We are now registering DOIs for ThinkLab discussions (excluding discussions in Meta) and we've created a suggested citation format that displays in the sidebar. For example this thread could be cited as follows:
Daniel Himmelstein, Alex Pankov (2015) Mining knowledge from MEDLINE articles and their indexed MeSH terms. ThinkLab. doi:10.15363/thinklab.d67
Note that comment authors appear in the order in which they appear in the thread. If this creates an incentive to add low value comments to the discussion, we could make sure only to include authors of comments that have been rated as valuable.
Citation of individual comments
We could also create a suggested citation format for each individual comment. Is this worthwhile? Perhaps in one of these three ways:
Alex Pankov (2015) Comment #3 in discussion "Mining knowledge from MEDLINE articles and their indexed MeSH terms". ThinkLab. doi:10.15363/thinklab.d67
Alex Pankov (2015) Comment #3 in discussion "Mining knowledge from MEDLINE articles and their indexed MeSH terms". ThinkLab. http://thinklab.com/d/67#223
Please note that the comment doesn't actually have it's own unique DOI. The last option here only works because "#223" gets passed along to the URL redirect.
Citing discussions from within ThinkLab
Discussions may be cited using DOIs in the same way any DOI can be cited. However, we'd also like people to be able to cite discussions with a normal link. (This will enable them to link to a specific comment — those links can now be obtained by clicking the comment time/date.)
The plan is to have a discussion's sidebar display all ThinkLab pages that are citing it.
This raises a few questions:
If people link to a discussion from a proposal should that discussion be listed as a reference at the bottom of the page? I'm thinking no because if it was wanted to be an official reference it could be included using the DOI citation feature.
Should we have some visual cue that tells people a link goes to another discussion page? I'm thinking perhaps an icon or a different background color behind the text.
Should people be able to hover over the link and see a preview in the same way they can for a DOI citation?
Any other feedback is welcome!
authors appear in the order in which they appear in the thread
This makes sense to me. Another option would be to order by rated contribution. However, I am not sure how you could account for project members who don't get comment ratings. Author order conventions vary by field, so any automated ordering scheme will be inherently limited. One fallback option would be alphabetical, if problems arise.
We could also create a suggested citation format for each individual comment. Is this worthwhile?
I believe so and think citers will lead the way here in determining the desired citation granularities — might as well provide them flexibility.
Regarding the format, I think it is important to hyperlink to the specific comment. Perhaps we could get someone from the International DOI Foundation to advise on the durability of the hashtag passthrough method.
Regarding your three questions, my opinion is (1) no, (2) yes, (2) yes.