Digital Age of Citation

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The Digital Age of Citation

Now that most authors use online references and resources, how do we change our traditional ways of handling bibliographic data in our books? This session will look at how to adapt to online citations and notes loaded with URLs rather than publisher information. Appropriate and logical citation of material found on the Internet (avoiding interminable URLs in text), instructing authors in proper online citation form (Google alone does not suffice), and the reliability and permanence of URLs will be among the topics covered.

Panelists: Marilyn Schwartz, Managing Editor, University of California Press; Anita Samen, Managing Editor, University of Chicago Press; Fred Kameny, Managing Editor, Duke University Press

Who should attend: managing editors, manuscript editors

Presentations: Marilyn Schwartz, Notes for Discussion (see below)


Please feel free to add notes or responses to the panel below.


What (and how much) information should be provided in citations of online sources?

• Cite only print publication details if a print version exists? Provide both full print and full online citation details? Cite only the version actually consulted?

• Provide page-specific URLs? Provide the URL of the home page or domain only to avoid transcribing lengthy, error-prone URLs?

• Avoid URLs altogether? If so, what information should be provided in its place?

• Specify access dates? Always or under what circumstances?


What standards should editors uphold for citing online sources?

• Verify URLs during copyediting? If so, who should be responsible for this work?

• Add a statement to the work disclaiming responsibility for URLs that may have expired or changed since publication?

• Discourage referencing Wikipedia? Deriving quotations of classic texts from the Web based on Amazon and Google searches? Other caveats? Who should enforce these standards?

• Tolerate (or even recommend) the elimination of a bibliography or other scholarly apparatus from a printed publication and post this content online instead? When or under what circumstances?


If the purposes of well-edited documentation are scholarly accountability and assistance to subsequent researchers, how can editors address the impermanence of URLs and the often dynamic nature of Web content?

• Urge authors to print out and archive cited Web documents if no print version of the source exists or if the online content may change?

• Are there any developments leading to possible future solutions that panelists or audience members can suggest?


What resources can panelists and audience members recommend regarding professional standards for and formatting of citations of online content?

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