Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Citations, References and Bibliographies

In my academic work, I often need to search for, find and read other people's work. With the advent of the internet, finding that work has become a lot easier. (This brings back memories of how one had to go about it in the past before computers. It could be a quite complex task and so I won't even begin to describe the process.)

There is something puzzling about the information now more freely available. Many academics put lists of their work online but not copies of their work. Copyright issues aside, one would have thought that it was the work rather than just its bibliographic details that one would have wanted to share. It is one thing to put copies of one's work on the Internet so that others may see it; it is quite another just to put lists of publications which people then have to track down, when all along a copy should be made readily available.

Just listing one's bibliography is not sharing. It is merely there to try to enhance one's kudos by giving a catalogue  suggesting how clever one is and how busy one has been. This rarely succeeds.