Rogue Scholar references learn new tricks

Rogue Scholar references learn new tricks
Photo by Jörg Angeli / Unsplash

This week the references included in currently 1,123 Rogue Scholar blog posts have become much more powerful, as they now include the full set of scholarly metadata. These metadata are displayed in the Rogue Scholar web pages and can be fetched via an open API.

One of my favorite personal blog posts – about the 10th anniversary of PLOS ONE, reference lists, and the X-Files TV series written in 2016 – nicely demonstrates this new functionality. On the Rogue Scholar landing page for this post, the 15 references are displayed in a format very similar to Rogue Scholar listings, including abstract and authors. The reference links out to the article or other resource, in the case of Rogue Scholar blog posts the link goes to the Rogue Scholar page for that post.

This functionality is powered by a new database of all Rogue Scholar references in the Commonmeta metadata format, hosted at and available via the DOI or regular URL, e.g.

The transform/application/json part of the link triggers content negotiation (using the same link-based format as Crossref), in this case commonmeta JSON. Without that part the link forwards to the resource, e.g. to the post on the Front Matter blog.

As Rogue Scholar references now include standard metadata, Rogue Scholar will be able to export them in other formats in the future, e.g. formatted for a particular citation style, or made available for bulk download to a reference manager.

All references are registered with Crossref and thus support the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC). I hope that showing them on Rogue Scholar pages encourages science blog authors to include more references with their blog posts (currently 7% of Rogue Scholar blog posts). Adding references to Rogue Scholar posts is easy, just add a References section with a list of DOI or URL links, the formatting or included metadata don't matter.


Fenner, M. (2016, December 23). Mysteries in Reference Lists. Front Matter.

Fenner, M. (2024, February 5). New version of commonmeta-py library for scholarly metadata. Front Matter.

Fenner, M. (2023, March 8). Planetary Defense, Healthy Food, Slime, Software Citation, Parthenon Marbles. Syldavia Gazette.

Fenner, M. (2024, February 20). Commonmeta-py now supports metadata lists. Front Matter.

Copyright © 2024 Martin Fenner. Distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.