The Longest Now


Reffer Madness, part II : Cite Unseen
Thursday October 09th 2008, 11:26 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The result of a hard hour’s work: <now stored on the draft Reffer Madness wikipage>

Over the past few decades, work has been done on the topic of citation classification in academic papers.  Most of it has focused on identifying the intent or semantic use of a classification as part of an academic argument : supporting, dissing, using as a source of data or axioms.  Applying a bit of generalization to this work should yield an effective tiered classification into 4 main and 15 specific classes.  As Ben notes in an earlier comment, this could be converted into different-color footnotes to make the flavor of usage clear without breaking the flow of a concise text.

To start using this as an example in my own blog, I’ll use the following draft citation classes:

  • Axiomatic ref: a ref with data or axioms I’m using to define or inspire an argument.  Axiomatic arguments with the argument should be transferred to the ref; errors in the ref should apply to my argument.  By using such a ref I am usually, but not always, supporting the reffed work or data.
  • Similar, Supporting, or Supported ref : Similar – a ref that follows similar lines or makes similar arguments.  Supporting – a ref that directly or implicitly supports an argument.  Supported – a ref whose arguments I am directly or implicitly supporting; an example of what should be supported based on my argument.
  • Contrasting, Contradicting, or Counterproved ref: Contrasting – a ref that follows very different lines or contrasting arguments.  Contradicting – a ref that counters or disclaims an argument.  Counterproved – a ref whose arguments I am countering,  or which should be discounted based on my argument.
  • Related, Canonical, or Hat-tip ref: Related – a ref that touches on similar topics without being clearly similar or contrasting.  Canonical – a ref that is considered standard reading on the subject.  Hat-tip – a ref honoring the work of its author, though it is not necessarily considered standard reading by others (and could be either pro or con my argument).
  • Unclassified ref : A reference that hasn’t been classified into one of the above.

Phoebe noted later that another dimension of reference is the extent of text to which a ref refers… some apply to words or clauses, some to paragraphs, some to entire chapters.  A “further reading” section is effectively a Related ref that applies to an entire section or work.


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