[sword-devel] Quoting Sword modules in essays

Daniel Owens dhowens at pmbx.net
Sat Mar 13 12:47:26 MST 2010

I agree this is an important issue. There is more content that needs to 
be included in the conf file, such as author, editor, original 
publisher, publication date, etc. In fact, one solution might be to add 
a BibTeX field to conf files. That would be a standard format that 
pretty much all bibliographic programs should be able to handle, and the 
standard is open source. Perhaps more to the point than adding numerous 
conf fields, just like the LCSH field, a BibTeX field would be a great 
way to make sure that adequate bibliographic information was in every 
new module. Old modules would need to have conf files updated and the 
wiki page would need to explain how to create BibTeX entries. 
Thankfully, though, many libraries would have the necessary information 
and programs like Zotero have BibTeX export, so it would be very easy to 
create a BibTeX entry, assuming that you have accurate information about 
the edition upon which a module is based. It would be cool if front-ends 
offered the ability to create a citation and bibliographic entry for 
users to work from, but perhaps just exposing the raw BibTeX entry would 
be sufficient.

As to citing something when there aren't page numbers, it depends on the 
citation style you are using (Chicago, SBL, Turabian, APA, MLA, 
etc.--probably all American styles, but, hey, I'm American...). I am 
working on the style guide for my school right now, and it provides for 
cases like this. You basically choose the style of reference based on 
what the resource has. If it is the Summa (which I cited in my paper for 
my PhD application, and the source was the CrossWire module), there are 
traditional divisions to be followed. If it is a commentary, I think the 
best solution (given that there are no page numbers available in any 
commentaries that I am aware of) is to give the verse or verse range 
where you can find the source for the citation. So, a rough 
pseudo-Turabian bibliographic example might be:

     Keil, Karl Friedrich, and Franz Delitzsch. /Commentary on the Old 
Testament/. Translated by James Martin. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973; 
electronic ed. CrossWire Bible Society, 2009.

The citation might be:

     Karl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsch, /Commentary on the Old 
Testament/, trans. James Martin (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973; 
electronic ed. CrossWire Bible Society, 2009), Isaiah 1:1.

The problem is that Turabian 7th ed. only envisions CD-ROM resources, 
but CrossWire resources are downloaded. Thus the examples above follow 
how Logos formats this type of thing.

To reiterate, I think your email touches on an important issue. I would 
be willing to contribute on this since I have been working on this stuff 
already. There just needs to be consensus from developers on whether 
adding a BibTeX entry to the conf file is a feasible solution.


On 3/13/2010 12:18 PM, Peter von Kaehne wrote:
> This is probably a silly question for the developer's list, but given 
> that here is likely the largest audience of people who have been in 
> the same situaation:
> I understand some of you have attended seminary and ussed the software 
> in the process of this to write essays etc. I am in the same position 
> right now. The lecturers are not too strict on proper bibliography etc 
> (at least right now) , but I would prefer to be accurate and proper. 
> So, how do you quote e.g. a commentary in an essay - if you have no 
> page numbers etc? Sometimes the sections are there, so this is not a 
> problem, but on several occasions I found nothing. What have others 
> done in such situations?
> Another related matter: some commentaries do have very decent 
> config/about sections which will suffice to give enough bibliographic 
> detail (and mention CrossWire) for most essays, but some also do not.
> We should probably, if we want our software not just be useful to the 
> casual user, ensure that our about sections are as explicit and 
> detailed as possible. I think we should consider "unquotable" modules 
> as buggy.
> Peter
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