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What do you want from bibliography in Pleiades?

Creators: Tom Elliott Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified Aug 07, 2014 06:31 PM
The Barrington Atlas Map-by-Map Directories used bibliographic references for various purposes. We have inherited that bibliographic data, but have not yet implemented "full" bibliographic support in Pleiades, in part because our use case(s) for bibliography are underspecified. Help us flesh them out.

In the BAtlas directories, bibliographic references served one or more of the following functions (and the goal was, wherever possible, to find a single reference that would perform them all):

  • Cite (i.e., point to) evidence and argument supporting the assignment of names to locations, the assignments of types to places, and the assignment of time periods to names and locations, as well as the historicity of the names themselves.
  • Cite (i.e., point to) additional information of potential value to the user (i.e., the "see also" or "see further" function of scholarly citation).
In elaborating our data model, we enhanced this approach by adding support for citing primary sources in names so it's possible to point at the evidence (witness) for a given name variant. The Barrington generally only cited primary sources when there was no useful secondary source to cite. 
Note also that the Barrington assumed a traditional, dead-tree bibliographic universe: neither the cited resources nor information about them (metadata) was assumed to be online in any stable, reliable, or comprehensive manner. The process of going from reading a citation to reading the cited resource was left as an exercise for the individual human user, assisted only by the full bibliographic listing associated with each directory. Users were left to their own devices, bibliographic skills, and library infrastructures to handle the task. Pleiades, by contrast assumes a networked world; our citations privilege the use of stable identifiers for cited works, but at present the associated functionality is limited.
My questions for you, Pleiades users, are as follows:
  1. Should Pleiades continue to support both of the bibliographic functions we inherited from the Barrington? Why or why not?
  2. Are there other bibliographic functions that Pleiades should support? If so, why?
  3. Are there any open, online bibliographic information systems that Pleiades should be integrated with? In what way? 
  4. If you could improve the experience of moving from a bibliographic reference now in Pleiades to the cited information resource itself, what would you add or change?
  5. If you could improve the experience of adding or modifying a bibliographic reference in Pleiades, what would you add or change?
  6. Are there any bibliographic functions that Pleiades should deliberately place out-of-scope and not provide support for?

Please feel free to answer or comment on any or all of these questions by adding a comment on this page (you'll have to login with openid or pleiades credentials). Or, if you've already joined the community and become a Pleiades contributor, by posting to the Pleiades Community listserv.