May 17, 2022

Journal Article: “How to Cite This Digital Edition?”

The article linked below was recently published by Digital Humanities Quarterly (DHQ).


How to Cite This Digital Edition?


Roman Bleier
Centre for Information Modelling, University of Graz


Digital Humanities Quarterly
Volume 15 Number 3 (Preview)

From the Introduction

Editions, in print or digital, have a prominent place in humanities research as they make primary sources accessible and are the foundation for scholarly argumentation in many disciplines. Allowing the unambiguous citation of an edited text is an important task of a scholarly edition since it makes research processes retraceable and transparent. This has not changed in the digital age, however, despite the digital medium posing new challenges for editors and users of scholarly digital editions (SDE) alike.

The Institute for Documentology and Scholarly Editing (IDE) has developed a checklist to evaluate scholarly digital editions.


The following study attempts to explore this topic further. In a survey conducted by the author of this study, the citation recommendations and permalink strategies of 670 digital editions, published between the 1990s and 2020, have been analysed. The primary goal of the survey was to collect data about how digital editions ensure citability of their content by:

  1. providing citation recommendations
  2. ensuring the content can be cited with permalinks or PIDs
  3. implementing a versioning strategy for its data

The quantitative analysis of the collected data will show developments that are, hopefully, not only representative for this sample, but applicable to the wider SDE community. In addition to the quantitative analysis, various citation strategies applied in different editing projects will be illustrated by taking a closer look at some of the editions in the list. The goal is to identify developments/strategies that are frequently used and which also appear to have proven value as effective solutions.

Editions that provided PIDs and permalinks for citation; Source:

The full list of editions and data on which the analysis, charts and conclusions are based is provided in the appendix. All charts published in this paper were produced by the author himself and are based on the compiled dataset. The appendix also contains the Jupyter notebook used to produce the graph visualisations.

Direct to Full Text Article

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.