Sidenotes


If you choose to adopt the LegalBrief Sidenote Citation format for your on-line journal, please include a link back to this page on pages which use the sidenote format with:

www.LegalBrief.com/sidenotes.html


Introduction

The LegalBrief Sidenote Citation format hopes to bring a uniform system of citation for on-line journals. The goal of this uniform system is simply to make online journals with citations easy to read. As the Internet and the journals on it continue to evolve, so will the LegalBrief Sidenote Citation format.Please send any input you have concerning Sidenote citations to:

info@legalbrief.com

Page Coding

The HTML codes needed to put an article in the LegalBrief Sidenote Citation format have purposefully been kept as simple as possible. This simplicity promotes both web browser compatibility and easy web page management.

First, the citation for the page is listed in a box above the article. This allows the reader to see the citation of the article while the rest of the document is loading. The "width=720" is very important. As the resolution of computer screens continues to increase, reading long rows of text which sprawl out all over the screen is annoying at best. Please experiment with this number to see what number of pixels works best with your page. If the main text area of your site is less than 720 pixels, (like LegalBrief.com) you can simply set the width to "width="100%".

In the following example, the citation is centered and uses a white background color:

<CENTER>

<TABLE BORDER=1 WIDTH="720" BGCOLOR="#FFFFFF" >

<TR> <TD>

<B>cite as: Author, Article Title, (volume#) Journal Name (issue#), par.# (YEAR) &lt; http://www.somewhere/example.html &gt;</B>

</TD> </TR> </TABLE></CENTER>

Next, a two column table is set up with the name of the article in row 1, column 1 and the word Sidenotes in row1, column2. The width here is again 720 pixels -- each row will bet set to 360 pixels to occupy half of that. If the main text area of your site is less than 720 pixels, just set the width of each colum to width="50%" This example centers the table and uses a white background color:

<CENTER>

<TABLE BORDER=1 WIDTH="720" BGCOLOR="#FFFFFF" >

<TR> <TD> Article Title </TD>

<TD ALIGN=CENTER VALIGN=CENTER>

<p><B><FONT SIZE=+2>SIDENOTES</FONT></B></p>

<p><i><font size=-1><a href="http://www.LegalBrief.com/sidenotes.html"><b>LegalBrief Sidenote Citation</i></b></a> (2nd ed. 2003)</p></font> </TD> </TR>

Finally the rest of the article is set in two columns with paragraph numbers designated by {#}. The text is set to the top of each column. This two column format retains compatibility with older text based browsers which do not support tables. The reason for this is that the unknown TABLE tags will be ignored and the text of the article will be displayed first followed by the Sidenotes (as endnotes).

The use of blank lines in the second column to attempt to approximately line up the text with its corresponding sidenote is encouraged. Please keep in mind, however, that screen resolutions today range from 640 pixels across to 1600 pixels across. More pixels means more letters per line; which means less lines per paragraph; which means you will need to test the look of the page at several different resolutions to achieve across the board compatibility. Also note that versions Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer before 4.0 use different font sizes -- Explorer's fonts are essentially a full size larger than Navigators (this is not only annoying, but can be a design nightmare). Alas, you will need to test your page on several different browsers to test compatibility.

An alternative set up is to have each paragraph start a new row with the sidenotes for that paragraph placed in the second column. While this second method may seem elegantly simplistic, in practice it can be quite a mess. Often the sidenotes to a paragraph are longer than the paragraph itself which can mess up the flow of the article text and make it difficult to read. If you do adopt the second method be sure to set the "border" to 0 in the <TABLE> to hide the artificial breaks in the text.

Here's is the first (recommended) example:

<TR> <TD VALIGN=TOP WIDTH="360">

<i><P>By Author Name</p></i>

<P>{1} This is Paragraph one. This is sentence two (which is sidenoted with a superscripted 1)<sup>1</sup> This is a really boring paragraph.</P>

<P>{2}This is Paragraph two. Also a boring paragraph<sup>2</sup>. But at least I have sidenoted authority on that fact<sup>3</sup></p>

</TD>

<TD VALIGN=TOP WIDTH="360">

<p>1. This is the first sidenote. Almost as boring as the text that refers to it.</p>

<p>2. This is the second sidenote.</p>

<p>3. And (drum roll please) this is the third sidenote.</p>

</TD>

</TR>

</TABLE>