Sunday, September 30, 2018

#WikiCite: Edith Abbott; THE REAL JAIL PROBLEM

According to #Wikipedia, Edith Abbott was a pioneer in the profession of social work with an educational background in economics.She published, books and scholarly articles, and "The Real Jail Problem" was singled out in the article for special mention.

There is a link in the article, and I am happy to report that thanks to the Internet Archive, it and some 500.000 more scholarly articles may be found there. They are part of the early JSTOR papers and they are now freely available. It is however not the publication by Mrs Abbott, it is by a Robert H. Gault.

Having scientific papers available is wonderful. It is important and it is unlikely they will get lost. However, there is a difference between being lost and being findable. Mr Gault is notable, there was no mention of him in Wikidata, one of his publications was.. Mr Gault is findable when you look him up in VIAF.

However, the article you want to read, a pamphlet according to Mr Gault is where? A book with the same subject can be found at Open Library. The subject of the book is as potent as it was in the day. The arguments are not dissimilar.

Arguably, when you want to cite your sources, they first have to be knowable, then findable and finally readable. Wikidata is making more and more of a difference. When we collaborate with the Internet Archive, we can make those JSTOR papers findable as well. Slowly but surely all these sources becomes findable. Its authors become notable and we will free us from the curse of only reading the latest research.
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