes an extension of that convention to encompass adding Microformats and CTS identifiers to conformant citations.

Sample sentence: "vd. Ath. Deipn. I".

With citation markup added: "vd. <a class="citation" target="_blank" href="">Ath. Deipn. I</a>".

Pattern 1

<a class="citation" target="_blank" href="">
 Ath. Deipn. I

This solution is somehow tightly coupled, i.e. the citation is linked to one resource.

Pattern 2

<cite class="ctref">
 <span class="ctauthor"> 
  <span class="projid">urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0012
  <abbr class="name" title="Homer">Hom. 
 <span class="ctwork">
  <span class="projid">urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0012:tlg001
  <abbr class="title" title="Iliad">Il. 
 <abbr class="range" title="20.131-20.137">20.131-7
 <span class="edition">
  <abbr class="description" title="Allen" /

Pattern 3

<a class="citation" target="_blank" href="">
  <cite class="ctref">
   <abbr style="font-style:normal" class="ctauthor" title="urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0008">Ath. 
   <abbr class="ctwork" title="urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0008.tlg001">Deipn. 
   <abbr class="range" title="1">I 
   <abbr style="display:none" class="edition" title="urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0008.tlg001.fhg01">Kaibel

This solution is more loosely coupled than the previous one. The citation is still linked to a resource, but the encoding includes enough information for a client-side component to create links to alternative resources. The markup in Pattern 2 was proposed in (Romanello 2008).

The idea is to store in the @title a machine-understandable value representing a citation segment as described in the Microformats abbr-design pattern.

The <cite> element is used to include further semantics.

In this example CTS URNs are used to provide identifiers for authors, works and work editions (see the CHS Canon for a full list).

Parsing Microformats

Some extensions or add-ons exist for different browsers that allow for some understanding for microformatted content embedded in web pages.


  • Romanello 2007. M. Romanello, "A semantic linking system for canonical references to electronic corpora," in International Conference on Electronic Corpora of Ancient Languages : proceedings of the international conference, Prague, November 16-17, 2007, P. Zemanek, Ed., Prague, 2007, pp. 107-120. [Online]. Available:
  • Romanello 2008. M. Romanello "A Semantic Linking Framework to Provide Critical Value-Added Services for E-Journals on Classics." ELPUB 2008: Open Scholarship: Authority, Community, and Sustainability in the Age of Web 2.0 - Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Electronic Publishing: