Comments on: Who’s killing the footnote? http://www.historiann.com/2011/10/12/whos-killing-the-footnote/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sun, 21 Sep 2014 11:42:55 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: GlassPen http://www.historiann.com/2011/10/12/whos-killing-the-footnote/comment-page-1/#comment-895010 Thu, 27 Oct 2011 22:20:28 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16856#comment-895010 Coming late to this one, too…ran across this item today on HuffPo that might be of interest to anyone curious about errors they see in many e-reader editions.

A lot of what you see now is an artifact of using many different typesetting programs–most of them incompatible with each other–over a period of the past 35 years. The programs were optimized for print presentation; other uses hadn’t been imagined yet. And books are comparatively hard: most are one-offs, meaning the efficiencies available for content with same look and functionality (such as journal articles) haven’t been available.

This is changing. Standards are emerging. Publishers are developing workflows that assume online publishing will be an eventuality. E-reader device programming will become more sophisticated as better data becomes available. It has taken about 15 years for development of these capabilities in journals; five years–or less–is reasonable for books.

Stay tuned. There’s some really cool stuff right around the corner.

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By: altoii http://www.historiann.com/2011/10/12/whos-killing-the-footnote/comment-page-1/#comment-893390 Mon, 24 Oct 2011 13:11:51 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16856#comment-893390 Legal scholars are much better off. Law reviews still use footnotes, not endnotes, and so do case publishers. Westlaw and Lexis long ago solved the problem of online pagination by inserting into the online text the page numbers from print official and unofficial case reporters. And the footnotes in online texts are hyperlinked. We all rue the expense of Westlaw and Lexis, but damn, they have good software engineers.

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By: Tenured Radical http://www.historiann.com/2011/10/12/whos-killing-the-footnote/comment-page-1/#comment-887758 Fri, 14 Oct 2011 11:01:50 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16856#comment-887758 I love my Kindle too, but one issue — I think — is that books that are published directly to e-book editions can standardize page #’s whereas older codex versions that are converted to e-book can’t (sorry: somebody may have already said this. I’m grading and checking in to Historiann for a little intelligent conversation, but reading fast.)

I rarely buy books I am using for work on Kindle — only do it when I need it, like, NOW — or am testing it out for future classroom use and am too lazy to go to the library (which relies almost entirely on student labor apparantly untrained in the use of the alphabet, so it is unlikely I would find it anyway.) But if I am citing & need a page # what I do is this: go to Amazon, click on “Look inside this book” and then search the phrase.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2011/10/12/whos-killing-the-footnote/comment-page-1/#comment-887575 Fri, 14 Oct 2011 01:43:11 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16856#comment-887575 Great idea, Canuck. Why, indeed?

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By: Canuck Down South http://www.historiann.com/2011/10/12/whos-killing-the-footnote/comment-page-1/#comment-887374 Thu, 13 Oct 2011 19:35:14 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16856#comment-887374 I haven’t used any ereader technology (though I know fellow grad students who swear by them for pdfs). By why don’t they use the same technolgy that MS word does for footnotes, in which you just put your mouse over the little “1″ and the note pops up? I’ve found it enormously useful when, for example, proofreading a friend’s dissertation chapter that I don’t have to scroll down to double-check the footnote (though it would be nicer if MS Word’s pop-up footnote bubbles showed the italicization).

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By: Sarabeth http://www.historiann.com/2011/10/12/whos-killing-the-footnote/comment-page-1/#comment-887339 Thu, 13 Oct 2011 17:59:44 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16856#comment-887339 To be clear – I’m not disputing the real costs that footnotes impose on the publishing process. I’ve only published an edited volume so far, but my co-editor and I chose to publish that in a series that does endnotes rather than footnotes. Of the places that seemed suitable for this book, that was the one place that would publish in paperback immediately, and we decided that price accessibility was more important than footnotes. However, the suggestion that the desire to have academic work published in the form most useful to its target audience is just a frivolous whim rankled. A lot. I’m currently circulating a proposal for my first single-author book. I’ve worked on this project for six years already, and will probably spend several more years of consistent work on it. This is par for the course for historians and, I assume, authors in many other fields. My stake in having it published in the most useful possible format is not a fetish.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2011/10/12/whos-killing-the-footnote/comment-page-1/#comment-887297 Thu, 13 Oct 2011 15:16:33 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16856#comment-887297 Dr. Crazy and Feminist Avatar–I completely get what you’re both saying about wanting a spatial orientation in the text. I think that’s fundamental to my suspicion that they’d ever be useful to me.

Every book I’ve consulted recently–at least in my memory, which admittedly is pretty sketchy–has endnotes with running headers. So, I find them pretty easy to use; I agree that putting the page range of notes at the top of the page makes them a LOT easier to use.

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By: Rachel http://www.historiann.com/2011/10/12/whos-killing-the-footnote/comment-page-1/#comment-887262 Thu, 13 Oct 2011 13:58:41 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16856#comment-887262 I’m with Susan: I much prefer footnotes, but I can live with endnotes *so long as they have a header that tracks to the page number.* Setting aside poor memory of what chapter I’m reading, it’s also annoying to have to find the start of the endnotes for chapter 4 and then look got note 34. I can much more easily easily find chapter 4, n. 34 when I know it’s on page 202 and the endnotes section says, on p. 314, “notes to pp. 200-203.” Simple. If all UPs that insist on endnotes would use headers in their endnotes, I’d be much more sold on endnotes.

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By: Feminist Avatar http://www.historiann.com/2011/10/12/whos-killing-the-footnote/comment-page-1/#comment-887164 Thu, 13 Oct 2011 08:24:47 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16856#comment-887164 @Dr Crazy, I think that ‘spatial’ issues are also true for historical sources, that we can increasingly access scanned and online. There is quite a lot of historical work around the signficance of the edition, the price and format (quarto, folio, chapbook) to the level of authority that a text possesses and so its influence on the reader and society more broadly. All these things are lost with an e-text, where the authority in many ways becomes equal for all texts in problematic ways (which I guess we can also see in the problems with our students’ inability to distinguish between wikipedia and an e-monograph in terms of authority).

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By: Dr. Crazy http://www.historiann.com/2011/10/12/whos-killing-the-footnote/comment-page-1/#comment-887059 Thu, 13 Oct 2011 03:03:17 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16856#comment-887059 er, spatial. And also: I do still love my Kindle. It’s amazing not only for pleasure-reading, but also to have a library of stuff I work on handy even thought it’s not what I would cite from. (So, for example, the searchability is great in addition to my codex version, and also it’s great to be able to double-check something if I don’t have the physical book handy.) I’m just saying that for now it’s a supplement for me – not the main event.

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