Talk:Bibliographic database

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Discussion on "Online general-interest book databases"


Hi.... I am interested in helping with this article. I've been thinking of starting one for a little while. I think there are a number of issues to work out. These include (among other things, I'm sure):

  • Connecting to their history as print indexes
  • Distinguishing between full text database and electronic indexes, and including the fact that many databases have both full text and abstracts
  • Some mention of link resolvers and how they relate to the topic
  • Distinction between the index and the vendor's platform, and the fact that a given "database" can be supplied by different vendors, usually with different full-text content
  • Related to the above, some info on who typically produces an index; that is, who is responsible for the indexing and separate that the platform

Aside from these, I think a list of bibliographic databases is a good idea but ought to be a separate article: "List of bibliographic databases." I am interested in contributing to both.

I'm glad you're working on this! I found this page by doing this.

Cheers! Rlitwin 22:27, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Category for renaming[edit]

I just stumbled across Category:List of bibliographic databases, which was well-meant, I'm sure, but not the right format for a category; it sounds more like an article title. I'm going to nominate it for renaming as Category:Bibliographic databases. Any thoughts? Her Pegship 18:00, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Someone first tried to start an article "List of bibliographic databases." It never got going, and someone decided it would be better as a category, but didn't properly change the name, as you suggest doing now. Your renaming idea seems right to me. Rlitwin 18:32, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
Problem: just noticed this poorly designed list that does roughly what we're talking about doing. I left a comment on that article's talk page. I think we need a strategy. Rlitwin 18:41, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
I am not sure that an academic search engine is the same as a bibliographic database, but maybe I am wrong. In my opinion, a bibliographic database just gives you a bibliographic reference. An academic search engine often gives you a link to a document, and not just a bibliographic reference. Software like Reference Manager can access dozens of bibliographic databases, but there are no links to the documents. For example their help file says: "If the Internet Search box is selected, you choices change from Reference Manager databases to these online database options:
· ISI Web of Science: This searches a selection of Web of Science databases.
· PubMed: This searches PubMed, the National Library of Medicine’s public access database.
· Z39.50 sites: This searches a selection of Z39.50 databases."
Z39.50 sites include many library catalogs. Library catalogs could be bibliographic databases, but not academic search engines. Anyway this is just my opinion, could we ask a librarian?

That is a distinction that this article should address, however it is not the distinction between a bibliographic database and a so-called "academic journal search engine." An academic search engine, or full text database, is one kind of bibliographic database. And I am a librarian. Rlitwin 12:02, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Me too, and I see your point. Other terms like academic search engine or research databases could be used for sub-cats of Category:Bibliographic databases, in order to sort out the different types. Her Pegship 15:23, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
That's a good idea.Rlitwin 12:54, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
and don't forget about Category:Online_databases, which has many bibliographic databases already in it... Should bibliographic databases be a subcategory?? phoebe 21:17, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

How to develop this article[edit]

What we have now is little more than a definition. So how to expand it to cover what we want to cover? I suggest beginning by going into how the word "bibliographic" for many people means "information about books" and how bibliographic databases were originally electronic versions of print indexes, containing citations and abstracts, and how many still are that. As many of these databases began to include the full text of articles indexed the term "bibliographic database" continued to be applied. I don't have time to write this up formally right now, have to go to work, but I will do it later if someone else doesn't get to it. Anyway, that could be the next paragraph. Following that we could talk about the difference between a vendor, and an index, and discuss the difference between free, subscription, and fee-based databases. Just some ideas.... Rlitwin 12:52, 30 August 2006 (UTC)


all the above is a good article, but what I want to do is to give a practical lst of bib dbs, in the broad sense but divided by cateogy, and with links to the indiv ones, most of which have yet to be wrtitten even as stubs. As a practical matter, most existing links run here from db names, so using a sep page for list of bibliographical ds would mean moving them. By the hundreds. I still dont think the excellent things Rlitwin wants to say belong with the list. Online databases was mentioned above, but it seems to have less than 10% bib db, and could stay. Some are more than bib., eg Lexis, and sould appropriately be in both. Can we rename the page List of bibliographic dbs, which should keep the links, and then start a new p. for Bib dbs, moving the approp material and approp links.  ??

