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Finally done with the bibliography.

Actually it wasn't as bad as I was dreading cause I decided in this day and age of Amazon and Google that including the city and publisher is now unnecessary. My copy of MacKenzie's excellent An Engine Not a Camera came this week too and I noticed it doesn't have any cities listed either so maybe its the start of a trend. I'm guessing the cities were once part of the bibliography because you would need to call up an operator in that town in order to track down the publisher, clearly not the most necessary info in a google dominated world. Leaving out the publisher is probably a bit more controversial though. For one there is a small chance, particularly for big public domain books, that multiple publishers have released something in the same year. Beyond that though I suspect book publishers don't want to see themselves seen as unnecessary when making their biblography guidelines...


How about the ISBN? Sterling uses these in 'Shaping Things', in some ways it's more relevant than anything else. I'm with you on dropping the cities, but it might be going too far to lose the publisher too. Citations should be a little conservative, or else how will how anyone be able to do any research when the power's out?

yeah dropping the pubisher is probably a touch too far, but going a touch too far is also a good way of figuring out where the borders are.

ISBN is interesting, not a chance I would type all that in, but with some default scanning equipment... the new laptop has a built in isight wonder how hard it would be to make software that turns it into a bar code reader that looks up the Amazon data and auto generates a bibliography?

I'm really having to struggle with whether or not I think your approach to bibliography is a really bad idea.

Of course, I'm an academic and a librarian so certain things I take for granted and I don't think that's such a big bibliography.

But I also know what it's like to look at a book years later trying to track down and verify sources that other people have used to see if I agree with their use or whatever.

Unfortunately it's not an issue I can dig into but you might consider using WorldCat, which can be accessed for free online through many public libraries using FirstSearch, to look up the volume and then cut and paste.

Even if you have issues with academics, there are some radical people buried in those institutions, including grad students, who would be grateful at some point.

Just my two cents.

Interesting Clyde and I think that starts to get at the interesting issue. What does it take to track down a source in the age of Google and Amazon? What about when (or if) the full book archives those organizations among others are trying to create? What does the city of the publisher mean in that context? The publisher itself of course is meaningless and I'm starting to regret not including that info, and most likely will add it back in a later version. But the fact that it'll only be a couple hours of work to do just that, even after most of the books have long since been filed raises the question of just how relevant it is to print that info out. I'll just be dumping the texts into Amazon to find the publisher after all...

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