7. Citation of digital objects

Increasing the scholarly use and representation of digital objects and expanding their citation is facilitated by the ease (or difficulty) with which the citation information is accessed. This is in addition to the use of persistent URIs and metadata that can be harvested via standard search engines as well as specialised strategies as OAI-PMH. We have elected in both the Hampson and Amarna Virtual museums to implement OpenURL Context Objects in Spans (COinS) to make it as easy as possible to cite the objects.

Citations to other works are familiar to any scholar — they ground a work of scholarship to a field of study, put new research into context, and often give credit where credit is due. The essence of citation is to identify the previous work with a set of metadata- author, title, and particulars of publication. The idea behind OpenURL is to provide a web-based mechanism to package and transport this type of citation metadata so that users in libraries can more easily access the cited works.
(Hellman 2009)

COinS information is essentially Dublin Core metadata express in a Span class statement embedded in each web page that provides access to the digital objects. When COinS data is present bibliographic tools such as Zotero can quickly create complete bibliographic entries. Zotero is a popular open-source bibliographic software that currently operates as a plug-in for FireFox but a version that will work with a full range of browsers ('Zotero Everywhere') has been announced (Owens 2010) and released in Alpha form. With Zotero installed, when viewing any Hampson or Amarna object web page, a small folder icon appears in the browser address window. Clicking on the icon brings up a list of all the digital objects that are derived from the initial physical object (see Fig. 13); one or more citations can then be selected and loaded in to the Zotero bibliographic database and subsequently easily referenced in a publication.

Figure 13

Figure 13: Citation of digital objects using the Zotero open source system.

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