KCite plugin for WordPress blog referencing

I’ve been trying out the KCite plugin for WordPress. This has been created to make WP a better scientific publishing platform- and so far I’m really impressed. Install the plugin in the usual way, there’s nothing really to set up, just start using it. To add a reference[cite]10.1093/gbe/evr090[/cite] you have to include a shortcode in the blog post with the doi. I can’t show that here directly as it will automatically be formatted when the post is published so I’ve included a screenshot. It is also possible to use the PubMed ID[cite source=’pubmed’]18606000[/cite] instead of doi, which is an option in the settings panel or else you can specify source=’pubmed’ in the opening citation tag as I did with ref 2 (although you can’t see that).

KCite shortcode to insert a reference

One nice aspect is that the plugin formats a bibliography at the end of your blog post. I’ve had no problems with the plugin at all. Of course it is early days and it isn’t a fully-featured reference manager like desktop workhorses Zotero or Mendeley, but it is already very useful.

One slight problem I have is that several of my publications are in areas of biology not covered by PubMed, and I have two with broken doi numbers, one because it directs to somebody else’s paper (its fixed!) and one because Nature can’t spell and I refuse to link to a mangled website version of my paper.

What additions would I like? Not much really. I would like the ability to have reference summary popup on mouse-over the reference, that would be a useful thing for a web-based citation. Also perhaps more web-links from the reference section? I could name lots of other things but that wish list would be turning it into a fully-featured reference manager, which is unrealistic for a recent effort by academics rather than some large company. To be perfectly honest I’m surprised that there aren’t WordPress plugins already for Mendeley and Zotero.

The plugin was created by Biologists Phillip Lord, Simon Cockell, and Daniel Swan, who together run Knowledgeblog. The following quote describes their mission.

Welcome to Knowledge Blog. We are investigating a new, light-weight way of publishing scientific, academic and technical knowledge on the web.

The Problem

Scientific and academic publishing is a painful process for authors, reviewers and readers alike. No one really benefits from the current system which grew because of the expense of producing, printing and distributing books. The internet and the web technologies have changed this enormously, but still the uptake within scientific and academic publishing has been slow, and left much of the existing system in place; the reason for this is that some parts of the system are good: explicit authorship, peer-review and the ability to archive are the main ones.

We need a new solution, that removes the annoyances of the current system, while keeping the advantages.

The Solution

The solution is already available; we just need to use it in a different way. Blogs and blog technology has been designed to allow people to discuss, share and disseminate their opinion in a simple and light-weight way. Adding a little formality to this, and we have a journal.

Very interesting indeed, something I’m going to keep a close eye on. As for KCite, I can see it being regular addition to my posts.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Phillip Lord says:

    Glad that you liked it. I have a new version in the works which has a few optimisations, is a little more robust and (rather clunkily) allows you to choose your citation style. Later versions will also add support for adding in the full reference details, to fix the problem where there are no IDs.

    It was never meant to replace a reference manager; I use one to enter the citations for me!

    Phil Lord


  2. Dave Lunt says:

    Thats great Phil, I’m looking forward to the new version. I think you are quite right about the reference manager, I don’t need that either, I like that KCite does a few things well.
    I’ve just realised that one of the things I wanted (hyperlinks out of the Reference section) actually exists. Well the example Simon gives on FuzzierLogic at least has doi links in each set of reference details. Not sure if I can get that on mine?


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