4.0660 Citing Network Sources (1/201)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Tue, 30 Oct 90 20:43:54 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0660. Tuesday, 30 Oct 1990.

Date: Tue, 30 Oct 90 14:49 EST
From: stan kulikowski ii <SKULIKOW@UWF.BITNET>
Forwarded by: <J_CERNY@UNHH>
Subject: citing network sources

The subject of how to cite network sources has been discussed
in the past on HUMANIST, so I thought I'd pass on this
person's somewhat lengthy thoughts on the subject.

Jim Cerny, Computing and Information Services, Univ. N.H.
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Subject network reference and publication
To stan kulikowski ii <SKULIKOW@UWF.BITNET>

network reference and publication

stan kulikowski ii
educational research and development center
the university of west florida

i have been asked several times now about how to reference electronic
publications and information. i suspect (or hope) that kate turabian or the
APA are working on this issue, but in the meantimes we all have graduate
students pounding out tomes of sophistry which need to refer to our collections
of networked electronic wisdom. i increasingly notice authors in hardcopy
publications struggling with how to cite information found in the networks.
let us help these folk out. those of us who use these channels of
communication should be able to specify how to refer to what we publish and
what information should be provided to gain archival access.

my third edition of APA (1983) only provides nonprint examples for film,
cassette recording, machine-readable data file, and computer program. here is
the example for the last one:

Fernandes, F. D. (1972) _Theoretical_prediction_of_interface_loading_
on_aircraft_stores:_Part_1._Subsonic_speeds_ ›Computer program|.
Pomona, CA: General Dynamics, Electro Dynamics Division. (National
Aeronautics and Space Administration Report No. NASA CR-112065-1;
Acquisition No. LAR-11249)

essentially this is the form given technical and research reports with
the expression in brackets informing the readers it is a form of nonprint
media. my turabian (1973) manual for writers does not even suggest nonprint
reference, but i would suppose we could predict they would consider such
to be correspondence and treated like personal communication in snail mail:

Bloomington, In. Indiana University. Dead Teachers Society Discussion
List. Anne Pemberton "How 'it happens" 10 October 1990.

this seems inadequate. i suspect even the IU librarians might be puzzled
over the above chicago-style reference. if you know this medium, you might be
able to access the text above, but you have to supply network information that
is obviously and systematically missing from these forms of reference.

i think we can improve the quality of bibliographic referencing for
electronic information. i would like to solicit your comments on the proper
form and style in referencing networked material. networked discussions are a
form of publication-- they are reproduced, distributed, and archived-- but in
their style and effort they often seem more like correspondence (at present).
this is like a form of leverage that electronic media has over papyrus-based
technology. i would suggest that referencing to networked material seems to
fall in between an article in periodicals and unpublished material. actual
software (a program written in a computer language) is more like a book. the
central idea in referencing is to give sufficient information so that a good
librarian can get access to the text. we really can supply this for network
communications if we give a little thought to the bibliographic style.

all networked communication are dated. we can treat an email SUBJECT: as an
article title (if a SUBJECT: line has been supplied). network digests are nice
to have vol and issue numbers; but, lacking these, even an unmoderated mailing
list is equivalent to the title of publication. the publisher corresponds to
the email account address of the moderator or listserver-- this is required
information in any attempt to access archival copies. the network name (when
not included in the actual email address) is an equivalent for geographical

here are some example references which i have used use for some of my
electronic publications.


Stan Kulikowski II (1988) Readability Formula; NL-KR Digest vol 5 no 10;
nl-kr@cs.rochestor.edu; INTERNET.

Stan Kulikowski II (1988) Report on Transdimensional Mechanics;
rec.arts.drwho; USENET.

Stan Kulikowski II (1988) Computer Analysis of Readability; AI-ED Digest
vol 4 no 1; aied@sun.com; ARPANET.

Stan Kulikowski II (1987) Antiquity of AI; AIList Digest vol 5 no 12;
ailist@sri-stripe.arpa; ARPANET.

