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Citation Meta


This article describes how a document is published into an article with Visual-Meta attached and how a reader can then copy text from that article which will automatically include rich Citation Meta on their clipboard, which thy can then paste into their document which they can then publish as an article with Citation Meta which will give the further reader a better connection to the cited text.

The primary point to establish here was how the Visual-Meta and the Citation Meta relates as a sort of Unit of Citation and how they perform different functions.


As a follow up to and to as well as and ultimately on what I previously called Addressing Unit and I now think Citation Meta makes more sense. I have therefore added a Category on my blog for Citation Meta: to also allow future posts to be part of this thread.


The impetus for this work has been the potential of which has coalesced decades of thinking, bringing together the recent Visual-Meta approach with dialog threading where all comments are first-class citizens and not just scribbles at the tail end of someone else’s document and which are robustly and high-resolution addressable, richly connected and with deep provenance.

I put this graph together based on the previous posts in order to better understand what should be inside the Citation Meta and what should be outside it (Visual-Meta) and what services should provided the capabilities (BTW, I built the below graph in the Dynamic View in Liquid | Author where I took a screenshot, changed to the document view from Dynamic View into Word Processing view with cmd-d and dragged the screenshot over. Nice. I’m contenting to refine the Dynamic View and Author as I use it to do this work).


It has been an interesting development seeing how the terminology has changed based on changing views of what this is. The basic premise is now about the meta information for citations and how that starts as Visual-Meta at the end of an article and then becomes Citation Meta when copied and when pasted into a document and stays available when it is published as an article:


Meta Information about the article is stored at the end of the article in human and machine readable form and is called Visual-Meta.

Citation Meta

Meta Information for a Citation in a document which only shows some information visually but with has all the available citation meta information available through a click or other interaction is called a Citation Meta. This is also the information on the clipboard when a user selects text and copies it in a supported environment and all the meta information is copied across with the selected text.


Document is what user authors in, it is their manuscript. Article is the published (made public) work with some information and decisions ‘baked in’.


Following the main flow of the graph, with user in Liquid | Author working on a document, which gets published to WordPress as an article with Visual-Meta, then a user copies text from that published article into their clipboard as Citation Meta which is pasted as Citation Meta and made available for copying agin into Citation Meta, with differences in what the Citation Meta contains at the different stages (Link type is introduced on pasting, not from original copy fx.):

1). Creation of Article with Visual-Meta. User authors an article and posts with meta information for citing the document in the form of Visual-Meta. In the diagram this is done using Liquid | Author which creates Visual-Meta and posts through WordPress.
2). Copy into Citation Meta. A reader then copies text which automatically includes the Citation Meta and Anchor tag.
3). Paste into Citation Meta. The reader then pastes this into a new document as. Citation Meta which can now, optionally, include a Link-Type (the reader marking if the source is agreed with or not).
4). Further Copy into Citation Meta. If a second reader copies the actual citation (rather than any other text, which would functionally be the same as step 2) the Citation Meta will also include a link to the current article as this is where it was ‘Found’.


A list of criteria by Doug, Frode and Raine as of 5th of October 2019, which the above system aims to support is available on this page, which is being updated in standard WordPress fashion as we refine the work:

Full Graph

This is the graph in full produced in the Dynamic View which is of course not dynamic here on WordPress (which I aim to change), includes at the bottom how the Addressability Criteria can be met:

Dynamic View Graph of Visual and Citation Meta. Hegland, 2019.

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