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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: April ::
Re: Arden Online
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0898  Sunday, 22 April 2001

From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Tuesday, 17 Apr 2001 18:10:07 +0100
Subject: 12.0860 Re: Arden Online
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0860 Re: Arden Online

Pervez Rivzi asks,

> Do you, or anyone else, know what's going on
> with the World Shakespeare Bibliography Online,
> which Thomson also used to sell?

I think I know some of the story. World Shakespeare Bibliography (i.e.,
James Harner's team at Texas A&M University) were not happy with the
search engine provided by Arden Shakespeare. They were right to be
unhappy. I commissioned a review of the product for Early Modern
Literary Studies and the reviewer reported that the interface was so bad
he couldn't work out how to find all the articles by, say, "Peter
Harrison". He could get all the "Peter"s and all the "Harrison"s, but
not the records which had both words in the 'author' field.
Surprisingly, the answer was to put in a search like this:

    Author: Peter and Harrison

That is, you had to do a logical 'and' within a single field. My
understanding is that the product has been withdrawn from sale pending
improvement of the interface. WSB has had such trouble before: the
DynaText interface to the CD-ROM version of the database was not thought
to do the data justice.

As before, if the foregoing is wrong I'd appreciate correction.

Gabriel Egan

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