Stan Kulikowski II (1986) SCAN1: A Simple Introduction to Communication
Prosthesis for People with Profound Physical
Impairment; public domain software; MSDOS
directory, DEC-MARLBORO BBS; Marlboro, MA.

as you can see, i am a little puzzled about how to reference material in
USENET news discussions, since they take such effort to hide the actual net
addressing in their rn reader utility... i hope some you UNIX users will
respectfully approach your system gurus and ask how they would reference
networked material so someone could access an appropriate archive. you can
use my report on transdimensional mechanics as an example. with a BITNET
listserver, you would first email an INDEX request to the listserver address.
if the moderator is not routinely archiving (oh, for shame), it should then be
possible to email a request directly into the network discussion, asking if
anyone has archives for the dates of the desired information. this is the path
i would probably follow for most INTERNET discussions. in the USENET
discussions, the actual networking addresses for the news groups is usually
hidden from the readers. i believe this is an effort to control cross-posting
and lower the bandwidth to the network, but it amounts to a reader disservice
within the net and makes it difficult for those of us outside the net to follow
or join in USENET news groups. please go see if UNIX gurus have a solution to
the general access and referencing of their network discussions. if the UNIX
gurus say they cannot do it, then puff yourself bravely up and announce that
we can do this in the other *REAL* networks and it seems a shame to have USENET
news as isolated as the discussions on COMPUSERVE or MCIMAIL... then run.

the FROM: line of networked material contains an account address somewhere in
the network-- that may represent the individual author or may represent some
other agency. this is not information usually reported in hardcopy
publication style manuals. it is equivalent to an author's home address, but
in our media it is broadcast with the text, making personal reply possible.
this is one of the advantages we have over hardcopy. when referencing for
hardcopy publication omit this information, but when referencing for network
publication, include author's return email address.

this brings us to another property of networked publication where hardcopy be
weak-- threads of discussion. most good reader software allows you to specify
a SUBJECT: title and it will march you through an email archive, message by
message. an author may wish to refer the readers to a series of documents which
are connected by common SUBJECT: lines. rather than individually referencing a
possibly long string documents with many authors and titles like "RE: re: Re:
Re: Screw yourself, Sadam"-- we should be able to reference the initial
SUBJECT: title and the following thread of messages which follow.

here is how i would reference a thread of discussion pertaining to the
apparently unique establishment of preagricultural fortifications (jericho's
walls 1990) in the HISTORY net. here we are referring to a series of
communications, not each of the unique authors, imbedded in a discussion on
the origins of war, government, and agriculture.

Jericho's Walls (1990) HISTORY LOG9008; listserv@FINHUTC.BITNET;
(thread begins 27 Aug 90).

from the above reference we can contact the listserver, request a SENDME
from the discussion called HISTORY of the archive file LOG9008; and, (ouila)
read the text referred to. (it seems that farming bringth war and tax...)

well, that about exhausts my thoughts on the technical referencing of
networked text. i have tried to provide examples from most of the major
networks, but i would like to hear from people who frequent the minor networks.
what do you need to access archival text from a BIXNET discussion area? how
would i reference a discussion thread in, say, the borland paradox area of
COMPUSERVE? are there concerns in nonINTERNET networks that we should
recognize in establishing reference standards? i have given one example of
information on a national BBS, is there other information commonly needed in
accessing BBS which should be included in bibliographic style references? (i
am assuming that a good researcher could get phone numbers, parity settings,
etc from a BBS listing on SIMTEL20.) please circulate this message to any
networks where discussion might contribute to our knowledge of a referencing

i feel this kind of concern is brought about as more professionals move into
information media beyond paper. some of us need these forms to gain
recognition of our work before jaundiced academic credential committees. the
sooner we work out these conventions, the better for more advanced publication
standards. at the international levels, we are still working with a 7-bit
channel, but it is not too soon to be concerned about scholars for whom the
network is the primary medium of access. DISTED (1989) students may have
already been looking for reference help like this, and they can now find them
started in the EDTECH archives (1990).


APA (1983) _Publication_Manual_of_the_American_Psychological_Association_
(3rd Ed.) American Psychological Association; Washington DC.

DISTED (1989) The Online Journal of Distance Education and Communication,
vol 2, no 3; jadist@ALASKA.BITNET.

EDTECH archives (1990) EDTECH LOG9010; listserv@OHSTVMA.BITNET.

K.L. Turabian (1937,1973) _A_Manual_for_Writers_of_Term_Papers,_Theses,_
and_Dissertations_ (4th Ed.) The University of Chicago Press;
Chicago, Il.

. skulikow@UWF.bitnet
º º close your eyes, my darling, or three of them at least
--- -- old venusian lullaby