For each bibliography, the percentages are shown first for categories of match to the tagged title and then for categories of match to the apparent title. As can be seen from Figure 1, matches with additions are much more unusual for apparent titles than for tagged titles; this is no doubt true in large part to the judgment exercised by the research assistant in recording apparent titles. Only rarely did the bibliography title match the tagged title and not the apparent title: there were two clear examples in bibliography 1, three in bibliography 2 in one of which the apparent subtitle did, however, match the bibliography title , three in bibliography 3 in one of which the apparent title combined with the apparent subtitle did match , one in bibliography 4, one in bibliography 5, one in bibliography 6 with a match to the apparent subtitle , one in bibliography 7 with a match to the apparent subtitle , none in bibliography 8, one in bibliography 9 with a match on the combination of apparent title and subtitle , four in bibliography 10 with one match to the apparent subtitle and one to the combined apparent title and subtitle , one in bibliography 11, none in bibliography 12, none in bibliography 13, three in bibliography 14, none in bibliography 15, and none in bibliography One might expect that one factor affecting the accuracy with which bibliography entries reflect the titles on the original pages might be the currency of the information in the bibliography: recent changes to titles would not be reflected if the entries had not been checked recently for continued accuracy.
Since currency would also be indicated by the proportion of valid links, one might expect some positive correlation between proportion of valid links and the proportion of accurate titles. This seems, however, not to be the case: the correlation between proportion of valid links and the proportion of apparent titles that were exact matches to the bibliography titles or matches with additional information was in fact slightly negative The convenience factor should probably not be ignored as a possible explanation for at least some part of the preference for the apparent title.
Popular Web browsers, including Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer, and Opera, all make it fairly easy to copy text from the main display. To copy a tagged title, however, is more involved. Typically, one must call up a view of the source code, find the tagged title within that source, and only then copy the title. To the beginner, it may even not be clear as in the case of some versions of Navigator how text can be copied from the source.
Addition of features to browsers to allow easier capture of obscured or hidden page elements, such as tagged titles and meta-tags, might have a substantial effect on future preferences. Given the continuation of present browser models, compilers of Web bibliographies are probably best advised to use apparent page titles rather than tagged titles, on the grounds both of their own convenience and of consistency with more common usage. This advice is, of course, based on a sample of only sixteen bibliographies.
Although there is currently no reason to believe that substantially different results would be found with a larger sample, especially given the universality of the preference shown by all sixteen, further investigation might possibly be of value. For example, the study might be extended to the more common type of listing in which only very brief citations are given for most pages, typically a title with a link to the corresponding URL.
Some possibility of bias existed in the present study, since the research assistant who extracted the apparent title and subtitle from a Web page had already seen the bibliographic entry.
A more rigorous methodology might have involved two assistants, one collecting the bibliographic items and links and the other subsequently examining the pages referenced. Having another research assistant revisit the pages at a later date might in any case be an interesting followup.
VTLS Chameleon iPortal List of Titles
In the area of followup, future work might address the relative stability of tagged and apparent titles. If tagged titles turned out to be substantially more constant over time, that might be an argument in favour of employing them in citations, in spite of their other disadvantages in comparison with apparent titles. Given the vagueness of the standard cataloguing rules with regard to the chief source of information for the title of a computer files, a study of actual cataloguing practice might be of interest.
Do cataloguers of Web pages in fact tend to take titles from the main display window? In the few cases where information in the main display window is less complete than in the tagged title, is the tagged title preferred, or is some other information source employed? The extensive assistance of research assistant Emmett Macfarlane in data gathering is also acknowledged. Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography. Houston: University of Houston Libraries Randall Whitaker total items items with links 70 links attempted 70 valid links followed 42 How to cite this paper:. Craven, T.
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