Citation Indexes Uses for Writers

Academic and large Public Libraries have long relied on Citation indexes to assist scholars. While many professors and college students learn “Who is Who” in their fields from their teachers, the experts in almost every field change over each decade.  Citation indexes in many scholarly fields attempt to weigh in on Who’s Who by showing who cites who in their scholarly papers.  While not a foolproof method of identifying top scholars in a particular field, citation indexes can be of use to graduate students in particular when it comes to writing theses or dissertations. They can also be useful to writers who want to find or any kind of experts in any particular subject. Origins of Citation Indexes Wikipedia says that early citation indexes existed for rabbinic and other religious literature the 12th century, followed by legal citation indexes in the 18th century.  As for Asian countries and other ancient cultures in the Middle East or Africa there may also have been some kinds of early citation indexes in their languages that Westerners are not familiar with.  In the 20th century, the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) launched in the 1960s three of the most well-used indexes, namely the Science Citation Index (SCI) and the Social Sciences (SSCI) and the Arts and Humanities Citation Indexes. (AHCI). Citation indexes for many other fields within these broad categories of scholarly research and discussion soon followed.  Impact of Computers on Citation Indexing Early hardbound citation indexes were sometimes bulky and difficult to use. They were heavy, requiring leafing  through them to find names and subjects of interest, and they were great dust catchers. Wikipedia asserts that the first automated citation index was done by CiteSeer in 1997 using a web crawler search of pubic web sites that focused primarily on computer and information studies. At the turn of the century publishers of citation indexes and other library reference books turned to creating online databases for citation indexing. Well-known scientific publishing company, Elsevior went so far as to combine subject searching with citation searching in the sciences and social sciences.   Improving Modern Citation Databases However, as Google is currently learning, quantity and quality are difficult to balance when dealing with millions, billions, or even trillions of documents.  The precision (quality) versus recall (quantity) debates by librarians in the last century are rife in the citation index fields these days. Altrametrics Almetrics is...

Drag Queen Story Hour at the Library

This week I was amazed to see a one-page article in my alumni magazine, InterCom, from University of South Carolina College of Information and Communication. The author was a sophomore named Shelby Johnson. Her article’s title was “Drag Queen Story Hour”. At the top of that article are two color photos: one showing a drag queen reading to children and the other, a toddler reaching out to touch the jewelry on a drag queen’s hand. At first I thought the library in the article was in the Richland County Library System in County where I did my internship.  But a closer reading showed that it was nearer to where my home was during the year I commuted to Columbia S.C. to get a graduate-level library degree. Here’s what you should know if you don’t live in that state. In the upper left corner of South Carolina are two counties with cities that were diametric opposites of each other while I lived there. In the top of the far left-hand corner is Greenville County, the most populous and most liberal county in the state.  To the right of Greenville County is Spartanburg County, the most conservative country in the state.  To give you an idea of what I mean by ‘conservative’ is that Spartanburg was true to its name. This city had more churches than bars—but outside the city was a ring of porn movie theaters and stores.  Perhaps the most telling thing about Spartanburg was that it banned sales of rock and roll music in its stores back then. Even its own hometown boys, the Marshall Tucker Band, were not allowed to play there. In this century, Marshall Tucker, still touring decades later, now has fans who make the trek to see the city where their favorite band was born.  Marshall Tucker Band From banning rock n roll, to controversy over drag queens, you might think it was at a Spartanburg County library that people protested a Drag Queen Story Hour, but you’d be wrong.  The event, sponsored by a group named “Mom’s Liberal Happy Hour” was held at the Five Forks Library in a tiny town with 22,072 people in 2017, named Simpsonville—located in Greenville County.  The Sheriff’s office had deputies at the ready as a Simpsonville resident organized an online petition to cancel the event, saying “As a father, I do not want my children or community exposed to this alternative lifestyle...

Another Novel Way to Promote Your Book(s)

Nancy Humphreys’ comment: In my previous post on Authormaps I talked about Julia Shopnick’s’ dynamite seven new ways to promote your book(s) online. Julia now has a new article coming out which she asked me to post on Authormaps. Here is the text for Julia’s newest article for Vol. 37 No. 2 of the IBPA Independent: Julia Schopick March/April 2019 “Facebook Groups; Why You Should Be Using This Promotional Resource” In my May/June 2018 column, “Using Topics in the News to Get Your Important Messages Out” (, I described how John McCain’s July 2017 glioblastoma diagnosis provided me with an opportunity to educate brain tumor patients and their families about innovative treatments their doctors might not know about—treatments that have helped some brain tumor patients live years beyond their doctors’ predictions. I related how I posted an article on my website about four such treatments (“My Husband Outlived His Prognosis by 12 Years. How His Experience Could Help John McCain and Others”) ( and how I appeared on talk shows where I told audiences about these treatments. I then publicized both my article and my appearances in brain tumor Facebook groups. Oh, and I don’t want to forget to mention: Being active in Facebook groups is FUN! You may—like me—discover you’ve made friends and forged professional and personal relationships that greatly enhance your work and your life. I promised to follow that column up with a future column, sharing details about how to participate in Facebook groups so that other authors can successfully get your important messages out to the people you want to reach.  There are three major takeaways when using Facebook groups to promote yourself and your work:  Participating in relevant groups without overt self- promotion, which is often prohibited or frowned upon Promoting a book using Facebook—in this case, my recently published book, The Power of Honest Medicine  Using Facebook groups to obtain vital information How to Participate and Promote in Facebook Groups If you are new to a particular interest group on Facebook, you need to approach it carefully. In my case, since I was relatively new to brain tumor groups, my approach was different than if I had been an active participant for years. It was crucial that I not appear overly aggressive or self-promotional. My first recommendation is to take an educational—rather than self-promotional—approach. In the brain tumor groups, I commented more than I posted, often including...

