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blue sky: Miscellaneous

credit where credit's due
September 26th
Submitted by Lans Carstensen <> to Miscellaneous.

Plagiarism. Trademark infringement. These are ugly realities in trying to actually use material obtained from the web. Your average ten-year-old doesn't know or care about citing web sources in reports to avoid plagiarism; your average forty-year-old doesn't know about it either.

Style guides for MLA and APA citing of electronic sources are available from libraries everywhere. If such a citation could be automatically generated from a web page or other Mozilla-browsable electronic source, and if this citation would be obvious and usable by the end-user, the world would be a much more responsible place.

The addition of a "Citation" button to the toolbar seems a logical choice, since a toolbar button is much more apparent to the casual user than just a menu item. This button should present a window containing the citation information for the web page currently being viewed. The citation format (MLA or APA) should be selectable by the user, in an obvious fashion, directly from this window. For a properly written web page from a properly configured server, all the required information can be derived from the META and TITLE tags, the last modification date of the HTML file, and the current date on the workstation running Mozilla. Of course, the information should be editable, in case some of it is incorrect or unavailable. This citation could then be included in the header or footer of a printed page, to remind the researcher to include it in his or her reference list.