Support » Plugin: NetBlog » NetBlog for simple citations?

  • Resolved whatbee


    Greets. I am looking for an advanced citations manager but I don’t wish to burden my posts with the feeling of actually being an academic paper.

    I’ve read over the tutorials, the Readme, gone through the Settings page but I can’t see how I might do what I’d really want to do. Something along the lines of Wikipedia citations. This is, after all, the web and I really, really dislike heavily citation laden texts on casual webpages — I really, really like highly linked texts that allow you to verify the authors citations.

    Is there any way of doing this?

    For example:
    When you are looking to install NetBlog the Installation Guide states, “Your WordPress version is 2.8 or higher” as one of the requirements.


    You have to have WordPress version 2.8 or higher to use NetBlog<sup>[1]</sup>.

    I don’t want to do:
    You have to have WordPress version 2.8 or higher to use NetBlog (“How to Install Netblog”, 2011) (nothing hyperlinks…)

    I note that the Tutorial has a section about creating your own filters but I don’t see any way of doing what I’m proposing (as the filter seems to draw on literal strings submitted and has no mechanism for auto-generating numbers).

    In other words, this looks like a beast and I can’t tell if I can use it to reach my final desired product (in which case I’d be willing to spend however many hours working on it) or if, even after gaining a full appreciation for the system, it still won’t be able to do what I want.

    I appreciate the help.

Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Plugin Author Benjamin Sommer


    Would it suit your needs to number all inline citations separately for each post, i.e. numbering in each post starts with 1 and the elements in the table of references are numbered accordingly (vs. continued numbering over all posts in your wp site)? If so, this could be implemented fairly simple. And if no unforeseen circumstances arise, this update might be released within the next few days.

    Please let me know if that would help you.

    And thanks for your interest in Netblog.

    I’m not sure. Though, I really appreciate the response.

    What you’re saying sounds pretty cool and might be exactly what I’m looking for. Since you were kind enough to give me a response, I’ll go a bit more into my situation.

    I’m going to be blogging on a specific topic and while it will be informal, I’m hoping to use the informality to make it easier to digest my serious topic, nevertheless, I’d like others to be able to be able to verify anything I say.

    I’ll likely be drawing from a number of sources but a few sources I’ll be usually persistently on multiple posts.

    I suppose I’d like all my links to be footnotes that contained relevant information (whether I link to a YouTube video, a government PDF report, a news article, a random forum posting, etc). Now, I could just do the “a href=”whatever” title=”information about the link” and maybe put an icon next to it to identify the type of content but there’s got to be a better way! (better in terms of managing all my external links in a sane way, keeping track of the exact content I’m referencing on big files, and in terms of making it easy for readers to follow my references)

    Anyway, thanks for your support. I guess I’ll start experimenting with options to make something a reality. What you are saying makes sense but I’m new to WordPress and don’t know if it’s possible to have a “citation” database that I can access so I don’t have to re-input all that valuable data.

    I rambled on for a bit… but the answer is yes 🙂

    The only other thing I wonder about is if “excerpts” are supported (much like Judicial Opinions which often include the necessary excerpts).

    Plugin Author Benjamin Sommer


    I just uploaded the new version (now 2.02), which supports numbering of bibliographic inline citations for each posts, along with some more formatting options.

    As this new feature is disabled by default, go to Settings > Citations and activate Bibliography > Numbering. Save your changes. Now if you reload a post with citations, they are numbered numerically starting with 1 for each post. I advice to enable the ‘Auto-append’ option in Settings > Citations > Bibliography as well as for footnotes.

    I hope this helps.

    As for excerpts of referenced items: technically speaking, this is possible. But I think there might be some difficulties (with remote storage or dynamic retrieval).
    1. Making a connection to a well established bibliographic database (without charges of cause). And Google Books API won’t do it – it has certain restrictions. If you can tell me some, I would very much appreciate it.
    2. In case you want to link to foreign websites, that should not be much difficult, but websites changes.

    In the metabox ‘Bibliography’ (when you edit posts), you might have noticed a section called ‘Internet Search’ in the autocomplete box (only if you have already added some bibliographic references). In fact, this section is always empty, because this feature is planned but its not that easy to find a good Bibliographic Search API for free.

    But of cause, another field in bibliographic references, e.g. called ‘excerpt’, might do the trick (let’s call this local or offline storage). If you assume that excerpts normally never change, then this approach might be totally fine (and rather easy to implement by the way)


    Is there some way of modifying the way the inline-citation numbering is formatted? I suppose I’ll search through the code and see if I can figure that out. The numbering seems to work great after my little bit of testing.

    As for excerpts. I think local storage is absolutely appropriate and just making another field. Excerpts shouldn’t normally ever change and it if they do — all the better to have an original excerpt 🙂

    I’m still playing with how it works — I have to admit I haven’t quite grasped the whole WordPress/NetBlog architecture enough to “get it” but I’m starting to.

