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Recognitions:

cite tag

Very often in threads, we cite text from some other source. At present, there's no dedicated tag for this. Many people use the "quote" tag, which I personally find a bit confusing. I'd prefer to have the quote tag used for quoting previous posts. Also, when you make a reply to post, all the previous quotes are first stripped out. I am not sure this should apply to cited text.

In any case, my own practice has usually been to use an indented block when I am citing some other source; usually a paper but could be a web page, newspaper, saying, whatever.

I propose that a tag be defined for use when citing some other source. This would need to be implemented by Greg or chroot, I guess, if there was sufficient interest and they thought it worthwhile. I've never programmed for bbcodes before, but I think I know how it would be done.

The details would be:

Title: citation tag
Tag: cite
Replacement:
Code:
<div style="margin:20px; margin-top:10px; margin-bottom:10px; padding: 6px; border: 1px solid gray; background: #e8e8e8"><div style="color: navy">{param}</div>
<div style="margin-left: 40px; text-indent: -10px">-- <small>{option}</small></div></div>
Example:
Code:
[cite=Winston Churchill]No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those others that have been tried from time to time.[/cite]
Description: Use this tag to enclose text quoted from some reference or citation. You can give the citation source as an argument to the tag.
The various tag options should be straightforward. It could be coded better to do the right thing if no source is provided, or to use what conventions you have for styles. I don't have experience coding custom bbcode tags. It's the kind of thing which vbulletin may even have available in its forums to licensed users. I just looked quickly at some documentation.

One downside is that you can apply no formatting or links in the optional argument. It should be easy to give a second option much like the quote tag at present allows a post number. This could be introduced with a semi-colon, followed by a url, and would result in a link appearing with the citation source at the end, much like the quote tag at present can link back to an earlier post.

Here is an example post, with an image of how I think it would appear using the above tag definition.
Winston Churchill once said of democracy:
[cite=Winston Churchill]
No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those others that have been tried from time to time.[/cite]

It has been noted that this comment could easily be applied to the principle of peer review in scientific literature.
[cite=Scott Fraser (2007) Winston Churchill and peer review, in Clinical Ophthalmology 1(2) pp 91–92.]
Of course, peer review has its well-discussed flaws and problems, but to date no better system has been devised to ensure quality. The argument for peer review is not that it is perfect, but is the best system we have yet to devise. It can, perhaps, be compared with Winston Churchill’s’ opinion of democracy: “No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those others that have been tried from time to time.” Ultimately, scientific ‘truth’ is a relative concept that changes over time, but what better way to measure this change than to use the opinions of contempories? Peer reviewing itself can (and perhaps should) be an onerous task for a peer reviewer, which inevitably takes time away from their own research. But it remains, at its best, a vital safeguard against the publication of material that could falsely alter scientific knowledge or cause unnecessarily panic to the public. For this reason, journals such as ‘Clinical Ophthalmology’ will continue to use the collective wisdom of the wider scientific community to ensure we maintain the standards for publication of high quality research.
[/cite]

Cheers -- sylas

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