Saturday, September 03, 2011

A scholar's notes: illustrating the value of re-use

As I work on notes for my dissertation, it occurs to me that the way I tend to work is one example of the benefits for scholars (authors and readers, citers and cited alike) of reuse / derivatives of scholarly information. An example: today I am carefully reading an important article for my area by noted scholar David Prosser. As I read, I create notes and occasionally cut and paste potentially interesting quotes into my notes. Sometimes, there is a footnote, and I find that it is useful to cut and paste the footnote citation for ready reference later on. I may or may not ever use the quote, or if I use the material I may paraphrase rather than quote, however either way my ability to take notes in this way facilitates my work on my dissertation in a way that increases the likelihood of my citing the author and journal (Serials) correctly. This approach seems highly likely to increase the accuracy of my subsequent work (a hypothesis that someone might wish to test?). Increasing accuracy of citations seems highly likely to save the time of reviewers, readers, and librarians downstream, as it takes less time to track down correct citations than wrong ones (another hypothesis that someone might wish to test).

Here is an illustration of this "scholar's interim derivative":

“These issues led a study commissioned by the European Commission in 2006 to conclude that “the market under consideration is very far away from the ‘ideal perfectly competitive private market’ that has been celebrated ever since Adam Smith (1776)”.3” p. 61

3. Study on the Economic and Technical Evolution of theScientific Publication Markets in Europe, 2006: (accessed 21 January 2011).

From: Prosser, D. (2011). Reassessing the value proposition: First steps towards a fair(er) price for scholarly journals. Serials, 24(1), 60-63. doi:10.1629/2460. Retrieved September 3, 2011 from

Okay, now back to my note-taking! Cross-posted from my doctoral webpage.