how to reference list discussions

John Peterson jpeterson at
Thu Aug 1 08:49:59 UTC 1996

I agree 100% with Madhav's caution when it comes to quoting from INDOLOGY or
any other mailing list. Of course, if the contributor of the message is
asked for permission there's no argument against it, but I'd hate to think
what could happen if people started quoting my spontaneous contributions to
a discussion somewhere as "my" view of the situation. 

That could have a devastating effect on discussion groups in general (sort
of like quoting a personal conversation at a conference would kill any
discussion between those taking part). These are very often people's first
reactions to questions and by no means what they "really" think after
considering the discussion in more detail, although their later views
generally don't make it to the list. After all, this is only a discussion
group and not a publication.


At 20:18 31.07.1996 BST, you wrote:
>	Communications on Indology or a similar network are scholarly, 
>but casual, and not to be treated as anyone's "considered final opinions" 
>on a given topic.  Therefore, there is a great danger of citations from 
>e-mail messages leading to misrepresentation.  Minimally, I would suggest 
>that the author of a message needs to be explicitly asked for his/her 
>permission for a specific quote, and be given an opporunity to review 
>that quote.  
>	Madhav Deshpande
John Peterson

Institute for Oriental Studies
Department of South Asian Studies (Indologie)
Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Olshausenstraße 40
D-24118 Kiel

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