Bibliographic Metadata for your web page

Collection of books and mobile devices on blue background with a white header 'Cite anything'. ZoteroBib - a free online service by the team behind Zotero

With Web 2.0, we see a radical change in scholarly communication. On the one hand, there is a growing need for researchers to be present on different web channels (blog, twitter, youtube, and much more). On the other hand, the more traditional ways of publications in high ranked peer review channels are still prevalent. It is difficult for researchers to meet this twofold challenge at the same time: After all the day has only 24 hours!

Double bind for ECRs


Figure 1: EURAXESS - Researchers in Motion is a unique pan-European initiative delivering information and support services to professional researchers.

Especially for young researchers (so-called Early Career Researchers, or ECRs1 is this situation alarming and even existence-threatening. The find themselves in a double-bind: Should they more invest in traditional ways of career planning, or is it more promising to expand and foster their internet presence? I do not have a clear solution for myself. I think a transition period, the most secure strategy is to follow both paths.

ECRs have both the most to gain and the most to lose from being at the forefront of changes to scholarly communications [@eve_open_2014; @st._louis_open_2015].

COinS and Zotero

Logo Zotero

Figure 2: Zotero is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share research.

The only way I can think of to meet both challenges is to maximize the efficiency of all career moves. One of my aims with this blog on Open Science Education is to talk about technology supported new ways for research and publication to fulfill both requirements.

Logo ZotoroWith the following lines, I will show you how you can help your blog readers or website visitors to cite your posts and pages correctly and in way that they could count as a kind of publication.

My suggestion is

  1. to use the free research tool Zotero
  2. to produce a specific HTML code (COinS = Context Objects in Spans) and
  3. inject this code into your web page.

COinS is a microformat standard to embed bibliographic metadata for Embedding in HTML. COinS include as HTML code all the information necessary to cite a publication correctly. It works for every type of publication (books, papers, web pages).

Zotero Start Page

Figure 3: Zotero is designed to store, manage, and cite bibliographic references, such as books and articles. It is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux.

There are several possibilities to generate COinS, but I will focus on Zotero. I am not going into further details here, but I have prepared a tutorial with images from all the necessary steps to produce, embed, and download COinS.


  1. There are different definitions for ECRs around, varying how many years after a Ph.D. are included. The period starts from 4 years and goes to in some institutions to 10 years. A more detailed description of different research profile descriptors has the European Research Commission (EURAXESS↩︎

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Peter Baumgartner
Peter Baumgartner
Retired Professor of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)

My research interests include eLearning, educational technology, educational design, open science and data science education.