Bibliographic references

quotation title bibliography citation
bibl corresp id

Encoding of bibliographic references using bibl, including guidelines for identifying bibliographic references and when not to encode them.

The TEI provides the bibl element to encode bibliographic references to works outside the text. This element allows considerable latitude for the encoder and can be used for everything from general references in running prose (e.g. Robinson’s Sappho and Phaon is a longer poem...) to more highly structured entries in a bibliography. However, it may not be useful to employ bibl in every case where it is possible to do so. If a project wishes to study the text’s intertextual references (for instance, to reveal the author’s range of reading), then encoding even passing references with bibl is a good approach, since it groups the author and title information together and allows for easier extraction and retrieval. However, if an exhaustive study of intertextuality is not the goal, then it may be simply burdensome to encode these casual references explicitly. In such a case, the project would do better to limit its use of bibl to situations where the text foregrounds the reference and structures it more formally. Examples of this latter case include footnotes, lists of bibliographic references, parenthetical references associated with quotations and epigraphs, and references that explicitly point the reader to another text (e.g. See ...).

Another factor to consider is whether the contents of bibl are intended to be extracted (e.g. to create a list of documents referenced) or searched (e.g. to find references to a particular text or author). In either of these cases, partial references may not be worth encoding (for instance, references which only provide a page number and require the reader to remember the author and title from an earlier, fuller citation). Or, if they are worth encoding, it may be worth pointing explicitly to the earlier reference so that every instance of bibl can be reconstructed into a full citation. This pointing could be accomplished by using the corresp attribute on bibl, which would point to the id value of the bibl in which the complete information was captured.

If you do not aim to encode absolutely every reference as a bibl, the following criteria may be useful in gauging the level of formality of a bibliographic reference, for purposes of deciding whether or not to encode it with bibl:

  1. Completeness: the reference should contain at least author and title information
  2. Separability: the reference should be syntactically separable from the text, usually by being set off with parentheses (commas, dashes, brackets, etc.), and by being unnecessary for the syntactic completeness of the surrounding text.

Within bibl, encode the author’s name (if present) using author with name or persName nested inside. Encode the title (if present) with title.

In cases where a citation includes more than one page reference within a given source (e.g. Revelations 2, 3, 6, 17), encode the entire group within a single bibl.