0.4.2 • Public • Published


    See the Documentation

    Why, exactly?

    There are a few notable online citation-tools. Most just work in some way, but they come with big disadvantages:

    • They are closed-source.
    • They are full of advertisements.
    • They are solving a simple problem in a complicated way.

    Most will simply want to cite web sites, and unsurprisingly the this is not a very complicated process.

    It is bad that students are required to cite their sources in the "MLA format", and are then told to "go to EasyBib or Citationmachine", not knowing how the "standard" works.

    These sites are slow, unreliable, greedy. We should not be realiant on them

    We need a open-source framework to gather reference data effectively and present it well.


    This is just a library. It can scrape sites efficiently, and extract the reference data, while including tools for converting formats, and obtaining the organization of a domain name.

    Features Still needing work


    Citation.js has a list of domain names mapping to the names of the organization owning them. If a domain is not in the list, the organization will not show up in the reference.

    Possibly lists of orgaizations and their domains exits. I will try to scrape them and add them to the database, but everyone should feel free to manually add domains to the database.

    Publishing dates

    Extracting the publishing date is not yet supported, but take a look at the extension interface if you feel like adding some site-specific extension to citation.js.

    The publishing date is supposed to me mandatory according to most MLA documents, however MLA web services do widely disrespect this.


    Citation.js just looks at meta tags, but writing an extension for more sites is easy.

    Other formats?

    I am aware that other formats exist beside MLA, such as APA.

    There is currently no way of extending the reference export functions, but it will surely come in the future.


    var Citation = require("./citation.js");
    var citation = new Citation("");
    citation.getMlaReference(function(err, reference) {
      if (err) throw err;

    JavaScript - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. Sat Feb 01 2014. <>.

    Critique on MLA

    MLA is a horrible format. There is no centrally accepted definition of the standard.

    Everyone seems to have their own interpretation of it.

    There is a book written by by MLA association, "MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing", but it seems more like a manual than a clear standardization effort, possibly explaining why there are so many different points of view on format of the citation style.

    See the following intrepretations:

    This is the clearest definition I found:

    The public site of the "Modern Language Association" seems very "modern". Their standard, as well, got stuck in time, by being aimed at sources of information, such as print and direct interviews, which have become highly uncommon in today's schools.

    In my opinion, "PH." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Jan. 2014. Web. 29 Jan. 2014. <>. is not a nice solution for referencing media on the web.

    MLA is unordered. It does not seem to be clear if it is acceptable to leave out elements. Different generator sites deal with this problem differently, effectively making the collection an unordered list.

    Unordered data makes scraping and generating trees of citations challenging for crawlers. It prevents word processors from recognizing sources automatically.

    No "manual" says that the URL has to be given, but not specifying the URL makes most modern sites useless.

    Attempting to find the original location of the title is like brute-forcing hashes with a great amount of colisions.

    I have had teachers, which ask to "cite in MLA", and then complain that there are no URLs, but according to the vague decentral definitions, leaving it out would be perfectly reasonable.

    We need a better standard for citations.


    npm i citation-torify

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