The Origin and Development of Scholarly Historical Periodicals

By Margaret F. Stieg | Go to book overview

EIGHT BIBLIOGRAPHICAL CONTROL AND USE OF SCHOLARLY HISTORICAL PERIODICALS

The use and bibliographical control of scholarly historical periodicals are closely interrelated. The ways in which historians use this literature influence the form and range of the bibliographical aids that are developed. The diversified array of bibliographies, guides, indexing, and abstracting services can in turn affect the frequency and ease with which the literature is used.

Few studies have been made of the ways in which historians use their periodical literature in contrast to the substantial attention given to this subject in the natural sciences and in medicine. To supplement what little data are available, a questionnaire was sent to 767 historians listed in the Directory of American Scholars. 1 The response rate was close to 50 percent. The primary purpose of the survey was to determine how the professional used scholarly periodicals and the bibliographical apparatus that provides access to their content. It also sought information on attitudes toward them and included questions on other aspects of their information-seeking habits. An analysis of the completed questionnaires and a comparison of the results with those of similar surveys in other disciplines has been published as The Information Needs of Historians. 2


The Bibliographical Control of Scholarly Historical Periodicals

Bibliographical control is probably best defined as the development and maintenance of a system for the adequate recording of all forms of published and unpublished material that add to human knowledge. 3 In other words, this control involves the ability to retrieve information through the preparation and use of lists of the various units in which it is recorded. When they list books, they are usually

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