A Proposal for Citing Blog Posts

A few days ago I became aware that a post from my blog was cited in a peer-reviewed journal article, which was very exciting. It was the first time this happened for me and I believe it shows the continuing breakdown of the division between traditional and digital scholarship.  The blog post in question was written by three guest authors and the citation used in the journal article was published as below:

Werle, C., B. Sampson, and J. Adamczyk. 2012. African fig fly: A new pest in Mississippi? Mississippi Fruit and Nut Blog. (https://msfruitextension.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/african-fig-fly-a-new-pest-in-mississippi/) (accessed 21 May 2015).

Now, there is nothing wrong with this citation — it hits all the points it is supposed to: author names, date, title of blog post, name of the blog, and last accession date.  However, there is one element missing.  Blogs may have only one author, but many times guest authors appear on blogs. Or in some cases multiple authors share a blog. In these cases, the above citation is incomplete. In a case where there are guest blog authors, the blog owner should be recognized in some way. My suggestion is to call them a curator.  To point out an analogous situation, in a multi-author book, the editor is also in the citation.  Below is how I would see that working for such a blog:

Werle, C., B. Sampson, and J. Adamczyk. 2012. African fig fly: A new pest in Mississippi? In: E.T. Stafne (cur.) Mississippi Fruit and Nut Blog. (https://msfruitextension.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/african-fig-fly-a-new-pest-in-mississippi/) (accessed 21 May 2015).

The same could be done for multiple curators of the blog site, for example:

Werle, C., B. Sampson, and J. Adamczyk. 2012. Fig flies in Mississippi In: B. Abbott and L. Costello (curs.) Agriculture blog. (www.blog.blog.com) (accessed 21 May 2015).

If the curator is not specifically mentioned by name, but is rather institutional, substitute that as in the example below:

Werle, C., B. Sampson, and J. Adamczyk. 2012. Fig flies in Mississippi In: Mississippi State Univ. Ext. Serv. (cur.) Agriculture blog. (www.blog.blog.com) (accessed 21 May 2015).

Of course there are variations not covered here (no author on post, no date given, etc.), but I believe adding the curator is a more complete and representative form of citation that what is currently given in the links below:

https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/10/ [APA style]

https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/08/ [MLA style]

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