I have been looking for a way to create Posts with both Footnotes and a Bibliography section. I have wanted to make my post a little more professional looking, and let the information flow more easily with the way I write. What I have come to realize, is that Footnotes and Endnotes are different and function differently in respect to information processing. Traditionally, in print media Endnotes have occurred at the end of the article, whereas Footnotes have occurred at the end of the page on which the footnote is mentioned. This leads to a three way breakdown:
The purpose of footnotes is to facilitate quick information processing without breaking the flow of reading or information processing of the consumer of information. On web-based media, the end of the article and the end of the page is the same if pagination is not enabled. So this creates a sort of syncretism between Endnotes and Footnotes. However, the greater principal of quick reference to additional information still applies on the web. There are several strategies which have tried to fill this information processing nitch, these include things like:
- Tooltips (The pop-up text which appears when your mouse cursor hovers over a link or some other text.)
- Lightbox (The darker shading of the background and the high-lighting of the content in focus.)
- Pop-up windows (which have been phased out of popular "good web design").
- Information (Text) balloons (an example of this is Wikipop Wikipop is really a combination of the above mentioned effects above to create an inline experience for the user. But some web-sites have a similar effect which is dependent on the mouse hovering over the "trigger".).
With strategies for conveying information like Tooltips it is possible to meet the same information communication and information processing goals which were formerly achieved through footnotes. For Web-based information, which is intended to be consumed through a web medium Wiki-pop makes a lot of sense. However, if the goal is a good print out of content then footnotes are still needed, that is why I am using footnotes on this particular web presentationA solution which does both, tooltips or solutions like Wikipop, and footnotes when the content is printed, would be ideal. .
So here is a quick post on how I am doing it.
I am using two different "endnotes" plugins. One for the Bibliography section and the other for the Notes section.
Creating the Footnotes section:
To create the notes section I have elected to use a plugin called FootnotesEven though there are other options for Footnote Plugins. One other option I know about is FD-Footnotes. by Rob Miller. (Big surprise on the name of the plugin...) Footnotes allows for me to put what I want to show up as footnotes in
<ref>something</ref>In order to get these tags to display inside of
</code> tags I had to use HTML codes for the greater than sign, less than sign and slash. There is some additional good information about character encoding in HTML on Wikipedia. tags.
Additionally I can set a tag
<reference /> anywhere in the post and produce a list of footnotes.
Creating the Bibliography:
To create the Bibliography Section I am using WP-Footnotes (in the WP plugins repository) by Simon Elvery. More information can be read about his plugin here. What this plugin allows me to do is to craft the citation of the item I want to cite. I have to figure out how I want to "code" the citation and then present the citation.
This will produce a citation marker (a number) as a super script inline with the text. Like this Nikolaus P. Himmelmann. 1998. Documentary and Descriptive Linguistics. Linguistics vol. 36:161-195. [PDF] [Accessed 24 Dec. 2010] :
And that will produce a citation in the bibliography section like the following:
One interesting thing that occurs on the admin side of WordPress is that the plugin WP-Footnotes has an options page which shows up in the Settings menu, however what is interesting is that in that in the menu it is called Footnotes, not WP-Footnotes.
The options for WP-Footnotes really make it flexible, it is these setting which have allowed me to rename the section from Notes to Bibliography.
Is this my final solution? No. One thing I really don't like is that the bibliography is not orderd in alphabetical order of the last names, and then in order of the year of publication. Rather, citations are ordered in the order of appearance (as footnotes generally are). The plugin does not have any options for changing the order that thing appear in (though the headings on the ordered list can be changed). There is also no way to structure the data in the bibliography for reuse (even if it is just within this site), so each use of each citation must be hand-crafted with love. There are some other solutions which I am looking at integrating with this one but have not had time to really explore. One options is to integrate with Mendeley and aggregate bibliography data from a Mendeley collection. Another option is to create bibliographies as bibtex files and then use those to display the bibliography.