New Citations Problems

I have already experienced the messiness of citations when trying to cite a Kindle source. What the heck is the location good for if you don’t have a Kindle? Nada.

The Chronicle’s E-Books’ Varied Formats Make Citations a Mess for Scholars discusses the problem.

It could be fixed if the e-book creators would add paragraph identifiers. Still that would be a disaster too. Are you looking for paragraph 4,232 in the print version of the novel? Because I sure wouldn’t want to do that. One of my colleagues agrees.

While those numbers may be effective landmarks, some fear that they may start to intrude on the text. “What I don’t want is something that so gums up the whole text that I can’t pay attention to the text anymore,” says William Rankin, director of educational innovation and an associate professor of English at Abilene Christian University, which is experimenting with e-books in some courses.

Perhaps, instead of citations, soon we will be using links, Bill suggests.

Those will be ugly as all get out, but useful if the information is online. Not so much to a 1926 version of a novel.

Update: According to a tweet by @samplereality (Mark Sample of George Mason U): “The introduction of “page” numbers is a step backward for the Kindle, a failure of imagination. Classic remediation. *Remedial* remediation.”

One thought on “New Citations Problems”

  1. And links go dead a LOT faster than all the printed copies of a text get destroyed or become unavailable through digitization (thinking early English books here).

    I wonder if there’d be a way to put the pagination of whatever edition is being used, but hide it most of the time for reading, and only have it visible when the reader wants to see it?

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