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Author Topic: Cf.  (Read 4199 times)
alpha_bet
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Cf.
« on: May 03, 2012, 3:26:21 PM »

This may be a dumb question, but sometimes my addled brain needs a reality check:

When you cite a quote from author A, which you found quoted in the work of author B, and you do put A's page number and title in your reference as cited from B, do you still have to put A in your bibliography, or can you get by with just listing B?
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aandsdean
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2012, 3:36:24 PM »

This may be a dumb question, but sometimes my addled brain needs a reality check:

When you cite a quote from author A, which you found quoted in the work of author B, and you do put A's page number and title in your reference as cited from B, do you still have to put A in your bibliography, or can you get by with just listing B?

Just list B.
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alpha_bet
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2012, 3:47:40 PM »

Thanks.
I was hoping for that reply, more for the readers' and editors' sakes than for my own.
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aandsdean
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2012, 3:57:19 PM »

Thanks.
I was hoping for that reply, more for the readers' and editors' sakes than for my own.

The primary citation is always the book or whatever you actually handle.  I encountered a lot of this because I quoted a lot of things from secondary sources when I couldn't get access to the originals:

"...." (Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning, quoted in Smith 476).
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jerseyjay
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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2012, 9:46:37 AM »

I think that to some degree this depends on the citation method you are using, your field, and the journal's (or publisher's) conventions.

I think the key things are: (1.) Make it clear what the original source is; (2.) make it clear that you got it from another source. The reason for (1.) is that researchers might want to look at the original source; the reason for (2.), besides giving credit to the original researcher, is that it means that you are trusting the original researcher to have correctly dealt with the source material.

I would look askance at a piece that consistently took material from secondary sources and not the original source. Sometimes, however, it is okay, and sometimes in is necessary for linguistic or geographic reasons.

Since we are on the topic, however, I wanted to ask a similar question, which is probably history specific. In the process of my research, I have consulted the papers or scholars who had worked on subjects overlapping my own.  At times, I have found interesting and important material for my own research. How does one deal with this?

If it is a clipping or something that I cannot easily get, I do the following:
East Hackensack Observer, 5 March 1823, clipping in Scholar Archives, University of Here, box 34, folder 5

However, what to do if it is a copy from another archive, with the institutional data stamped on the copy. Does one do the following:
John Smith to Jane Doe, 3 January 1865, in Big Collection, National Library of Romania, box 65, folder 29, copy in Scholar Archives, University of Here, box 34, folder 7

This seems cumbersome, but I do not see an alternative.
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seniorscholar
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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2012, 10:55:17 AM »

In response to the question in jerseyjay's excellent post, I would also use the long cumbersome citation,  sometimes including also "kindly sent to me by Other Scholar Who Works on This Subject" when that's my source of the photocopy of the copy in Scholar Archives University of Here. If the press wants to cut part of that, I won't scold them.

It pays to be very careful of citations from secondary sources, however. About a year ago I was ms. reader for a good university press of a middling manuscript about an author about whom little is known. Finding a citation which seemed, on the face of it, incorrect (a review of a book published in a 19th century newspaper a year before the book itself was published -- if the publication date of the book was correct) and quoting a passage in this review from an earlier but still recent book on a related topic, I fired up the university's databases and Google Books and discovered that:
(1) the review (located in a full text newspaper database) was published one year later than the date in the citation and (2) the snippet view in Google Books revealed that the secondary source from which the manuscript's author had quoted was also wrong: it had the incorrect date of publication for the review (3) the original publication date of the book itself (found in full text on Google Books in a first edition scanned from the Bodlian library and bearing the Bodleian's dated acquisition stamp on the title page) was, as I had thought, a year later than the date reported in the manuscript.

The discovery of the error in a secondary source on which the manuscript's author had depended for a good deal of other information led me to write a reader's report that did not recommend publication.

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baleful_regards
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« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2012, 11:22:22 AM »

Just to chime in here - I use a great deal of translated material (from the original Russian). As I don't yet read Russian, I have to rely on translations.

This can be tricky as there are disputes as to word "meaning", which influences interpretation. I am very careful to cite which translations I am using, as well as continually bear in mind that certain scholars have a particular translation "style" which influences their interpretation down the line.

Therefore it is never simply Vygotsky (1978)...but carefully documented in references the translated version to which I am referring.  While it may be the same book , i.e. Thought and Language, it is rarely the same translated version.

This may mean that I have the same volume referenced with different dates, depending on translation.

