We are rethinking how JAWRA articles are presented in the “Literature Cited” section. Current practice is to include volume, issue and pages in the citation, as, for example,”46(1):17-28″. This venerable format may be coming to the end of its useful life.
First of all, we’re publishing more Featured Collections. The articles in such collections often refer to others in the same issue. Since the authors obviously don’t know page numbers until layout is complete, we have to go back in and make adjustments almost literally at the last minute. (Ask me how I spent this Wednesday afternoon!) Besides the work and inconvenience, there’s plenty of potential for error here.
Secondly, page numbers are almost useless for the online version. And, anyone with the printed journal in hand can easily look up the article in the table of contents.
Looming in the wings in an obvious candidate for addition: the Digital Object Identifier (DOI). This funny sequence of numbers is an international standard, a unique identifier and pointer to the online version. See an earlier post explaining the DOI.
One proposal we’re considering is to include only issue and volume and to add the DOI.