1: G. Buccellati, January 2008

Bibliographical status

     An advantage of online publishing is that updates are easy. A corresponding drawback is that one may just as easily loose control of the referential value of the citations. In other words, what I quote today, may no longer be available for inspection tomorrow.
     The Wikipedia approach to this problem is to give a complete history of all changes that are ever made. An implicit problem is that authors are often identified only through nicknames that hide the identity of the person, and thus negate some of the key points that are associated with the concept of authorship.
     Since the inception of the project, I have opted for a different system. One reason is that individual pages are the work of a single author who will normally and frequently come back to the same page. The full history of these changes is of little consequence, and can best be omitted. With the Ephemeris system, I have chosen instead to update files in batches. The penalty is that the updating may not be as frequent as one may wish. But it seems more in keeping with the responsibility any publishing enterprise has towards transparent referentiality.
     The version tag allows us to archive the non-current variant in a way that is immediately identifiable. Reference to the pertinent version establishes a framework that is consonant with normal bibliographical standards, and lends its proper "status" to any given citation.