One Reference/Post Proposal

Samar Abbas abbas at IOPB.RES.IN
Wed Jul 7 15:55:06 UTC 1999

 One method of increasing the academic quality of the list is to impose a
requirement that each posting must contain a CITATION from a full REFERENCE.
This policy would serve several purposes :

+ It would ensure the poster has read at least one book on Indology.
+ This would help the scholars, who would be able to cite these references
  in their work, or find new bibliographical sources by increasing the
  no. of references that appear on the list.
+ The academic quality of at least the cited part of each posting is
  ensured, so when a message is opened a scholar can be sure that, whoever
  the poster, reading it will not be a waste of time.
+ It would not deprive specialists of new ideas from `novices'.
+ It would put an end to the long debate on the place of `laymen'; as long
  as they cite a book (with page no.), they prove themselves somewhat
  literate in indology.
+ Personal opinions that arise on the breakfast table will not get posted.

On The ROOT CAUSE for Complaints Voiced in Some Quarters -

 Currently, only one in nearly ten posts has a reference, and only one in
twenty has a citation from a reference (despite the current 2k and 10
posts/month rules). Not much help for scholars who wish to see citations
rather than shouting matches. The is perhaps the root cause for the
`wasted time' syndrome professionals feel when using this list. In order
to address these justified grieveances, it is necessary to tackle the
problem at the very root rather than address superficial aspects of it.
The proposed regulation requiring a full and complete bibliographic
citation should adequately address this root cause.

On Number and Frequency of Posts -

 The proposed regulation should, on its own, drasticaly decrease the
volume of postings. Whether this reference regulation should hence operate
in addition to the 2k-size and 10 posts/month rules, or replace them, is a
matter which needs to be addressed. It is possible some posters may still
overload the list by citing one reference and writing a lot of other
gibberish in one post; it hence follows that the BEST POLICY is to ENFORCE

 - 2k RULE : Each post should be one screenful long
 - 10 POSTS/MONTH RULE : 10 posts per member per month.
 - REFERENCE RULE : One full quotation from a full reference.

On Nature of Reference

 Whether the references cited sould be solely bibliographic, or include
 internet URLs is an open question. Since URLs are now cited in academic
 papers, it follows that these should be allowed. Whilst this may give an
 advantage to owners of homepages who may simply cite their own site, it
 still ensures that the poster knows something and had the knowledge to
 set up a site.

I hereby submit this proposal to Prof. Dominik Wujastyk and the list
members for their kind perusal and comments as to its usefulness, and as
to whether it sould be adopted or not.


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