Who is the target audience?
The citations will be used by intelligent and well-educated people, including college students and librarians. If the topic is esoteric and complex, such as in the fields of medicine or molecular biology, the subject specialist's recommendations will be useful to other experts in the same field and may be incomprehensible to the general audience. The sources cited should be the very best sources, in the specialist's opinion, without condescending to any lower level of understanding. Everyone deserves the best information, even if it presents a significant challenge to some.
What subject heading should a subject specialist use to specify a particular topic of expertise?
The easiest way to determine the subject heading for a topic of expertise is to refer to books specifically about that topic. The bibliographic records for those books in a library's online catalog will include subject headings that may be appropriate. Many books, themselves, have Library of Congress cataloging-in-publication (CIP) data printed on the back side of the title page that may include a suitable subject heading. The Library of Congress provides a fairly comprehensive and searchable list of subject headings (select a "Search Type" of "Subject Browse"), but The Infography is not restricted to that list. A subject specialist may submit the phrase most commonly used as a descriptor of the particular topic, and we will edit it to conform to our standards and taxonomy for subject headings.
How many keywords should be provided and what should they be?
Provide as many keywords as possible. The purpose of keywords is to respond to the subject queries of end users, so a subject specialist should imagine what words a person might use while searching for information about the subject of expertise. "Brainstorm" to provide synonyms, words of detail, and words of summary. Format and punctuation do not matter; you may submit the keywords without any punctuation at all.
What are the criteria by which subject specialists select citations?
The selection of information sources is the essential function of the subject specialist, and we defer to his or her experience, methods of analysis, and judgment to choose the best citations. Criteria vary from subject to subject, but some generic standards for rating prospective information sources include: accuracy; scope; age; presentation; organization; objectivity; references to additional sources; and reputations of the author and publisher.
Can subject specialists cite their own work?
Yes, but content submissions with a self-citation are flagged for additional scrutiny in our vetting process. The academic integrity of The Infography as a reference resource is dependent upon the pristine objectivity of the subject specialists. Therefore, a specialist may cite one of his or her own publications only if she or he very objectively considers it to be among the superlative or excellent sources from the corpus of literature about the subject.
Why require exactly six superlative citations; why are five or seven not acceptable?
In order to establish quantitative consistency across all disciplines, Fields of Knowledge has set an inflexible format of six superlative citations. We suggest that subject specialists cite the two best books, two best web sites, and any type of two other sources, although the subject specialist may freely deviate from this suggestion.
What citations are typically included in the list of "other excellent sources"?
The list of other excellent sources gives The Infography's audience further resources to pursue, beyond the six superlative citations. This list of citations, unlimited in length, may include resources in any language. It may also be divided by subheads as explained below.
Can "other excellent sources" contain subdivisions?
While this is not necessary or expected, some specialists have found it helpful to organize the list of "other excellent sources" by target audience, by language, by time period, or by other grouping. Headings for such subdivisions should be formatted on separate lines, in all capital letters, with two hyphens before each subhead and two hyphens after, for example:
--SUBDIVISION HEADING EXAMPLE--
Are the citations annotated?
Annotation is purely optional. Only a small percentage of The Infography's citations are annotated. Any citation may have an annotation, even if other citations on the same page of The Infography do not have annotations.
What citation style is prefered?
Citations may be submitted in any style (AP, MLA, Chicago, etc.), as long as the style and punctuation are uniform throughout the entire list of references.
May foreign-language sources be cited?
The six superlative sources must be in the English language. The list of other excellent sources may include citations to foreign-language sources, although we prefer to cite foreign-language sources only if they are radically important in the field.
Do citations need to be arranged in any order?
No. Subject specialists may order their citations as they see fit: alphabetically, by importance, chronologically, etc.
May a subject specialist address more than one subject for The Infography?
Yes. Broadly versed specialists may have the expertise to address more than one subject. Also, in many cases it is appropriate and possible for a subject specialist to address various subtopics within her or his field, e.g., "Horn -- Musical Instrument," "Horn -- Music," "Horn -- Orchestra Studies," and "Horn -- Players." Each submitted topic and/or subtopic goes through the review process individually. A subject specialist who addresses multiple topics or subtopics receives multiple royalty paymentsone royalty payment for each topic or subtopic publishedbut each subject specialist is eligible for only one Founding Specialists Bonus.
What subjects remain available to be addressed?
Each subject heading is addressed by only one subject specialist, so we would not consider another content submission about a subject of expertise that already can be found in The Infography. If a subject already has been addressed, prospective experts may consider submitting a separate list of citations about a more specialized subtopic. Anyone may email the editorial department of The Infography, to inquire about the availability of any specific subject or subtopic.
Is there a deadline for submitting a list of citations?
There is no deadline, but Fields of Knowledge only accepts the first qualified expert and citations about each particular subject.
Can subject specialists update their citations in the future?
Absolutely. Subject specialists naturally stay abreast of the published works in their respective fields and can modify their lists of citations accordingly. The frequency of the updates is the expert's prerogative, within reasononce per year would be acceptable; twice per year would be better; whenever the expert becomes aware of a new superlative or excellent source of information would be best. Updates may be emailed to our redactors at firstname.lastname@example.org
If the update involves only the insertion, modification, and/or deletion of a few citations, it is best if you notify us of only those specific changes (so that we will not need to re-copyedit the unchanged citations). If the update is a substantive revision of many citations, you may send us a new version of the entire web page, by copying or saving the web page into a new word-processing or HTML-editing document, making the revisions, and sending the revised document to us as a file attachment to an email message (we can read any type of file attachment).
GUIDELINES FOR SUBJECT SPECIALISTS
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