Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 731. Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London Hosted by King's Digital Lab www.dhhumanist.org Submit to: email@example.com Date: 2020-04-04 07:37:11+00:00 From: Willard McCarty
Subject: citations I began the research for my doctoral dissertation well trained, taught always to check references. During that time, however, I first discovered how undependable a reference could be. In addition to errors from sloppiness I discovered the tell-tale phenomenon of citations that lead to others earlier that lead to others still earlier, in a long tail that eventually terminates in pure invention. Since then I've made it a practice to hunt down the original source and seldom gone unrewarded, not just by errors discovered but also by contexts as valuable, sometimes more so, than what an originating quotation or reference gave me. Doing such tracing is costly in time and effort, but nowadays can almost always be done without budging from one's desk (which, given the need for isolation at this moment stretching out into an indefinite future, is a very good thing). On the other hand, I've learned from my medievalist partner how the words of authorities were used in the early Middle Ages in glosses to important texts. So I am already inclined to wonder about the drive to exactitude in our bibliographic habits, even before I reflect on the influence of online resources. Some rethinking of the methods we advocate, perhaps? Long ago, in the one MA course I can still remember, a professor to whom I will always be grateful taught all of us beginners how to use a library, how to take notes (before photocopy machines), in short how to do research. Does anyone now teach beginning scholars these skills and techniques digitally translated or entirely new? Yours, WM -- Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor emeritus, Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London; Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews (www.tandfonline.com/loi/yisr20) and Humanist (www.dhhumanist.org) _______________________________________________ Unsubscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted List posts to: firstname.lastname@example.org List info and archives at at: http://dhhumanist.org Listmember interface at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted/ Subscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/membership_form.php
Editor: Willard McCarty (King's College London, U.K.; Western Sydney University, Australia)
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