[KS] bibliographies: Zotero, anyone?

Charles Muller acmuller at l.u-tokyo.ac.jp
Fri Jun 21 02:30:59 EDT 2013

On 2013/06/21 14:21, Frank Hoffmann wrote:
> Re: "crowdsourced bibliography of Korean Studies"
> On what basis would such a general bibliography on Korea still be
> useful in 2013?

I guess it depends on the degree to which a person values having ready 
access to a list of tagged, annotated bibliographical entries located in 
one place, which can readily be imported/exported in over a dozen 
bibliographical formats, into one's word processor, and so forth. Such a 
tool is quite valuable to me, and apparently, to at least a hundred 
other of my colleagues in Buddhist studies.

> What do you estimate is currently the percentage of new
> publications that are missed in other, easily available bibliographic
> and full-text DBs plus those in old publication not yet being present
> in bibliographies in electronic format?

I have no idea, and I don't care. A crowdsourced project merely builds 
on the contributions of its members, and becomes what it becomes. You 
can be sure, however, that it will quickly gather, in one place, many 
resources that are not collected by robots or humans in other 
collections, and that it will be continually curated by specialists in 
the field, and not by robots or simple aggregation.

> That kind of work, time, and cost could well be put into other,
> forward-looking projects of establishing access where access is not
> there.

Where, may I ask, is this access you are speaking of? Can you please 
point to me any single, free, open, online bibliography for the field of 
Korean Studies available through an English language interface that is 
contributed to and maintained by professional scholars in the field? One 
that allows one to automatically generate a bibliography in any one of 
the popular academic bibliographical styles with the mere selection of a 
keyword tag? The point is not merely to search out individual works 
(which can of course be done with Google, online catalogues, and so 
forth) but to be able quickly produce bibliographies for one's own 
research works (the way people do with Endnote, etc.), and to be able to 
free add to, and edit presently-existent entries.

> And with access I do not just have those few specialized
> scholars in mind who get well paid for teaching and research positions
> and who go back and forth to Korea and who all have access, however
> unsystematic and unorganized that might be, but maybe school teachers,
> students, or the general public--or researchers from non-Korean Studies
> fields who want to look into things Korean. Hasn't the field changed,
> is there still anything like "field studies" and "cultural locality"
> (if so, how long?), haven't the means of information collection
> changed, and shouldn't then the tools also be appropriated? Are there
> still any students or PhD candidates left that go through
> bibliographies to find sources of information and research (no irony
> intended)?

I don't see what these objections have to do with what I am proposing. I 
am simply proposing to create a crowdsourced bibliography for the field 
which members could benefit from whether or not they were active 
contributors. Our Buddhist Studies bibliography is already the largest 
free, publicly-available collection in the field. What, may I ask, is 
wrong with that?

I am somewhat shocked, I must say, at this negative reaction, the likes 
of which I have never encountered since I began to initiate such 
projects. I this proposal perhaps something that would compete with 
something with which you are already involved? This has been the case 
with our Buddhist Studies bibliography...



A. Charles Muller

Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology
Faculty of Letters
University of Tokyo
7-3-1 Hongō, Bunkyō-ku
Tokyo 113-8654, Japan

Office Phone: 03-5841-3735

Web Site: Resources for East Asian Language and Thought

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