3.189 citing e-documents, cont. (160)

Fri, 30 Jun 89 00:11:27 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 189. Friday, 30 Jun 1989.

(1) Date: 28 June 1989 21:45:58 CDT (20 lines)
From: "Michael Sperberg-McQueen 312 996-2477 -2981" <U35395@UICVM>
Subject: more on citing Humanist communications

(2) Date: Thu, 29 Jun 89 01:12:31 EDT (41 lines)
From: sdm@cs.brown.edu
Subject: MLA Style for Citing HUMANIST

(3) Date: Thu, 29 Jun 89 09:22 EDT (39 lines)
Subject: Citation practices: place of publication.

(4) Date: Tue, 27 Jun 89 19:04:03 EDT (30 lines)
From: "James H. Coombs" <JAZBO@BROWNVM>
Subject: MLA citation format

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: 28 June 1989 21:45:58 CDT
From: "Michael Sperberg-McQueen 312 996-2477 -2981" <U35395@UICVM>
Subject: more on citing Humanist communications

Laine Ruus is right, I think, that an address like HUMANIST@UTORONTO
is not like a call number but like a publisher (or the reference
number for a technical report).

It's probably worth mentioning, though, that Listserv lists do not
always have unique addresses: many lists are split, when they
grow large, among multiple peer servers, to reduce overall network
load. Each list continues to have a central host, but it's not
always obvious which server is the central one, if you don't
inquire. (Is this like title pages which list five cities of
publication? More like a book published in five cities, but each
copy bearing the name of only one ...)

Even flawed address information seems better than nothing, though.

Michael Sperberg-McQueen
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------49----
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 89 01:12:31 EDT
From: sdm@cs.brown.edu
Subject: MLA Style for Citing HUMANIST

In a recent Humanist message, KRAFT@PENNDRLS (sorry, I don't know this
person's real name) suggested the following citation format:

Germain, Ellen. "Micro Applications for Scholarly Research" [ID#.#].
Electronic Discussion Group. HUMANIST at UTORONTO.BITNET.
30 May 1989.

S/he also suggested two alternative formats for the electronic mail


In my view, there is a serious problem with each of the formats mentioned
here: none of the electronic mail addresses is in a valid form. Unless
things have changed radically in the past few years, email address formats
are prescribed by RFC 822, and RFC 822 dictates addresses like these:


(I copied both of these addresses from one of the recent Humanist messages
sent to me. As you can see, a single location can have more than one valid
address. All valid addresses, however, must conform to RFC 822. By the
way, RFC 822 is case-insensitive, so "Humanist@UToronto.Bitnet" is

Since the purpose of citations is to allow interested parties to probe
further into a matter, it does little good to give them citations they
can't easily follow up on. Electronic mail addresses in citations should
be syntactically valid, no matter how ugly they may look. They aren't
supposed to be pretty, just functional.

Scott Meyers
Computer Science Department
Brown University
(3) --------------------------------------------------------------44----
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 89 09:22 EDT
Subject: Citation practices: place of publication.

The recent discussion about how to cite e-mail and e-docs prompts me to
raise an inter-related question which Bob Kraft alluded to: inclusion of
place of publication.

I am aware of the MLA style sheet, but normally have written for
publication that did not require that. In recent years I have been
assembling some bibliographies for my own use (teaching) rather than
publication, so have followed my own style preferences. In the past, when
writing for technical publications, most of the citations have been to
journal literature, with very few books. These recent bibliographies have
been on The Holocaust and are almost all to books or portions of books.
This caused me to take a fresh look at the practice of citing place of

Basically I don't understand why it is done for recent books. The use of
ISBN's (International Standard Book Numbers) now seems to be close to 100%,
at least for books published in the English language (I have not looked at
original publications in other languages). Doesn't the ISBN more
specifically identify the book than city and country of publication? For
example, as I reach to my self and select a John Wiley and Sons book, the
title page lists "New York, Chichester, Brisbane, Toronto, Singapore." So,
if required to include place of publication in a citation, I would select
the first city on the list, New York. But this book has an ISBN, which is
what is included in the "Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
sample main entry under title," that is provided (rather than place of
publication) and it is the ISBN that I would have to use to order the book
through a bookstore. Doesn't the ISBN better identify that edition of that
book than place of publication?

I would expect a definite trend toward use of ISBN's in citation, but
except for my own working bibliographies I don't see anyone doing it! Is
this an issue that has already been thrashed out or is it one that is just
coming over the horizon?

Jim Cerny, Computing and Information Services, University of New Hampshire.
(4) --------------------------------------------------------------33----
Date: Tue, 27 Jun 89 19:04:03 EDT
From: "James H. Coombs" <JAZBO@BROWNVM>
Subject: MLA citation format

I believe the citation should include the volume and issue number, much like a
journal. This is more than "electronic correspondence"; we have a moderator
and regular distribution. The citation should include the full information
needed to locate the publication, and the citation style should make a clear
distinction between this form of publication and something as informal as
"personal communication."

I agree that the suggested style is very clean. I think that the additional
information will keep it clean.

I think that the specific node should not be that important. What if Humanist
moves to another university, or even if Toronto changes its node names? Then
the current node information would be of no real value. For paper journals,
we do not provide any place of publication now, but the information on Toronto
would at least give someone a starting point for tracking down an unfamiliar
electronic journal.

Thanks for asking for suggestions. --Jim

Dr. James H. Coombs
Senior Software Engineer, Research
Institute for Research in Information and Scholarship (IRIS)
Brown University, Box 1946
Providence, RI 02912