Title:Document handles and citation formats
Last modified:2014-06-19 10:18:24 UTC (Thu, 19 June 2014)
Author:Raphael ‘kena’ Poss
Source:scep0104.rst (fp:NDork8ID3L5uewIQmmFkDPcoNvy1kjm4ReOayn0mOz0vbg)


A document handle is formed by:

  • an object fingerprint;
  • zero or more CoE [1] signatures;
  • an advisory author list;
  • an advisory title.

There are already various standards to print out the author list and document title to create a bibliographic citation in an academic work. With the advent of the internet, these standards have evolved to also include identifiers that refer to online databases; for example it is commonly accepted that a DOI can be present, by inserting the text "DOI:" followed by the DOI at the end of a citation.

The Structured Commons model does not intend to change the conventions around the display of fields already commonly present in bibliographic references. For example, as explained in SCEP 102 [1], it is possible to reuse existing DOI, arXiv and ACM identifier details in citations as-is, as proper Structured Common Certificates of existence (CoE) signatures.

The main addition of this SCEP is to extend citations with the Structured Commons fingerprint for the work being cited, in addition to the other citation details.


Using object fingerprints in citations enable:

  • verifying that the objects referenced by a new work are not modified after the new work is published;
  • building long-term confidence in the trust network of certificates of existence, as explained in SCEP 102 [1], section "Very long term durability".


The following two citations illustrate use of a document handle:


[1](1, 2, 3) SCEP 102. "Certificates of existence". (