I certainly dont want to do something of the sort without discussion, and i ask those more experenced here to comment. I doubt I will get to it till Jan., except with a lot of help. DGG 03:52, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

apology for scattering[edit]

I seem to have commented on this in several places, while thinking aloud over the same weekend: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Librarians, on Talk:Bibliographic database and on talk:List of academic journal search engines at least. I apologize for the confusion, and will wait for comments, which you can put on any of these pages, and in a week or so I will have a more coherent suggestion, which I shall post at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Librarians to centralize the discussion.DGG 02:19, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

Merge from 5 book database articles[edit]

I've started a merge as an alternative to the controversial deletion proposal for a bunch of book sites that do not in themselves meet the WP:WEB criteria for an article. Please comment, support, or oppose here. Dicklyon 22:19, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Strongly Oppose For a number of reasons 1) The reasons previously given in the discussion of the Internet Book Database deletion. 2) This article is no longer an article about Bilbliographic Databases - its an article about online book databases 2) The article does not have a structure 3) IBList has had no disscussion and/or is not correctly linked to the discussion 4) ISFB was not even a candidate or up for deletion until you've just thrown at the last minute Dunk the Lunk 22:35, 18 November 2006 (UTC) 5)These websites can't have their own articles but the The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and The Encyclopedia of Fantasy can even though they contain far smaller databases. The list could go on forever. Where are you going to stop? Dunk the Lunk 22:50, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
Are you suggesting that we should stop now, because there's a lot to be done? Are you suggesting that some of these articles do meet the WP:WEB criteria? Or that there's a better way to deal with those that don't? Dicklyon 22:55, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
See point 1) above. None currently meet WP:WEB criteria in that they've recieved publicity from publication (except online publications such as Slashdot), recieved independent awards or point 3 of WP:WEB (which I don't actually understand by the way). However that does not make any non-notable. If a database website has the largest amount of content in a particular field it is surely notable. Also if we go back to the Internet Book Database deletion discussion we appear (unless I'm miscounting in which case please forgive me) 9 and a half keeps, 5 deletes and only 2 and a half in favour of merging (the half was keep and possibly merge). This is the newest of the websites, the article itself is only a few months old having already been previously deleted, and this compares to years for most of the other articles, which I suspect would have far more support if they hadn't been dragged in later (for example see point 4 above). Finally if they are to be merged they need to go into a new article called Online Book Databases with a proper structure rather than being cut and pasted into an irrelevant aticle. Dunk the Lunk 23:25, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
I have no problem with adding some structure and changing the name, or making a new home article. But the argument is not about counting votes. Merging was not the topic of the vote, but was an idea brought up by people on both sides of the issue. The alternative you're suggesting, I think, is to expand the criteria for web site notability, which is also an OK plan if you'll actually propose the changes and work on getting them approved. Dicklyon 23:34, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes. I've just had a quick look and there is endless discussion on the definition of notability! I'll try and take a more in depth look at some but point but unfortunatly I suspect I won't get very far! I have re-read point 3 of WP:WEB about 10 times now and still don't understand it-I realise this is completly off-topic but perhaps you could explain it to me? However I'm sorry but I disagree with your statement about counting votes and agreeing to merge the articles. As far as I can see you and Heavenhelllord agreed (with one possibly) while other people were still saying delete or keep. I'd personally prefer to see the articles deleted or kept rather than merged. Also what's to stop someone coming along and redoing the articles as has happened with the Internet Book Database?
What's to keep wikipedia from anarchy and nonsense in general? Just a community of editors trying to implement the agreed policies. Dicklyon 00:14, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
It had been intended for this article to include bibliographic databases applicable for books, as well as for journal articles, and the lead has already been written to accomodate that--the items have merely not been added. If the section grows, a specialized page would be appropriate, but items can be added here in the meanwhile.
I absolutely do not want to discuss web site notability in general, for the discussion on that has been incessant and inconclusive. In this particular instance, a database is worth listing here if it is in widespread use
For these particular ones, they're out of proportion to the article, but the article can of course be split if necessary. DGG
We are in agreement. The notability question is only relevant to whether a site gets its own article. As to whether to rename, split, or otherwise reorganize this one, let's see how it goes. Dicklyon 05:52, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm not overly impressed that the articles have been deleted seeing as I've just made further comment on the discussion section of Internet Boook Database and I'm awaiting reponse re WP:WEB.
  • How about atleast redirecting the old articles here?? Heavenhelllord 18:50, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Ok I have done that now. In merging these articles, a lot of the content was lost. Is there a way to see the content before the deletion of the old articles?
Samir offered to help with that in his note at Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/The_Internet_Book_Database. Dicklyon 19:08, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
  • This page is a mess. I tried cleaning it up a bit but it is still a mess. I think we need separate pages for book databases, journal databases, etc. Together this page is confusing and looks very disorganized. Heavenhelllord 14:23, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
It's not a mess, it's a joke. Without a punchline. Administrator: Hmm I don't like these perfectly well written and informative article lets nominate for deletion. Everyone else: Keep, delete, keep, delete, keep, keep etc. Administrator: Sod you lot I'm the administrator and I'm going to do what I want. I'm going to merge everything into one *@?! article, lose most of the information and then bugger off without helping to sort out the wreck thats left. Good work by the way trying to sort it out though. Dunk the Lunk 06:25, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
thanks, and I expect to continue. The sections in question can be dealt with later--they are safely at the bottom.DGG 06:32, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

