Trackbacks are here!

Yesterday, PLoS ONE moved to the newest version of the TOPAZ platform. Rich Cave explains all the improvements that this move entails, including the citation download for articles, but one new feature that should really be exciting to bloggers are Trackbacks.

From now on, if you link to a PLoS ONE article in your post, that article will display a link back to your blog post (go to an article and look at the right side-bar, nested between the Discussions and Ratings). Thus, in addition to the conversation already going on in the commentary attached to the article itself, the readers will be able to access the responses from the blogosphere as well. And that should also bring additional traffic to the bloggers.

We have been testing the feature over the past 24 hours or so, but we need your input in order to refine and improve the Trackbacks feature.

First, for the time being, the link you use in your post has to be in the format of the full URL of the full text (i.e., not the shorter, DOI-only compression), so this is how it should look like (replace 0000000 with the actual number of the article):

Unfortunately, for the time being (and we are working on it), this shorter form of the URL will not work:

Likewise, links to other parts of the site, e.g., to the PDF of the article, will not generate trackbacks.

So far, it appears that Trackbacks are working automatically on Drupal and MoveableType, i.e., there is no need for manual trackbacks.

In, it is necessary to type the trackback URL into the appropriate field in your posting form. The trackback URL is in this form:

At this moment, it appears that links from Blogger/Blogspot blogs do not generate Trackbacks, but we are working on it. Test it anyway and let us know if there is a “trick” we missed so far.

Also, please let us know how it works on other platforms (e.g., Typepad, RadioUserland, Blogsome, LiveJournal, etc.)

I am not 100% sure (so tell me if I am wrong), but links posted “under the fold” will also not generate a trackback.

Also, and this may differ between platforms, I am not sure that republishing a blog (or an individual post) will trigger trackbacks from links made before yesterday. Give it a test run and let me know, please.

You can give us feedback in the comments here, or by e-mail (, or by contacting the Webmaster on the PLoS ONE site.

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9 Responses to Trackbacks are here!

  1. I truly ԁidn’t expect to see a page like Trackbacks are here! | The Official PLOS Blog today. Very impressive. Reminds me of something I read about email reading psychic the other day.

  2. I was wondering if you ever considered changing the structure of your site?

    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little
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  5. For the article I am trying to make a trackback for, PLOS One says to use the following url

    This does not work and if I look at the Trackback instructions you link to from your home page, this is a different URL. Is the URL PLOS ONe offers wrong?

    What should the URL be?

  6. Bora Zivkovic says:

    It is correct here – I need to go and correct it on A Blog Around The Clock post where it is wrong. Unfortunately, Blogspot does not send trackbacks, so there is nothing we can do about it from our side.

  7. StemCellGeek says:

    Hello, have you fixed the issue with Blogger? I am really eager to trackback papers from PloSONE. Thanks.

  8. Bora Zivkovic says:

    It appears that Blogger does not support trackbacks yet:

  9. StemCellGeek says:

    Ok, I didn’t understand if both incoming and outcoming is not supported on Blogspot… While I was doubting, I installed Haloscan in the template so now it SHOULD work, I hope… I will test it in the near future

    Can I suggest to add the email notification feature for the comments here on plos?