The Bibliography, Or Something Old is New Again

Bibliographies are arguably data sets of old. Their value for scholars across domains continues unabated – and for practical reason: the compilation of information resources marks a typical initial step in undertaking new research and thus exploring the existing literature. Citation management tools, like Zotero and Mendeley, have made substantive strides toward easier tracking of such resources; easier exporting to different file formats; and, overall, easier sharing with peer researchers.

Bibliographies are also something new again. At Penn State we have had inquiries from scholars asking for more than what Zotero and Mendeley provide, at least out of the box, such as a crowdsourcing functionality for developing web-based bibliographies that could allow for much more open peer contribution; verification (particularly for archival materials); annotation; and UI customization, to name a starting set of features. A few of our scholars are interested in linking a published monograph to a “living” bibliography – a resource that would be updated and enhanced continually via contributions from peer researchers as well as via automated methods. (This request is not unlike, in some ways, publisher requirements for researchers, primarily in the sciences, to link their journals to their data sets – except that such data sets tend to be finite and thus static.)

These inquiries have us wondering: what is the future of the bibliography – its purpose, its art? What is the future of publishing bibliographies, and how can libraries help in this effort, particularly to support authority of bibliographic content but also the dynamic enhancement of it, using best practices and standards? What new data models for publishing online bibliographies should be conceptualized? What other features are scholars interested in when it comes to bibliographies? This session is aimed at fleshing out potential bibliography use cases that leverage tools, ideas, and infrastructure familiar in the digital humanities and that also intersect with issues germane to humanities data curation.

Categories: General, Session Proposals |

About Patricia Hswe

I am Digital Content Strategist and Head, ScholarSphere User Services, based in the department of Publishing and Curation Services at the Penn State University Libraries. My work is largely about making digital content and data discoverable, accessible, and usable over time, for as long as these materials are useful – toward the related goals of repurposing them and adding value to the Libraries’ collections and data sets. My key responsibilities include assisting faculty and students in the curation of their research data and other scholarly materials; and building a program of support and services for digital scholarship, including the digital humanities.

3 Responses to The Bibliography, Or Something Old is New Again

  1. I’d definitely be interested in participating in this session.

  2. Pingback: Session on The Bibliography, Or Something Old is New Again | THATCamp Digital Humanities and Libraries 2012

  3. Based on one of the concurrent lunchtime discussions, I have started a Google Docs file on what would need to happen to use the TEI to support such bibliographies: .

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