DtL, good additions, just what is needed.DGG 08:08, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Although not a database I'm thinking of doing a small section in the IBDoF/IBList joint forum which would then allow the repeated paragraph in IBDof/IBList sections to be deleted - thoughts anyone? Dunk the Lunk 17:24, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

  • I'm not sure what the real point of this article is. One of the ideas of Wikipedia is to have information on every subject. This page does the opposite, crunching everything together. I would understand the idea if each of the merged articles was short, but all of these are of some length. The question becomes, when (in the future) would it be appropriate to break these out into their own pages again? When they get longer? When they are more notable? Most, if not all of these seem to meet WP:WEB, so it should not be that which is limiting them. So basically, why are we condensing them when they should be expanded? I for one would prefer to have a short blurb on each of these sites with a link to the expanded article instead of this giant mess. SarcasticDwarf 22:11, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
you are perfectly correct, in my opinion, but this however was made to prevent the deletion of the articles altogether, and some day, very soon, they will be more appropriately located. DGG 22:16, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
I agree with you and so did many other users-unfortunatly Dicklyon did not on the grounds that they did not meet any WP:WEB criteria, which to be fair in its strictised application they don't. However he failed to look at the design, rationale and limitations of the current WP:WEB framework, plus many user comments, and merged the articles into this one page and deleted the originals. He then unsurprisingly buggered off and has left other people to sort out the mess he created. Dunk the Lunk 22:25, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
In that case, what is required to get them back to being separate articles? SarcasticDwarf 15:46, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
Dickyon is still around elsewhere, including the related page, Book, but his main interest is electronic and optics. If I were doing it, I would wait a month, having disputed with him elsewhere as well. If you want to be foolhardy, go ahead--I and others will defend the move. There are rules about recreating deleted pages. I do not want to have to fight it out at AfD, because the sentiment there these days is for deleting everything possible. (If you want to do WP some good, and dont mind the foolishness and tedium, consider voting in some of their discussions. )
A little subtlty is threfore needed in creating a different page, with substantial content, and all the refs that can be found. Until that's been well stablished, I'd leave the text here as well. Since it is in the page history on this page, it's safe. I note there is a category: Virtual communities, and a page on LibraryThing that has survived. All of these are much smaller than Library Thing, so I would do a general page on Social Book Communities, or something of the sort, and add these as they are, plus a small section on LT with a link. Then they can be eventually moved to pages of their own. But it is also p[ossible to do a edirect to a section of an article, though this function is not used much here. Good luck, and I will be keeping tractk to help. DGG 01:36, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Can someone explain what this means for the links to these sites located throughout Wikipedia? Since (as many claim here), these sites do not meet WP:WEB, it seems to me that none of these sites should be linked to from other Wikipedia articles. There appears to be a conflict of logic here, either the site IS notable (and should be linked to) or it is not (and links should be removed). SarcasticDwarf 21:32, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
There is a great difference between articles and external links. Sites about which an article is written have to be notable, using criteria such as in [[WP:WEB]. Sites that are linked to need to meet a very different set of criteria, listed on WP:EL. They merely must be useful--and there are a number of criteria, including the need to avoid sites that primarily intended to sell a product, rather than provide information about it. The sites listed here clearly meet the EL criteria--if you think otherwise, we can discuss it.

