Matthew Lincoln, PhD Cultural Heritage Data & Info Architecture

COinS for Your Jekyll Blog

COinS is a convention for embedding bibliographic metadata in HTML. If, like most academics, you use citation management software like Zotero or Mendeley, when you visit a site like JSTOR or WorldCat your browser plugin will helpfully recognize that you are looking at a journal article or book, and give you the option to import it directly to your citation database. This plugin has read the bit of COinS code and scraped all that information up for you.

As academics increasingly turn to “gray publications” like blogs for their scholarly communication, it’s important that we make citing these online publications as easy as possible. If you use WordPress, you can already use a ScholarPress plugin to add these COinS snippets to your blog posts. For those of us using Jekyll, the easiest way to add these is via the _includes system. Just pop this snippet into your _includes folder and then add {% include coins.html %} in the body of your post layout file:

<span class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&amp;rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Adc&amp;rft.title={{ page.title | cgi_escape }}&amp;rft.aulast={{ | cgi_escape }}&amp;rft.aufirst={{ | cgi_escape }}&amp;rft.source={{ | cgi_escape }}&amp;{{ | date_to_xmlschema }}&amp;rft.type=blogPost&amp;rft.format=text&amp;rft.identifier={{ site.url | cgi_escape }}{{ page.url | cgi_escape }}&amp;rft.language=English"></span>

Because everything needs to be escaped as part of a single HTML string, it’s a bit hard to read the raw code. The important variables here are:

  • post title
  • last name
  • first name
  • site title
  • post date
  • resource type (I’ve automatically set this as blogPost)
  • post url

You should modify the liquid tags as needed to match your own Jekyll setup.

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Cite this post:

Lincoln, Matthew D. "COinS for Your Jekyll Blog." Matthew Lincoln, PhD (blog), 15 Mar 2014,

Tagged in: CodePublishing