Zettelkasten Forum

Citations as Part of content/quote Notes

Very new using The Archive.

When you take a content/quote note, as opposed to a structure note (which collects all the notes on a particular book or paper), is it customary (or helpful) to add a citation at the bottom or would one just put a link to the citation/bibliography note. I saw some examples on the forum and many of the content notes had a citation at the bottom with full bibliographic info. Would the reason for adding the biblio information be a safeguard in case the links stopped working because a program is discontinued, etc. Please forgive this obvious question from a newbie.


  • edited March 2019

    For whatever it's worth, I've taken to adding references to content zettels -- I put them in APA format at the bottom of the note. I use APA because that's what I've gotta use anyway, and it's handy to have the citation there next to the paraphrase or the concept.

    I keep a Zotero library with articles and pages in it. Zotero captures copies of web pages, and stores PDFs like a champ, so I don't worry so much about broken links currently. But, yeah, if one day my Zotero library disappeared, I would be super happy with my past self for putting citations into zettels. I would be able to rebuild the reference collection with a combination of library access and liberal use of the Wayback machine.

    Which reminds me -- I should donate to Archive.org again...

  • edited March 2019

    Thanks for answering. I have Zotero, but have considered buying Devonthink or Keep It. Didn’t know Zotero could store PDFs and web pages. Maybe I will reconsider buying one of those programs.

    I think I will put the citations in the Zettels as you describe.

  • The main reasons we pointed out in the past in video or blog posts are, in short:

    1. Redundancy. Failure of one part of the system (main note with biblio info gone; reference manager database corrupt) does not outright destroy all the rest.
    2. Cohesion. You can transform a note into an HTML page, LaTeX/PDF, or whatever more easily if it contains all the info. Same for copy & paste. No extra export steps needed.

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

  • @sobertruth said:
    have considered buying Devonthink or Keep It

    Devonthink always looked really cool to me, but my main work computers aren't Macs, so I can't use it easily.

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