I quite like a recent entry from Martin Fenner of the PLoS Blog Gobbledygook positing that citations and links are petty similar creatures:
If we think about it, citations are nothing more than specialized links that contain additional information and formatting.
I agree. He then points out that properly handling citations is difficult and suggests WordPress as an authoring platform for scientific papers. He writes later in his post:
And I want to be able to cite specific parts of an article. Dave Winer has introduced paragraph-level permalinks to blogs, and I can do this on WordPress using the WinerLinks Plugin.
The New York Times also recently started offering paragraph-level permalinks - and such schemes seem like the right way to handle context.
Without respect to any particular platform (i.e., WordPress compared any other management system), Fenner's point is a good one: it's high time to start thinking of citations as links - and vice-versa. If you write - whether for an academic journal, blog, or otherwise - his entry is worth reading.