Epiphany of the month: It’s just an index. Or is it?

Summary: I realized my goal might just be to create an extended index. But this is not necessarily bad.

The goal of this project is, in a sense, completely unoriginal. This is not only a deeply seated fear of every researcher, it is also an epiphany that came up to me lately. Connecting texts, authors, and thoughts through their references is basically setting up an index – such as it is contained in the end of very many serious books.

While this basic idea is very simple, its scope might not. With OTRA, I aim to provide a meta-index, spanning across different works, authors, and time-periods. It is strange to imagine that this has not been tried before.

If such index shall be created on a greater scale, it would profit immensely from automatization. For that I can imagine two rather straightforward ways: 1) Mine indices of existing works; and 2) mine critical editions and their apparatus. Ideally, these data should be provided in an already machine-readable format, but text recognition software might even be up to the task.

If such a work pipeline was in place, and if the necessary data were available, a great deal of cross-indexing could be performed automatically.

OpenEdition suggests that you cite this post as follows:
Jacob Langeloh (October 31, 2022). Epiphany of the month: It’s just an index. Or is it? OTRA-Blog. Retrieved July 19, 2024 from https://doi.org/10.58079/voyd

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