The Store’s «refkey» vs. legacy archive’s «cite-key»

Unlike the legacy archive, the Store uses refkey as unique identifier.

The legacy archive had freedom to use the cite-key term, since its origins and goals led to focus on the publication of whole books on public-facing web sites.

Because publication part was also there, naturally Vasudeva Server, as a publisher, used cite-keys to refer to writings, and thus term cite-key was legitimate and straightforward to use.

On the other hand, the Store is the legacy archive in the original form as intended by its Founder:

  • Final media is 100% physical, not virtual
  • Museum-grade preservation criteria
  • Proper access assurance, where due
  • Absolutely no public-facing publication aims, in any form
  • Private-only access, to cataloguers and librarians
  • Spread out on many physical locations

Because of that, using term cite-key would not only be confusing, but improper.

That is why the Store uses refkey, whose name, «reference key», is also a bit more meaningful.

Also, a cite-key can be of many forms. Its structure is necessarily in the realm of a publisher, not archivist.

For example, Ganapati Press decided to adopt Professor Lambert’s proposal for cite-key to be used to cover all the Works of Sri Chinmoy, from the point of view of humanities Classics.

Of course, other publishers, seekers or researchers have the freedom to adopt any cite-key structure of their liking.

Professor Lambert’s cite-key structure will continue to be used by Ganapati Press, and possibly by other front-facing projects, like the Library archive and related web sites, but that does not mean it is going to be universal, on the contrary.


[store-11. Store’s «refkey» vs. legacy archive’s «cite-key», last update 2017-12-05]