Novel Ways to Promote Your Book(s)

Are you looking for more ways to promote your book(s)? I highly recommend a series of articles recently written by Julia Schopick especially for book authors. Julia is a back-of-the-book indexing indexing client of mine who wrote a book, Honest Medicine: Effective, Time-Tested, Inexpensive Treatments for Life-Threatening Diseases in 2010. Her book was inspired by earlier twentieth century medical treatments that Julia learned about for over a decade while taking care of her husband’s cancerous brain tumor. Julia is a high-powered person who has been a public relations consultant for over 25 years. After her book came out, Honest Medicine peaked at #49 on Amazon’s site after just one late night talk show interview. When Julia finished Honest Medicine she created a website called Web Based PR offering radio and online promotional coaching on media and the Internet for book authors. Her website offers free tips of using talk radio, blogs and media websites, and Facebook for promoting your book(s). Recently, Julia telephoned to tell me about she was about to publish her newest book,The Power of Honest Medicine: LDN, an Inexpensive Alternative to the Costly, Toxic Medications Doctors Prescribe for Autoimmune and other Diseases. This book just came out in November 2018. During our talk, Julia  mentioned that over the past three years she’d written a series of articles for IBPA, the Independent Book Publishers Association. These seven free articles are very exciting. Julia was especially enthused about her September 2017 article, “Commenting: An Underused Way to Promote Your Books Online”. I particularly liked her advice in these articles about how to use Facebook, and how to prepare a media packet for your book. But all of her articles are dynamite! Whether you are a self-publisher, or published author, you’ll want to read every one of Julia’s seven articles. You can find them here on IBPA’s website. Here are the seven titles in order from earliest to most recent: Julia Schopick, September 2016  Taking to the Waves: Using Radio to Get the Word Out Julia Schopick, March 2017 Using Facebook to Spread Your Book’s Important Message Julia Schopick, July 2017 Using National Months, Weeks, and Days to Promote Your Book Julia Schopick, September 2017 Commenting: An Underused Way to Promote Your Books Online Julia Schopick, December 2017 Good Q&As in Your Media Packet Lead to Better Interviews Julia Schopick, May/June 2018  Using Topics in the News to Get Your Important Messages...

Everything Imaginable Can Be Found Here

When you think of libraries do you limit yourself to books, magazines and DVDs? I hope not! There are a lot more things to be discovered in most libraries.  Special collections in libraries include all kinds of objects. in particular, you should be aware that Vinyl record collections are growing in the library market.  I’ve noticed where I live there are a booming number of vinyl record shops have been popping up. In fact, even Barnes and Noble stores have started selling vinyl classics along with other bookstores. My alumni magazine from the University of Wisconsin – Madison reports this month that the University’s Mill’s Music Library has about 50,000 individual titles of 33 1/3 and 45 rpm records as well as duplicate copies of many of those records. Mills’s Music Library has twice as many old 78 rpm records. For those of you who are younger, 78 rpm records were mostly classical music, while 33 1/3 and 45 (revolutions per minute) were more for popular music albums and hit parade singles from the last century.  Public libraries often carry CD’s and many still have old vinyl records. The Boston Public Library says it has 200,000 vinyl records in its collection. Other smaller public libraries may carry vinyl too.  Music researchers, music collectors, and fans may want to use these collections and/or donate to them.  I have to ask, could it be possible that music too, like books, will have a new revolution involving self-published vinyl someday? The cost would seem a barrier, but many people still play these records. Here’s a blog site post by a Canadian record producer about the costs involved in making vinyl records – “Hot Wax: When Does It Make Sense for a Band to Press Vinyl Records?” Hot Wax: When Does It Make Sense For a Band To Press Vinyl Records? It would nice if technology in the future could make the recording process a bit more affordable.  Nevertheless, if musicians have built a strong enough audience, this may be one way to get some of their work into libraries.  My point here is that often there are unique kinds of materials we can find in libraries that exist nowhere else.  If that description fits your creative project, please don’t despair. Ask librarians in charge of the music or special collections areas in their library for their ideas of how best to market...

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