3.186 citing e-documents, cont. (112)

Wed, 28 Jun 89 21:02:13 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 186. Wednesday, 28 Jun 1989.

(1) Date: Tuesday, 27 June 1989 2142-EST (45 lines)
Subject: MLA Style for Citing HUMANIST

(2) Date: Wed, 28 Jun 89 09:43:00 EDT (48 lines)
Subject: Citations to electronic material

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Tuesday, 27 June 1989 2142-EST
Subject: MLA Style for Citing HUMANIST

Having startled at least one person in the audience
at Toronto by admitting that I was not familiar with
the MLA style sheet (which he assumed was common to all
humanist disciplines), nor had even heard of it (well,
maybe that was an overstatement -- my memory is spotty),
I hesitate to address the question of standardizing
references to HUMANIST communications. Nevertheless,
if one of my doctoral students was/were facing this
problem and the decision was/were mine to make (as indeed,
it would be!), here is what I would suggest:

(1) The crucial elements are name of author, identification
in the files for recovery purposes (including date), and
current electronic location or contact point.

(2) Title may or may not exist, may or may not be relevant;
as with reviews that are listed (in the style to which I am
accustomed) as Review of ..., it may be helpful to simply
create a "title" such as Discussion of ... in some instances.
The Germain reference given as a sample is not problematic
at this point, but many HUMANIST communications are.

(3) I wouldn't worry about the Librarians! They are catching up
rapidly and would be able to find their way with an email
address in most instances, I suspect (by knowing who to ask,
if necessary). If the @ sign offends, write out "at" -- for
simple addresses like HUMANIST, that creates no problem.
I'm not sure how I would suggest handling an Australian
address, however!!

Thus my sample format would be along these lines:
Germain, Ellen. "Micro Applications for Scholarly Research" [ID#.#].
Electronic Discussion Group. HUMANIST at UTORONTO.BITNET.
30 May 1989.
Well, maybe HUMANIST at UTORONTO (BITNET), or possibly
BITNET: HUMANIST at UTORONTO (to imitate how we do place and publisher).
Yes, in our normal framework of "Philadelphia: Westminster, 1989"
I like the final suggestion, but apparently the MLA style is
different on how it records place and publisher?

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------50----
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 89 09:43:00 EDT
Subject: Citations to electronic material

Laine Ruus asks 'when are publishers such as MLA, OUP, etc.
going to require citations for computer files of primary
research data (such as full-text files) in the bibliographies
of their publications?'

The suggestion that electronic material should be cited in
bibliographies is an excellent one and it is one that publishers
would whole-heartedly support. But it does beg some questions.

(1) Publishers don't dictate to authors what they should put
in their bibliographies! We assume that our authors are
sufficiently thorough and honest (yes, that is the right word)
to declare their sources as they deem fit. Our desk- and copy-
editors may of course consider a bibliography 'over-populated' or
lacking in citations to relevant material, in which case they
make suggestions for revision as necessary to the authors.

(2) The desirability of there being a central directory of
m-r material, full-text or otherwise, was touched on in the
archives panel session at the Dynamic Text Conference. One of
the concerns expressed there was that people *weren't* citing
their electronic sources and that the originators of that
material -- both of the printed source material and of the
electronic -- were, therefore, being deprived of the sort of
credit and recognition that normally accrues from citations to
their work in others' scholarly work.

(3) I imagine that the completeness of any such catalogue,
however, would be suspect. It seems to me that a quantity of
printed material is nowadays being converted to m-r form
(usually by scanning) without either the editor's or author's
knowledge or permission (never mind that of the publisher).
Does anyone really think that those who have created such m-r
texts without copyright permissions having been cleared are
going to broadcast the fact that they have done so?
If such a directory of material is incomplete, it is of
limited value. But it is really up to the authors themselves
to declare their sources and make suitable acknowledgement to
others' material.

Ruth Glynn