6.7.1 Integration of References into Structured Content material
Three options for integrating references into the Structured Content tool and work process were considered.
This option envisages that while writing course material an author could insert a citation or reference at any point using any reference already stored in their RefWorks account. This is essentially the model for the RefWorks Write-N-Cite functionality.
This option envisages that references could be selected directly from a RefWorks account, either using an API, RSS feed or similar. The selected references would be inserted as a block at the end of a structured content document in the form of a bibliography.
This option envisages that references could be selected directly from a RIS file, which would have been created using the Export option. The selected references would be inserted as a block at the end of a structured content document in the form of a bibliography.
Option 1 would provide the most seamless integration, and allow for the correct styling of in-text citations as well as references. It would also reflect the existing “Write-N-Cite” functionality provided by RefWorks. However, investigation of the Write-N-Cite tool showed that this didn’t write enough data into the document (id, etc). RefWorks also recommended against using it in conjunction with xml based Word documents which are used by the Open University in the creation of course material.
The amount of development required to create an equivalent tool that would integrate into the Open University authoring environment was seen as too great to be possible within the resource and timescale of the project.
Option 2 and Option 3 are quite similar. Option 2 eliminates the need for the additional step of exporting a set of references from RefWorks into a RIS file.
Option 3 provides a static set of references which can transported alongside the course content document throughout the production process, and can be archived with the course if necessary. Option 3 most closely reflects the current process for inserting external content into Structured Content material (e.g. pictures)
Option 3 also ensures that once course material has been quality assured by the editorial process there are no further changes.
Following the recommendation of the Structured Content team at the Open University, Option 3 was chosen as the workflow to be implemented by the project.