9.623 coping with the information

Humanist (mccarty@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
Fri, 15 Mar 1996 19:31:23 -0500 (EST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 9, No. 623.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)
Information at http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/

[1] From: "Charles L. Creegan" <ccreegan@ncwc.edu> (21)
Subject: Re: 9.622 keeping afloat

WM writes:
> I have certainly found myself, after a search of the
>MLA bibliography on CD-ROM, keeping or rejecting items based on titles only.
>In the particular case I am thinking of, I had ca. 3000 hits. What else was
>I to do? Conventional wisdom is that with that many hits clearly one must
>redesign one's query. I could not be more specific, however, because I was
>on a fishing expedition with no idea what the major topics would be -- and
>certainly the LC classifications didn't help much. So I looked through all
>the titles, refining the selection down to about 100 items for further
.....and thereby answers his own question. This was the first approximation
at the beginning of a long project. I'd be amazed if a subset of those 100
were the total bibliography of the finished product. Informal networking
heuristics based on references within those works would lead to a related
set. Interesting leads might be missed, but that's inevitable anyway.

One current tool on the net which works something like this is the "similar
pages" query available in the results of infoseek searches. Massive
indexing of footnotes and bibliography would be a useful extension for
scholarly works, and is quite possible with electronic publication.

Charles L. Creegan    N.C. Wesleyan College    ccreegan@ncwc.edu