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infopri
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« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2012, 11:13:39 AM »

It pays to be very careful of citations from secondary sources, however. About a year ago I was ms. reader for a good university press of a middling manuscript about an author about whom little is known. Finding a citation which seemed, on the face of it, incorrect (a review of a book published in a 19th century newspaper a year before the book itself was published -- if the publication date of the book was correct) and quoting a passage in this review from an earlier but still recent book on a related topic, I fired up the university's databases and Google Books and discovered that:
(1) the review (located in a full text newspaper database) was published one year later than the date in the citation and (2) the snippet view in Google Books revealed that the secondary source from which the manuscript's author had quoted was also wrong: it had the incorrect date of publication for the review (3) the original publication date of the book itself (found in full text on Google Books in a first edition scanned from the Bodlian library and bearing the Bodleian's dated acquisition stamp on the title page) was, as I had thought, a year later than the date reported in the manuscript.

The discovery of the error in a secondary source on which the manuscript's author had depended for a good deal of other information led me to write a reader's report that did not recommend publication.

I encountered this kind of thing a surprising number of times when I was doing the (lengthy) lit review for my dissertation.  I learned rather quickly never to rely on someone else's quotation from or citation of another source; I always went to the original and looked at it myself.  I was aghast at how many times the intermediate source was wrong, either by misquoting, quoting out of context (and thus changing the meaning, sometimes to the opposite intended by the original author), and, especially, getting details of the citation wrong.  And there were at least two "quotations" that, I'm convinced, did not exist.  I got fairly good at sussing out the proper location of material when the citation was wrong (wrong page numbers, wrong year, wrong volume, whatever), but even with help I was unable ever to locate these two "quotations."  I finally concluded that the intermediate authors made them up, thinking no one would ever notice.

Of course, I had the advantage of working with materials written in English, mostly within the past 100 years, and I had a very good research library at my disposal.  Even so, this due diligence probably added significantly to the length of time it took to do my dissertation, and several people teased me about being so anal about finding the original sources--until they saw how many errors I came up with in the intermediate sources.  Now they don't think I'm so crazy.
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baleful_regards
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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2012, 2:25:25 PM »

It pays to be very careful of citations from secondary sources, however. About a year ago I was ms. reader for a good university press of a middling manuscript about an author about whom little is known. Finding a citation which seemed, on the face of it, incorrect (a review of a book published in a 19th century newspaper a year before the book itself was published -- if the publication date of the book was correct) and quoting a passage in this review from an earlier but still recent book on a related topic, I fired up the university's databases and Google Books and discovered that:
(1) the review (located in a full text newspaper database) was published one year later than the date in the citation and (2) the snippet view in Google Books revealed that the secondary source from which the manuscript's author had quoted was also wrong: it had the incorrect date of publication for the review (3) the original publication date of the book itself (found in full text on Google Books in a first edition scanned from the Bodlian library and bearing the Bodleian's dated acquisition stamp on the title page) was, as I had thought, a year later than the date reported in the manuscript.

The discovery of the error in a secondary source on which the manuscript's author had depended for a good deal of other information led me to write a reader's report that did not recommend publication.

I encountered this kind of thing a surprising number of times when I was doing the (lengthy) lit review for my dissertation.  I learned rather quickly never to rely on someone else's quotation from or citation of another source; I always went to the original and looked at it myself.  I was aghast at how many times the intermediate source was wrong, either by misquoting, quoting out of context (and thus changing the meaning, sometimes to the opposite intended by the original author), and, especially, getting details of the citation wrong.  And there were at least two "quotations" that, I'm convinced, did not exist.  I got fairly good at sussing out the proper location of material when the citation was wrong (wrong page numbers, wrong year, wrong volume, whatever), but even with help I was unable ever to locate these two "quotations."  I finally concluded that the intermediate authors made them up, thinking no one would ever notice.

Of course, I had the advantage of working with materials written in English, mostly within the past 100 years, and I had a very good research library at my disposal.  Even so, this due diligence probably added significantly to the length of time it took to do my dissertation, and several people teased me about being so anal about finding the original sources--until they saw how many errors I came up with in the intermediate sources.  Now they don't think I'm so crazy.

+100

I can't tell you the number of things I found in my lit review ( when backtracking through sources) that were either seriously misused/misquoted or (I suspect) made up and passed along via the chain of convenience sourcing.

My adviser specifically praised me for my "scholarly" approach to building my dissertation. 

Now, like you infopri, I can't rely on secondary information. It most likely added a good year to my process, but I feel confident of knowing my source material.
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