It was previously challenged whether these sites were notable. I think they are: notable does not just mean the largest site of its type but however many meet the standard, often because of more specialized format or usage. They were moved here to avoid an edit war, which is in my opinion something to be almost always avoided, though some editors seem to think them useful or entertaining.

But they are way good enough to link to, but for any specific book, the EL criterion is rightly to just provide the ISBN: "...instead of linking to a commercial bookstore site, use the "ISBN" linking format, giving readers an opportunity to search a wide variety of free and non-free book sources." DGG 03:46, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Fantastic Fiction[edit]

For someone that has more time than me, I'd recommend adding a section about Fantastic Fiction - It's been around since 1999 and is larger than any of the other non-commercial databases mentioned, with over 200,000 books. Kmusser 13:58, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

looks commercial to me, but I'll see if there might be a place. DGG 04:03, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Well they have links to the commercial sites, but so do all the other database sites listed under "Online general-interest book databases," non-commercial probably isn't the right term as I assume they participate in the various affiliate programs, but it's certainly more similar to the Internet Speculative Fiction Database than it is to Amazon. Kmusser 17:17, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Featured Books[edit]

Does anyone else find the "featured books" section under the Internet Book Database to be inappropriate? It seems ridiculous to provide an almost completely irrelevant list that requires monthly updates. The "featured book/author" is irrelevant to pretty much any audience. SarcasticDwarf 20:29, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

I just removed it. Thanks--I had never noticed. I would have linked to their listing of the book, but it goes only to the individual book. DGG 21:42, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

What Happened to this page??[edit]

Somebody went about removing all the information on the Online Book Databases and turned them back into useless stubs!! I vote for reverting back to the original page with the infoboxes etc. Heavenhelllord 21:23, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree with removing the screen shots, but think removing the content went too far, and should be restored.Dhaluza 02:24, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
This has been going on a long time. The material was included here to avoid a deletion of the material altogether for lack of notability. I though such deletion inappropriate, but I continue to think they material would fit better in its own article, possibly for the group of these databases if someone can find a title. However, there might be a recurrence of the original problems.
As for the content, it could be reasonably argued that the amount of detail is excessive. I take note of the record of the editor who removed them, and I suggest that we leave it as is, or take care in adding back only what can really be defended.DGG 02:44, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
I restored some of the content for the Internet Book Database and will restore some of the others too without adding too much detail. I still feel the infoboxes were designed exactly for the purpose they served on this page. Heavenhelllord 14:26, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
The problem here is that so much content has been removed, that I would now nominate this page for deletion since it contains so little information. A record should have a minumum of at least 5-6 sentences, otherwise it is useless for the general public. SarcasticDwarf 22:16, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
The point of the page was not these dbs, but the information about the others. When there is a link to a more detailed article, that should be enough for the item, and the material otherwise judged as a group. Just what additional information do you have in mind other than that? Would the page be stronger with these three moved to , say, and article about Social Bibliographic Databases? The page is an important link in providing information about these library resources, and I'll do what people think might be necessary. A list is not enough, as the necessary annotations would be too long. DGG 22:59, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
All the online book databases had their own pages but thanks to some people they were all merged into this one page. Thanks to somebody else all their information was deleted and they were turned into stubs making this page useless like SarcasticDwarf complains. I went about adding information back to the ibookdb and ibdof articles. I will say again that the infoboxes were appropriate here because they were doing exactly what infoboxes were designed for. Heavenhelllord 14:28, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I propose to move them to a separate page for them all. Whether they should have their own individual pages is a separate issue. Please suggest a name. They are out of place here.DGG 03:30, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Literature Databases? The "Online general-interest book databases" should probably be on their own page and maybe also the "Social networking book databases." SarcasticDwarf 04:32, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
How about just "Online Book Databases"? Heavenhelllord 14:09, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Works for me. I am not that familiar with creating new pages. Do you want to handle it? SarcasticDwarf 04:00, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Check WP:N and WP:WEB first, because this is an endless loop. If you put up web pages that do not meet the criteria to the letter, the deletionistas will tag it for notability or speedy deletion. I think this is what happened. The individual articles were challenged for individual notability, so they were grouped together, then the content was deleted anyway. Dhaluza 04:20, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
That is all great and good, but we are not talking about splitting them into different articles, we are talking about splitting this page into two different ones. As it is, I am going to suggest this page for deletion if the information on each site it not allowed to be expanded as the content here is completely useless.
Suggesting it for deletion is a sure way of making it almost impossible to recreate the content again, considering the devious past history. Not a good response to the frustration this encounters. frustrated. .As for the page, I am about to divide it under the title of Online general interest book databases, leaving a {main link. Online book databases are things like Books In Print. --how about online popular book databases?.DGG 01:17, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
I think that the "aggregated stubs" that used to be on this page could have been useful to focus generation of stubs. But I agree this article has been butchered beyond having any value. Rather than deletion, why don't we just merge this with Academic databases and search engines. This page has the better (more universal title), but the latter page has a much cleaner/more usable format. I'll readily admit there are some differences in scope (the academic databases article covers only academic journal content right now). However, we're talking about splitting the book content off in the near future anyway (and academics do use books ;-)). This would both retain page histories & allow page recreation (addressing DGG's concerns). It'd also cleanup this article quickly, addressing concerns raised above. Thoughts? --Karnesky 01:07, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

