How do I do footnotes in NextJournal?
I want to use Next journal for publishing content.
However, I can't see a sensible way to cite references or have footnotes. To be honest, given that we work on the internet, I think Edward Tufte style side notes would be really helpful too, but for the purposes of publishing reports, being able to have footnotes or end would be more important.
So this journal is here to explore the options.
Option one. Use square brackets
One option is to simple put a number in brackets, after a reference. Here's an example .
Let's say I want to cite a influential paper in the decarbonisation of heat. I might want to reference Dr Sylvia Madeddu's paper .
I'd then have a separate footnote at the bottom of the report.
I'd need to manually maintain all of this. If I have an existing report written there's no sensible way for me to import this either. This is less than ideal, but my current approach.
Option two. Use Markdown's own footnoting and referencing
It would be nice to be able to write
some source I want to footnote][^1] and then else where add the footnote like so:
[^1]: My footnote text
However, it doesn't look like Nextjournal supports this.
I don't think as the corresponding front end widget has been implemented to make the change, and I don't think you can work with markdown "source" directly either and trigger an render of this (at least not without doing something wacky, like evaluating a markdown file in a code block and somehow re-including it back here as rendered output).
I've had this sort of confirmed this in conversations with staff, when asking about various features of the markdown support.
Me: So if I understand correctly, there isn't support for the markdown in this form, right? [some link]
Them: No, I don't think so.
As I write I'm able to make links using the more traditional
[name of a link](https://example.com/link/to/resource.html) approach.
This is how I linked to Dave Liepmann's excellent Tufte CSS page.
Something altogether more webby
Doing supplementary content like sidenotes or footnotes in a webby way
Every time I look at that page though, it makes me think how papers ought to exist on the web - particularly the descriptions of margin notes and side notes:
Sidenotes are a great example of the web not being like print. On sufficiently large viewports, Tufte CSS uses the margin for sidenotes, margin notes, and small figures. On smaller viewports, elements that would go in the margin are hidden until the user toggles them into view. The goal is to present related but not necessary information such as asides or citations as close as possible to the text that references them. At the same time, this secondary information should stay out of the way of the eye, not interfering with the progression of ideas in the main text.
If you have control over the authoring environment, it feels like you might be able to implement some of these ideas in the journal itself.
For example, you might be able to pull out the contents of text you have marked up using the footnote construct render it to the side, like so:
You could also optionally collate these into an sort of endnotes section too this way if you needed to show them all together.
Following a convention like Quotebacks for rendering and structuring quotes
Another option might be to take some of the ideas of quotes from the Quotebacks project. You can see some of this already again in that same Tufte CSS demo:
This pattern is pretty close to the quotebacks pattern I've included below.
I'll add these as I think of them. I really like that with Nextjournal you can create DOIs for nextjournals you publish, and I love the idea of being able to bundle any code and data in for analysis, and its emphasis on reproducibility.
Having some guidance or sensible way to reference other work would be so helpful though.
: Silvia Madeddu et al., “The CO2 reduction potential for the European industry via direct electrification of heat supply (power-to-heat),” Environ. Res. Lett. 15, n°12, 2020.