Thursday, June 03, 2021

Bibliographies, part 1

I always start with the bibliography when I edit. After all, the footnotes or inline references all refer to them. If you haven't edited the bibliography, you'll be doing way too much work later, fixing things.

Today I won't have time to get into the nitty-gritty of it, but a few tips if, like me, you are not behind a university proxy:

  • Worldcat is your friend for books: I always have it open in a tab.
  • Google is my go-to search engine. It is always open in a tab.
  • Keep an abbreviations list—or update and check the one supplied. Use SBLHS2, IATG3, CDLI's Assyriology list, and my list as references. The book you are working on might mention where else they draw from, such as CAD or OCD.
  • Watch the capitalization of words! All forms of "to be," i.e., is, am, was, etc., are capitalized. And check with your press about prepositions: most presses lower case all prepostions (unless after a colon, semicolon, or starting a title), but some, like PSU Press/Eisenbrauns, capitalize prepositions five letters or longer. Other common mistakes: Held, Occasion, His/Her all are capitalized.
A further tip, which I might have already mentioned: I keep Worldcat open in a separate browser from my Google search, that way I can just do a Cmd-tab to switch browsers. It only saves a couple of seconds, but when you have a 150 page bibliography, it adds up. Yes, my longest bibliography was 156 pages long! I was paid by the hour, or I would only have made about $2.00/hour otherwise. The second-longest was 136 pages, and that one was by the page, so those extra seconds saved were literally money in the bank.

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