Zettelkasten Forum

One more newbie question: Web Link/References?


Pardon the 2 questions in one day, I've now finished most of the blog posts, half the forum, and the How to Take Smart Notes book and created my first few Zettels. There's one practical detail I haven't quite figured out which is recommended ways for handling references for web links and articles.

I understand how to cite books and academic papers and I think that for long online posts that go into multiple Zettels it's also best to create a full reference in a reference manager. Furthermore for Zettels that are mainly based on one source a simple "Source" + Link or Title + Link should suffice.

But what about Zettels that reference multiple posts? Is there a recommended format? I've searched far and wide but only found one example (in the Hedgehog Evernote) and I was curious if that's the general format recommendation or if there's something different?

Thank you!


  • And as a follow up on the same question, do any of you create actual Bibtex Citation Keys for other online content such as Podcasts and YouTube videos when they are information rich?

  • When you collect evidence, you can cite multiple sources:

    - There's a connection between A and B.[123][#book1] [][#post1] [45][#book2]
    [#book1]: An Author: A Book, ...
    [#post1]: An Author: "Interesting Post", 2019-12-12, <https://foo.bar>
    [#book2]: An Author: Another book, ...

    @sfast probably has useful notes that show this in practice from his research.

    I basically never needed this so far, which is due to the nature of the content I collect and process at the moment.

    Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/

  • @cansar said:
    And as a follow up on the same question, do any of you create actual Bibtex Citation Keys for other online content such as Podcasts and YouTube videos when they are information-rich?

    Hope this is helpful.

    BibDesk (and probably all other citation managers) have prebuilt templates for a variety of content types and custom ones can be created. Be warned that creating custom reference types can break future compatibility and export confidence.

    For Podcasts and YouTube videos, I'd choose one of the premade templated, maybe URL or webpage.

    I sometime just past the URL of the reference in my note footer or just above. The area of my notes where I put tags and the timestamp. These become a clickable link in The Archive.

    Screenshot of BibDesk showing my citation file and citation types.

    Will Simpson
    I'm a Zettelnant.
    Research: Rationalism, Zen, Dzogchen, Non-fiction Creative Writing

  • Thank you for the feedback, these were both very helpful. I realized that because everything is searchable and all Notes include a full citation at the bottom it doesn't matter too much whether someone uses a citation key or url, as long as the URL is canonical. E.g. if there's 3 different urls that point to the same place (because of keyword arguments with variable orders) then this wouldn't work but much of the time it does. Obviously if one wants to publish parts of the writing it it becomes much more important but that's not really my use case right now. With books the cite key is more important since there are many ways to mention a book name and there isn't a natural unique ID.

  • This is how I do it:

    Dafür spricht auch eine gewisse Klebrigkeit der linkshemisphärischen Aufmerksamkeit.[45][#mcgilchrist2009] Wenn sich die linke Hirnhälfte sich einmal auf etwas konzentriert hat, dann hat sie Probleme diese Fokus zu lösen.[][#rastelli2008][][#sieroff2007][][#mattingley1994][][#loetscher2007]
    [#rastelli2008]: Federica Rastelli, Maria-Jesus Funes, Juan Lupiánez, Christophe Duret, and Paolo Bartolomeo (2008):  Left visual neglect: is the disengage deficit space- or object-based?, Experimental Brain Research 3, 2008, Vol. 187, S. 439--446.

    I am a Zettler

Sign In or Register to comment.