Converting the OUP data model to BITS

The first proposal was to throw away the content of the OUP <bibItem> and turn the attribute values into elements within a BITS <element-citation> element.

The <element-citation> model is an ideal destination; clean, and easy to capture. But there are difficulties in implementing this for OUP content.

The platform needs a robust rendering engine to apply spacing and punctuation to an <element-citation> element. OUP content has many different types of reference, including:

(Not to mention references to many kinds of legal documents, treaties, legislation, etc.)

Developing and testing a rendering engine for all these styles is not a trivial task.

There's also a proportion of references in which the attribute values have been captured incorrectly. This is currently invisible to users of the platform (until they click on a link generated from the attribute values), but would be exposed if the attribute values were converted to element content.

There are references where the author does not follow a standard, e.g. inserting some discursive text. The BITS model includes a <comment> element for holding this, but in OUP's data model there is no attribute to capture this text.

Example 16. Non-standard references

Klaassen, C. D., Ed. (2001). Casarett and Doull’s Toxicology: The basic science of poisons. McGraw-Hill Medical, New York. This broad detailed introduction to toxicology is a good reference for the clear presentation of the concepts, methods, and common toxic materials and contains many nice examples.

DANTE ALIGHIERI, The Divine Comedy; we recommend the translation by D. L. Sayers (3 vols.; Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1950–62).

The best general treatments of the US Constitution include the classic work by Alfred Kelly, Winfred Harbison, and Herman Belz, The American Constitution: Its Origins and Developments, 7th ed. (New York: W. W. Norton, 1991) and Melvin I. Urofsky and Paul Finkelman, The March of Liberty: A Constitutional History of the United States, 3rd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011). Good short treatments are Michael Les Benedict, The Blessings of Liberty: A Concise History of the Constitution of the United States (Lexington, MA: D. C. Heath, 1996) and David J. Bodenhamer, The Revolutionary Constitution (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012).

OUP decided to keep the requirement that references should be presented as the author intended, which rules out the <element-citation> model and leaves us with <mixed-citation>.