Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Resource Mining

One trick to learn when doing SCA research I call "Resource Mining". It is more fun than saying you can "get resources from the Bibliography" of the book or article you're reading. 
A bibliography is a list of books, articles, speeches, private records, diaries, websites, and other sources an author used when writing a paper. You may find it at the end of an article or non-fiction book. Sometimes it's called Works Cited or Works Consulted.
These lists are useful for the person who creates it because it gives credit to all the authors cited works. It also makes it easy for the enquiring readers to find the source used, but also to later researchers and curious people who are following similar paths. Think of bibliographies as time-saving and access keys to your SCA explorations.
Works cited in bibliographies may include more than books, articles, and websites. They may list professional journal article abstracts or summaries that are hard to find or expensive to acquire. The abstract or summary may have just enough information for your SCA project. Or give you a strong reason to seek out the full source.
Resource mining is even better when the bibliography is annotated. 

In an annotated bibliography each listing gives you its content and value, clues to whether you should read it. If you read a listing that describes the work as "ground-breaking" or otherwise amazing, it's a clue. It may give you an overview of the source, critique it, or comment on its usefulness, and reliability. It may comment on a listing's depth of detail, scope, and contribution to the work of others. More clues for you to explore.