Class notes 11/11/10

Today we started discussing documentation, which we’ll be focusing on for the next 3 classes.

We began with a definition from the Oxford English Dictionary (search for documentation, also the verb to document). The OED is a historical dictionary and as such it documents the history of the words it includes, as well as defining them.

Next we moved onto the Hauptman reading, which poses the question Why Do We Document?

– Acknowledgment
– Attribution
– Tracing
– Validation
– Protection against accusations of misconduct
– Tangential substantive commentary

(Hauptman, 2008, 7)

We discussed and looked at examples of each.

Ultimately, documentation and citation:

– Acknowledge participation in the scholarly conversation
– Illuminate and preserve process/practice/research path

And are important to:
– academic work
– all kinds of professional work

We also discussed the article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about link rot: a term that describes the increasing numbers of dead links in citations from scholarly books, articles and other information sources that refer to the internet. A great example of this is the Badke chapter that discusses specialized search engines: you’ll remember that when we discussed those sites in class we discovered that many had already disappeared.

The Chronicle article mentions the Internet Archive, which is one resource you can use to try and find old internet resources. We also discussed the Wayback Machine as a way to view old versions of websites. I tried to show you the City Tech Library’s old website, but kept running into an error. If you’d like to try it yourself, visit the Internet Archive at http://www.archive.org/ and enter in the library’s URL: http://library.citytech.cuny.edu.

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