From DLF Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Current Projects[edit]

The Citations Working Group is currently not active. Citations Working Group work is archived using the Open Science Framework.

Get Involved[edit]

If you have any questions please contribute to the discussion through the DLF AIG Google Group or contact Elizabeth Joan Kelly at ejkelly at

Past Projects[edit]

The DLF AIG Citations Working Group formed in the Fall of 2014 following the successful launch of the larger DLF AIG at the 2014 DLF forum. Volunteers interested in developing best practices for creating and displaying citations for digital library assets were solicited through the Digital Library Assessment Google Group. The citations working group was tasked with answering the following questions:

  1. What should a citation consist of?
  2. How can we best support appropriate citations?
  3. To what extent do common citation formats support this?
  4. What are the limitations of current digital library software systems for displaying citation information?
  5. What are best practices for displaying citation information for reference manager software capture?

The Citations Working Group was further split up to accomplish the following goals:

  1. Draft citation standards, based on what can and can't be incorporated into APA, Chicago, and MLA, that incorporate the necessary elements for digitized special collections and institutional repository content
  2. Explore how best to display citation information in page markup so reference managers like Mendeley, Zotero, and EndNote Web can easily parse the pages to import complete citation information
  3. Compile information on the technical issues for displaying citations from major software systems

The first goal involving draft citation standards was completed for DLF 2015. An initial draft was circulated to the DLF Assessment group using Google Docs from March 6 through April 3, 2015. At that point comments and edits that were grammar and/or punctuation-related as well as suggestions to clarify text were resolved, and a new document was moved to for further editing. Additional comments were invited through April 24, 2015. The resulting white paper, "Guidelines for citing library-hosted, unique digital assets" (DOI 10.17605/OSF.IO/98TAS) is available here.

Abstract of "Guidelines for Citing Library-hosted, Unique Digital Assets"[edit]

These draft guidelines were developed in response to a call for steps forward made by the Digital Library Federation (DLF) Assessment subgroup on Benefits. One of the areas identified for development included the establishment of best practices and guidelines for citing digital libraries. Most if not all major citation styles do not provide direction for citing digital objects, and it is difficult for the administrators of digital repositories to use traditional citation metrics to track the use of their digital objects in scholarly output. Scholarly literature has recently begun to focus on challenges and best practices for citing data sets. In addition, some citation styles, as well as individual institutions, provide guidelines for citing special collections materials. Much of this work can be drawn upon in order to format citations for digitized special collection and cultural heritage materials (e.g. rare books, manuscript materials, images, moving images, etc.) and institutional repository content. These guidelines attempt to address the following questions:

  1. What should a citation consist of?
  2. How can we best support appropriate citations?
  3. To what extent do common citation formats support this?

This document outlines suggested citation guidelines in an attempt to fill in gaps when the citation style does not give guidelines for a type of source—in this case, institutional repository and digitized cultural heritage objects.

White Paper Author and Contributors[edit]


The following people provided valuable feedback, edits, and comments on the various drafts of this document:

  • Geoffrey Bilder
  • Bianca Crowley
  • Jody DeRidder
  • Kevin Hawkins
  • Stacy Konkiel
  • Martha Kyrillidou
  • Bill Landis
  • Elliot D. Williams

This document was presented and discussed at the 2015 Digital Library Federation Forum as part of the session "Collaborative Efforts to Develop Best Practices in Assessment: A Progress Report" on Monday, October 26 at 1:30pm Pacific Time. The session was available via live-streaming during the conference, and the recording is archived online at the University of British Columbia.

Back to the Assessment home page