Okay, so I am totally sad and writing a blog post on Christmas day. Well, the thing is that I’ve been teaching for months and moving house. This is the first still period that I’ve had for ages; well, thinking is inevitable.

One of the things that I am looking to next year is the last ontogenesis meeting. It’s been a lot of fun doing these, I’ve enjoyed them all. The last one is my idea, and I think it’s going to be good. As an ontologist, you get a lot of questions about how to build ontologies and is there a book. At the moment, there isn’t really one and it’s a problem. So, for ontogenesis, we decided to write a set of book chapters; here is the clever bit — we just stick them on a blog, because the process of formal publication as a book is long-winded, tiresome and error-prone. I’m calling the process knowledge blogging — it’s peer-reviewed, formal and with no intention of being regular; articles come when they are written.

I set up the blog sometime ago. I haven’t, as yet, had a lot of time to fiddle with theme or organisation. There is some content, but it’s just the wordpress default theme. Not ideal, and I hope I will have some time for fixing things after I get back from holidays. I’ve noticed two problems already though. First is that with longer articles you need section headings and wordpress doesn’t do them; I’ve found a solution for this, in the shape of a contents table plugin, although subsequent googling also came up with others. This should make navigation a bit better.

The other issue is references — I don’t have a good idea about how to do these sanely. I’ve been looking for DOI wordpress plugins, but can only find one from crossref which doesn’t do what I want. This allows you to search for citations; what I wanted was to put a DOI in code and have it present properly.

Still I think I know how to do this; I’ve found a tool for linking references to the Mormon books; not normally something I would download, but the principle is the same. So I can replace DOIs with a proper link, using a DOI resolver. What I’d really like to do is have a proper in-text citation also. The documentation on DOIs and metadata harvesting is all rather nasty though; a nice simple REST API would do the trick.

It all confirms my long-held concerns about DOIs; there are a tool for the publishers. Still, perhaps pubmed will come to my rescue. Next place to look.

Happy Christmas to all my subscribers of whom there are very few.