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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Saur 2019

The CITE Architecture: a Conceptual and Practical Overview

Christopher W. Blackwell and Neel Smith


CITE, originally developed for the Homer Multitext, is a digital library architecture for identification, retrieval, manipulation, and integration of data by means of machine-actionable canonical citation. CITE stands for “Collections, Indices, Texts, and Extensions”, and the acronym invokes the long history of citation as the basis for scholarly publication. Each of the four parts of CITE is based on abstract data models. Two parallel standards for citation identify data that implement those models: the CTS URN, for identifying texts and passages of text, and the CITE2 URN for identifying other data. Both of these URN citation schemes capture the necessary semantics of the data they identify, in context. In this paper we will describe the theoretical foundations of CITE, explain CTS and CITE2 URNs, describe the current state of the models for scholarly data that CITE defines, and introduce the current data formats, code libraries, utilities, and end-user applications that implement CITE.

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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