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>".

The markup examples in this page use CTS URNs to provide identifiers for authors, works and work editions (see the CHS Canon for a full list).

Microformat Encoding

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" /

This pattern is presented and discussed in [1].

The javascript code to make your Firefox browser (with the Operator add-on pre-installed) aware of this custom microformat is available at Please refer to the README file for installation.

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 pattern is presented and discussed in [2].

Pattern Comparison

  • The solutions in patterns 2 and 3 are more loosely coupled than the one in pattern 1. 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.

Client Applications

Parsing Microformats

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

Server Applications

Resolution services


  • 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:
  1. (Romanello 2007)
  2. (Romanello 2008)