[uf-discuss] Citation: next steps?

Michael McCracken michael.mccracken at gmail.com
Wed Aug 30 18:37:44 PDT 2006

On 8/30/06, Bruce D'Arcus <bdarcus.lists at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 8/30/06, Timothy Gambell <timothy.gambell at aya.yale.edu> wrote:
> > For example, BibTeX's "author" field implies the medium of the cited
> > work (if it has an author, it must be text).  This makes it difficult
> > to reuse terminology: what if I'm talking about something that had a
> > painter, not an author? Using a more general term, like DC's
> > "creator" get's the same work done, and is more easily reused: it can
> > be applied to text, paintings, websites, and so on.
> I agree. I'd use creator and then also add author, editor and
> translator, since those three are widely used in citations, and it's
> important at least to distinguish the latter two (non-creator) roles
> from creator/author.
> In fact, I'd be fine with dropping author altogether; it's not
> strictly necessary.

Yes, I think 'creator' covers 'author' and 'painter' (and 'vocalist',
'sculptor', 'singer', etc) perfectly well, and seems like this might
be a useful tradeoff between being able to describe a variety of
things without an explosion of class names and actually following the
current practices on the web. Current practice seems to overwhelmingly
use 'author' - every example we have uses 'author' except for the
Oxford U. Press (USA), using 'byline'. So we may need more examples :)

I think that given that tradeoff, the set of 'creator', 'editor', and
'translator' are reasonable 80% (probably 90%) choices. We need
something like 'editor', and IMO, DC's 'contributor' is way too vague
to be useful in comparison.

Furthermore, I think none of those should be required, since I
commonly see things with no author/editor/etc...


Michael McCracken
UCSD CSE PhD Candidate
research: http://www.cse.ucsd.edu/~mmccrack/
misc: http://michael-mccracken.net/wp/

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