Sunday, February 8, 2015

23 thousand citations

My Endnote bibliography database has just passed 23,000 entries. The reference that pushed it over this level is:

Hillier, Bill
    1996    Space is the Machine: A Configurational Approach to Architecture. Cambridge University Press, New York.

I decided to do a quick, almost certainly inaccurate, list of the top ten authors in my Endnote database. There is not a way to do this easily in Endnote, so I just thought of authors I know I have cited a lot over the years, or whose work I follow, and recorded how many entries I have for them as author. I found these eleven with lots of entries:

Gary Feinman:        102 works in my database
William Sanders:      74
Kenneth Hirth:         73
Joyce Marcus            72
Tim Earle:                59
Richard Blanton:       58
Eduardo Matos:          58
Kent Flannery          54
Frances Berdan        53
George Cowgill       51
Charles Tilly             48
Robert Sampson       39

My Endnote database may be the single best marker of my scholarly identity. I am a bibliography nut, so any time I come across a work that I think might be relevant to my publishing or teaching I add it to the database. The worst thing a reviewer can do is to point out that I have missed some relevant sources. I love it when I find new references in a student paper. The first thing I usually look at in a new paper is the bibliography.

Here are a few informative ratios of numbers of works. The first three measure my scientific, materialist perspective (or perhaps more precisely, my dismissal of postmodern works):

Mario Bunge to Michel Foucault:  4.0  (16 works to 4)
Charles Tilly to Christopher Tilley:  5.3  (48 to 9)
Marvin Harris to Pierre Bourdieu:  2.4  (12 to 5)
Bruce Trigger  to Michael Dietler:  2.3  (34 to 15)

Or, within Mesoamerica:

William Sanders to Michael Coe:  2.6  (74 to 28)
Michel Graulich to David Carrasco:  1.8  (39 to 22)
Joyce Marcus to Rosemary Joyce:  1.9   (72 to 37)
Joyce Marcus to Arthur Joyce:  2.2  (72 to 33)

I don't want to attribute much value to these ratios. They depend on region (more for central Mexico than the Maya area), career length of the authors, personal networks, how closely an author's work relates to my own interests, and other factors. But still, the first batch clearly captures my theoretical and epistemological orientation, and the second captures this factor as well as some regional biases. (Speaking of Pierro Bourdieu, stay tuned for a post on the "anti-Bourdieu").


Anonymous said...


jasonbairdjackson said...

Always fun and interesting to read your posts. Its a drag though that you are using Endnote and not Zotero or something else not produced by Thompson Reuters.

Michael E. Smith said...

@Jason - Every couple of years I try Zotero and Mendeley again. They have their advantages (for sharing within a group, for linking pdfs), but they don't come close to Endnote in the ease of database searching (very quick and efficient for those 23,000 entries) or in the precision of formatting of output styles. I'm not thrilled to support Thompson Reuters, but then I'm not thrilled to support Microsoft either.

Mander said...

I love this concept! My database only has about 11,800 at the moment, and I'm sure many are duplicates, but I'm going to have to play with it and see which authors and subjects pop up the most. I'm curious to see what I have actually collected the most of.