    Plugin Author Benjamin Sommer


    Formatting of inline-citation numbering can be implemented rather easy. This however depends on what exactly is meant by formatting them:
    1. how to render the numbering, i.e. as decimals, alpha, greek or roman. See Output Format.
    2. how to style the final output in terms of css, e.g. font size etc. See CSS Formatting.
    3. using a Custom Output Format, i.e. [1], (1), <sup>[1]</sup>.

    All of them are now implemented in v2.03. Just take a look at Settings > Citations > Inline Citations. Note that the previously added option ‘Numbering’ (v2.02) has been removed to reduce unnecessary settings – it’s now part of Output Format (literal, decimals, etc).
    And one another note to Custom Output Format (see point 3 above): you can write any valid html code there, but <output> is definitely required, since it’s replaced with what you specified in Output Format, e.g. [<output>] and Decimals are rendered as [1], [2],… and (<output) and Literal might be rendered like (Author Name, Year).
    CSS Formatting options are applied independently.

    Concerning excerpts, I haven’t implemented them now, but I think they will be within the next days.

    And by the way: many thanks for your great ideas!

    Cool! I think that’s exactly what I’m talking about. And the “Full Excerpt” thing will also be nice for the academic side of things.

    I do have a question I haven’t been able to figure out. How do I all the fields when I’m inputting a new citation? I feel stupid that I don’t know how to do this but I am just manually deleting each field.

    Thanks again.

    Plugin Author Benjamin Sommer


    How do I all the fields when I’m inputting a new citation? I feel stupid that I don’t know how to do this but I am just manually deleting each field.

    I hope I got the meaning right: I think an additional Reset Button is a good idea to automatically reset/delete all fields to its default state (in the Bibliography Metabox), since you might have edited/changed a lot of them (to further speed up work). So you might look for it in the next version.

    By the way:
    You should always type in a unique reference name by which this citation can be easily identified, but you can leave it blank if you want. However, I greatly recommend a unique reference name because as soon as you click on the link Save this Reference, your current settings are being stored in the database (only if a valid reference name is given), which actually gives you a great advantage: you can edit existing citations (even if they are in a different post) within this metabox, just by typing its reference name in the Bibliographic Search above, with which you can load an existing citation. Then you can edit it and when you click on Save this Reference again, the citation with the given reference name will be overwritten (if exists). That way you can somehow manage all your citations without going through several posts (esp. if you used one citation several times!). And it will be more consistent.

    Concerning Full Excerpt:
    Well, I thought a bit about it, and the question is what kind of information should in the excerpt and how (if) it should be displayed to your website visitor (which might make sense). For example, a book’s excerpt could be a description what the book is all about, but it could be a sentence, paragraph or even a page of the specific citation in the book so that the reader of your post can verify your citation or comprehend the reason why you used it more easily. I think online content should be treated as offline contents (like books) for they may change over time and, as you (whatbee) pointed out, it should be better to have an original excerpt.
    Another question is whether one should be able to format the excerpt (bold, italics, underline, links, quotes, numbered/unnumbered lists etc) or should it be just plain text?
    Furthermore, in case the reader should be able to see your excerpt, I think it would be best to directly integrate the excerpt in the generated list of bibliographies via a link, e.g. called Excerpt, and when the user clicks this link, its Excerpt will appear just below it. The excerpt should rather be hidden to reduce unwanted/unnecessary information.
    And finally, how much text is usually in an excerpt and should its size be limited to a maximum size?

    Plugin Author Benjamin Sommer


    As for excerpts: v2.04 supports them for citations, which you can write/update in the metabox Bibliography > Advanced Options.

    However, there is one tiny limitation: formatting is explicitly disabled, since it is unclear how to support them. The standard html tags < b >, < strong >, < u > and < i > might be allowed, if there’s a need for them.


    Good info on the Reference ID. Didn’t know that was possible (though I hope there’s some kinda of way of looking it up besides manually tracking).

    Also, lots of good observations on excerpts, I don’t know on many of those (I have seen them formatted but always minimally) and I have seen them rather long. I prefer to keep mine small but sometimes they are rather long because of the nature of the quote. So, I guess I just don’t know.

    I like the idea of hide/show option, too. And definitely like the idea of a Reset Button since I’d fill out all those fields and then be stuck with way too much manual deletion.

    Thanks again.

    Plugin Author Benjamin Sommer


    though I hope there’s some kinda of way of looking it up besides manually tracking

    Why do you want to look up the Reference ID, and not the unique Reference Name? And for what? Is it not enough that the shortcodes are generated by the metabox Bibliography, in which case you don’t have to know the id?

    Plugin Author Benjamin Sommer


    Netblog v2.05 now contains the previously mentioned Reset Button in the metabox Bibliography.

    I hope this helps.

Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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