By Vexen Crabtree 2006
All text and material has an inherent copyright whereby it belongs to the person who created it. A copyright notice is not required in order for things to be protected. You are permitted to take quotations that are within a UK legal definition of "reasonable usage", as long as the quotes are referenced.
"quotations": When I am quoting, I mostly use double quotation marks unless sometimes when I'm only quoting a single word. If I'm quoting multiple times I will sometimes introduce an author and then leave subsequent quotes unattributed as long as it remains obvious I am still using the same source.
Square Brackets: "It is now known that this is so, and this is so. [...] I conclude that [therefore] this other thing is so, too" [Smith, 2000]
[...], [... but]: Where square brackets appear, it denotes that I have edited the original. If the square brackets are: [...], then it means that I have skipped a part of their text for brevity or clarity. Sometimes I will use an elipsis (...) without square brackets if it is an inline quotation and I'm trying to avoid having too much markup in the paragraph (because it is too ugly). If there are words inside the square brackets, then they are there simply to make the quote make good grammatical sense after the removal of a section. If there is just one letter of a word inside the brackets, it is because after removing a section, the capitalisation of the word was then incorrect.
Subscripted numbers 3 in various places.4
It is a fact 3 !: Subscripted numbers are references. When I reference someone inside a sentence, then it means that the immediate fact(s) preceding the reference are attributable to it. At the bottom of the page will be a numbered list showing more information. Click on the subscripted numbers are you will be taken to the Notes section; click on the carets ( ^ ^ ) in the Notes section to be taken to each major chapter area where that reference has been used.
At the bottom of many webpages, I have a "reference", "sources" or "bibliography" section. They are all the same thing. In alphabetical order by author. Under each author is a list of books or articles used by that author. I state the year of original publication first, then go on to comment if I've used a later edition and give its year. I try to keep my biblio relatively verbose to aid understanding, and so that casual readers can work it out, rather than use specialist academic shorthand that many professionals are fond of. The following are some notes on abbreviations and methods of referencing sources:
In or Via: This means that I have not seen the original, and the quote was obtained through another source, which will be in the bibliography. When including other peoples' biblio details I sometimes quote their reference in their own format, so it will look different to the others. This is so that I am stating where that author says the information came from, I am not re-interpreting their reference.
Smith et al. simply means that a source was authored by multiple people, and for simplicity I am only listing the first one "and all" others. The biblio normally lists the authors in full where I've truncated it in the text.
In the footer I make notes of major edits to the page, such as reformatting, major editing or when substantial new material was added. This is to account for the text, so that if a quote is taken of my text it can be seen why the original text now differs from it. Spelling corrections, minor edits and most reformatting are not mentioned as I consider such things to be routine and not substantial. I do not keep archived copies of previous versions.
p13,40-45,20: Page and Digital Location references are given for the location of the quoted text in the source document. If the quote is comprised of multiple sections separated by [...] markers and the quot spans multiple pages, then, the pages referenced will be in the order in which they appear in the quote. Rarely, this isn't sequential.
Smith (2009, Ed). This is one occasion where I do use a traditional shorthand. "Ed." means "Editor" - Smith did not write the whole text. Perhaps multiple chapters were contributed by multiple other authors, and Smith simply compiled them and edited them into a coherent new book.
Smith & Jones (2017, Eds). As above, but, Smith & Jones together have edited the text's content.
Journal paper ref, JSSR 13(1) 69-86. This is a traditional references to a periodical. I do not use this format - it is undecipherable to the average mortal! It means volume 13 (there might be 1 volume per year, depending on the journal), issue 1 (there might be 4 issues per year), pages 69-86. The pages might count from the start of the last volume and reset each year, or, they might reset on each episode. To find these things out, you have to go research the journal. If I quote someone else's reference I sometimes leave it in the format they have used, so you might see this kind of thing in my work. If I find the original document that they've used, then, I will convert the reference into a more sensible format - like: Journal (2003 Mar 10) article "This is true!" p69-86.
Some academics and the like are horrified when referencing systems do not follow one of the great established systems, such as Harvard Referencing. But the truth is that traditional methods do not suit webpages. The capability to hyperlink subscripted numbers to the bottom of the page and have links back up to the original text mean that this method becomes superior, aiding readability and allowing useful levels of information to be added about sources in an inline manner. Also, the bibliography section itself does not use conventions such as ibid and does not follow the normal Harvard format. This is because that format is designed to save maximum space by placing everything in a known order. The problem is, ordinary readers find it hard to understand, and, on the web, there is no need to save pixels. References can be written out in plain English without having to worry about space!
The majority of books and periodicals I quote from are ones that I own. When I acquire a new book, I will revisit old texts and add quotes to it from the new source. I tend to write notes on books I read (and stamp them with my library stamp, much to the chagrin of my wife), which horrifies some people. I do not just read books, I use them. Francis Bacon said that book reading can "serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability". My usage of books is definitely in the latter category - not for kicks, or to look good, but to get use out of them. Bacon also said: "simple men admire" books, but "wise men use them"1 - so don't be horrified to see me writing notes in my books!
UK popular newspapers are infamous for their daft stories, political bias, poor fact-checking and skewed reporting, combined with a concentration on celebrities and entertainment-value news. By comparing all newspapers to common criteria, including academic judgements of their quality and the number of complaints raised against them, it is possible to score each one of them. As a result of their low quality, only 7% of the population rate printed news as the best source of "accurate and reliable" information2. But it is also clear that this problem is self-imposed - the four most popular papers in the UK are all at the bottom of the list of quality. All four of the most trustworthy papers are under the top 10 in terms of popularity. The main cause of trashy news is economics: far fewer people buy newspapers that are accurate and non-sensationalist. The overall effect troubles British culture, creating a cycle of misinformation and there have been many calls for the UK government to regulate the industry using similar methods to those used in most of the rest of Europe. For now the only control is a self-regulation body (IPSO) which is staffed by the papers themselves and is widely considered dysfunctional.
For the full list of national newspapers, see:
The Economist is a leading weekly news magazine of an utmost professional quality. It features analysis of world news, current events, science, academic research, business news and commercial analysis, and produces comprehensive thematic special reports on chosen subjects. It is intellectual, factual, academic and scholarly, with carefully researched articles. Bill Emmott was an editor of The Economist and before retiring, he described the magazine in these terms:
“One of the exceptional characteristics of this newspaper is the degree to which it still follows the principles and methods begun 163 years ago by its founder, James Wilson, and perfected by his son-in-law, Walter Bagehot. The Economist was launched to campaign for free trade and all forms of liberty, what proponents and detractors today call globalisation. [...] It did so with a formula that was three parts factual description and one part strongly held opinion or argumentative analysis. This is what we continue to attempt today.”
Current edition: 2006 Apr 16
Last Modified: 2017 Feb 24
Originally published 1999
Parent page: Vexen Crabtree's Websites: Forcing Humanity Onwards
All #tags used on this page - click for more:
The Economist. Published by The Economist Group, Ltd. A weekly newspaper in magazine format, famed for its accuracy, wide scope and intelligent content. See vexen.co.uk/references.html#Economist for some commentary on this source..
(2004, Ed.) Politics UK. Paperback book. 5th edition. Originally published 1991. Current version published by Pearson Education Ltd. With Dennish Kavanagh, Michael Moran and Phillip Norton.