[INDOLOGY] Jivanandavidyasagar's commentaries

Dominik Wujastyk wujastyk at gmail.com
Tue Jun 16 16:42:58 UTC 2020

Dear Krishnaprasad,

You raise an important methodological point about accuracy.  In the
pre-digital age, scholars worked hard to make their published books as
accurate as possible.  Sometimes a book would contain a list of errata, or
a second edition would fix some of the flaws of a first edition.  A harsh
book review was a terrible thing to receive, especially if justified.
Occasionally, people lost their jobs because of such bad reviews from
colleagues.  It could be serious and the stakes were high.  Not to mention,
of course, the core importance of having accurate information on which to
base further scholarship.

But things are different today.  In the last few decades there has been an
explosion of digital texts available online.  In many cases, scholars
prepare these e-texts for their private use and then release them publicly
as a gesture of generosity to colleagues.  All of us who do this feel that
we could perhaps have done more to make the texts more accurate, and we
fear public criticism.

I think that we should think differently about open-sourced digital texts.
Of course, nobody likes to be responsible for errors.  But structurally,
the situation is very different  from the old model of physical
publishing.  An open-sourced e-text can easily be updated or corrected.
All that we need is an appropriate technical infrastructure for retaining
bibliographical control over this process, so that all scholars know which
version of the e-text they are using and can refer to it unambiguously and
share their corrections in a rational manner.

In short, the quality of an *open-sourced* e-text is a matter of shared
responsibility across the whole community of scholars.  If someone makes an
e-text freely available to the scholarly community, we should all feel only
gratitude for whatever help it gives us.  Beyond that, if we see errors, it
is our own communal responsibility to correct them.  By sharing an e-text
freely, the responsibility for the correctness of that text is also
implicitly shared with every scholar who downloads and uses the text.  In
this scheme, I see no place for criticism of the original provider.  That
is an obsolete mechanism dating from the days of print publication.


Professor Dominik Wujastyk

Singhmar Chair in Classical Indian Society and Polity

Department of History and Classics <http://historyandclassics.ualberta.ca/>
University of Alberta, Canada

South Asia at the U of A:


On Sun, 14 Jun 2020 at 22:32, Krishnaprasad G via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> Note: The documents on this page serve to provide a quick searchable
> repository for rare words in my humble opinion. I do not claim them to be
> free of errors. Unfortunately, I currently do not have the time and
> monetary bandwidth to ensure the same. If you are  interested in helping
> out please contact me.
> On Mon, Jun 15, 2020, 12:31 AM Krishnaprasad G <
> krishnaprasadah.g at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Dear all
>> Commentary on Uttararamacharita and Vasavadatta by Jivanandavidyasagar is
>> uploaded here.
>> https://adishila.com/unicodetxt-htm/
>> Thanks
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