One step "sorta" and beyond!!

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You may recall how, once upon a time, certain of us (blogeurs) were, shall we say, disinterpellated by particular long-time members of a disciplinary listserv? Well, you'll be pleased to know that, compared to that lovely episode, the following marks a real step forward. In the process of discussing some recent upgrades to CompPile, one loyal user remarks that it would be nice if that site included the 7 most recent years of scholarship:

can you find a way to update to more recent years? I know that the CCCC project is doing that, sorta, but I never do get around to checking it after the great convenience of comppile. Maybe some kind of link, so as not to duplicate effort?

Now, I'm not exactly sure what the "CCCC project" is, but since our site shares 3 of those C's, and we are a project, I can only surmise that "sorta" is meant as a grudging acknowledgment of our efforts over the past 2 years. We sorta belong, at long long last! Why, we might even rate a link, if we're lucky.

Yes, I'm chock full of sarcasm, because apparently the inconvenience of say, bookmarking our site, is apparently too much to ask of this user. I can only imagine that it's too much, because once you arrive at our site, there are only 10 or so different ways that you might search for scholarship:

  • by typing an author's name into the search bar
  • by typing a word or two from the title into the search bar
  • by typing a keyword into the search bar
  • by using the search bar to track down something in a bibliography
  • by following a link from something that has cited the thing you're looking for
  • by following a link from something that the thing you're looking for has cited
  • by using the drop down menu that links to the last 15 years of issues
  • by exploring the CCCC categories, each of which contains dozens of articles
  • by clicking on a tag, and seeing all of the other articles that are similarly tagged
  • by visiting delicious, where all such tags can be ordered by frequency or alphabetically

I don't talk a lot about CompPile, because I really respect the efforts of the individuals who maintain it. The model that they're working with, on the other hand, is unsustainable, except through Herculean effort, and it only scratches the surface of what databases could be allowing us to do in this field. Heck, we're only scratching the surface, but at the very least, we're getting beyond the "bob for apples" model of search that still seems to dominate a lot of the discussions I see.

Mainly, I have to remind myself that they're not responsible for what said loyal user posts to the list. And I'm content to work along, to improve our site, and to make it a tool that rewards the efforts of both new and experienced researchers. Heck, if we keep at it, by the end of the decade, he might even acknowledge us by name.

Snarkography complete.


Golden Delicious: "'bob for apples' model of search".

I'll be danged if I understand the idea that we're only "sorta" up to date. 58.3 has been live at CCCOA for three weeks (since the 15th, no?) and I just received the paper copy via USPS today. Must get the "sorta" rating because we don't yet have 58.4 posted, I guess.

and it's the same person who prompted our previous outcry (or cries?).

no surprise there....

Well, you all have a nice little CCCC project over there, but I prefer to do all my research using Library of Congress subject headings. Just keeps things honest. And I don't trust this "folksonomy" thing. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Well, from what I learned about Library of Congress subject headings in my library school courses on information organization and cataloging, I wouldn't claim that LC is 'unbroken.' There are actually a lot of problems with it. Like any classification system, it contains the biases of the culture that created it. This is the system that changed the subject heading "Vietnam Conflict" to Vietnam War" just one year ago. There are problems.

Yeah, I know. It was just a joke. ;-)

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This page contains a single entry by cgbrooke published on March 5, 2007 6:02 PM.

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