OK: 2 separate questions

  1. To get one thing out of the way, the online general purpose book (music) etc databases are a different kettle of fish from the academic ones and a different problem. They have a separate kind of difficulty in verification, and the articles are different, in describing not as much the database but also the social structure built around it. I know of no really good snappy title for either a list or an article. For these, there might be a reason not to have a list, but just a category, with articles about the ones worth including. This does mean the acceptance of stub articles, which seem to have a few dedicated enemies. I like stub articles. The wikiProject:StubSurvival perhaps? I think we should try again at separate articles; I think the current line of thinking at AfD is favorable, and the total lack of consensus about Notability indicates a greater diversity of articles. One article on the concept, separate ones on the individual ones (or groups of them). By now there should be a number of good sources. If there's trouble, back they go as sections.
  • The academic ones are different, and I think I finally know what to do.
Checking in a convenient medium-quality university catalog (NYU) there are 600 academic databases listed, of which about 500 of them are bibliographic; as a guess,350 are limited in practice to journal articles and other non-books, about 100 cover both, and 50 cover books. If I add unique ones from Princeton & NYU med and NYU law and major internet only databases neither of them bother to list, I have about three times that. Distribution will be similar.
I have reliable descriptions for every one, and could write a stub or a short article for each eventually, though it will take some time. It would not make sense to do the work unless we think we can defend short articles. As a start, it would be perfectly possible to copy over the entire lists and merge them. They already come sorted in rough subject order as well as alphabetically.
Considerations-- the existing lists could be copied very quickly, and so could any significant earlier versions in the histories. For practicality, these will have to remain lists for a good while--assuming 2 or 3 of us did nothing else on WP, we could probably do 100 reliable stub articles a week. Thats half a year, but I have no plan to limit my WP activities to that, or for that matter my life to WP.
What libraries do in practice is have 2 basic large lists: by subject--with a good deal of duplication, and alphabetical, and we could do the same. There are other ways of doing it than the library ways, and other types of list are possible, but I know no other example besides the libraries for dealing with comparable numbers and diversities.
As for books, the books category could be simply one of the subjects--Princeton does it that way.
As for nonbibliographic, I have never seen the nonbibliographic ones split off in a separate list; at universities the library doesn't know about all of them, for there are many more that the departments have, (and many used in industry & commerce that no university can afford.) There are a different thing in conception, and therefore worth a separate article, but not necessarily a separate list
There are also major digital collections that also amount to bibliographic or nonbibliographic databases. I have never seen a comprehensive list--we would be the first. This would be a deferred priority, in the hope that someone else will do it.
There would be an overlapping list of general interest public library type databases--I cannot see any other way to make the distinction.
So we divorce the lists from the articles. The articles do not have be systematically divided up the same way--just general descriptions and histories of the sort of thing, with a few key examples, and a reference to the lists.
One think i cannot figure out: search engines. Only computer people call them search engines, and there are a range of definitions. All users simply call them databases. We'll write from our aspect, and they can write from theirs.
    • I am going to do pt one, the general interest split, as soon as people add some good references so the articles are better than 6 months ago.
    • The other part is for the end of March. I will do it in groups, not one by one. I'm going to concentrate on the lists and leave the articles for la little later.
    • Karnsky, you've more experience at this than I--does it make sense to you?DGG 09:29, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

ISBNdb once again[edit]

Time to split. If it doesn't make it alone, it should get reduced to a sentence. DGG 02:56, 15 March 2007 (UTC)