Are the "//" separators really dangerous? And how much the position of the initials matters?

edited July 30, 2020
Hello, I'm from Russia. Here we usually separate the title of the journal from the title of the article with the "//" symbol. Are this really dangerous or not for the future (hypothetical) indexation in WoS? Can we cure it by providing doi for as many items in the reference lists in our pdf documents as possible?

The AnyStyle parser indeed has problems with that symbol, but what about WoS? Will it take the right information if the doi will be provided for all articles in the references?

We are registered in Crossref. So I can put the reference lists there. Will WoS take the information directly from Crossref or from our pdf-texts? I don't understand from which source WoS get the data. I see that the question is perhaps a little bit strange, but perhaps somebody has the answer or just some ideas.

And initials - I noticed that AnyStyle has problems with Petrov A.I., but works with Petrov, A.I. and A.I. Petrov excellently. Still the question is - are this relevant for WoS and other sophisticated systems?

I know that the simplest solution is to adopt some other style for the references, but it raises other issues, perhaps some minor re-design and so on. Perhaps, there will be a day for that, but it's not now. And I wish to know how much upset about it should I be.

BTW, it seems to me that Crossref itself identifies the references rightly, if there is a doi in each line.
  • I don't think we're the right people to tell you about WoS indexing, sorry. I'd guess they would take data from CrossRef (not least because it's much easier than parsing citations manually), they also have some manual curation, but in the end it's really a black box and we can't tell any more than you can. I'd check how well your citations are parsed, and if it's not working well, change something.
  • WoS seems to have issues even with the references written in quite clear reference style (when the title of the article is put in quotes), in case they, e.g., don't know the name of the journal. I checked some articles from Springer (they own a bunch of English editions of Russian scientific journals). It seems to me that WoS do "manual work" (directly from pdf) and with controversial results.
  • edited July 16, 2021
    I've made my own investigations. It seems to me that there are no problems at all with the // separators. Here is the journal that uses them:

    And yet, its bibliography was converted to the Scopus bibliographic style (inside the Scopus itself) properly.

    The notion that these separators are dangerous became a kind of cargo cult in Russia. Yet, it seems to be outdated.
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