- Siddhartha Gautama
What's In, What's Out, How We Decided
Many of the topics covered in this knowledge base have hundreds or even thousands of books, articles, and Web pages on the topic. So we had to decide what to include and what not to include in the "Additional Resources." We used several rules to do this.
- Authors were not given any limitations, other than the fact that we wanted authoritative essays that were well-documented, but not "footnoted to death." As is common, graduate student authors tended to footnote more than experienced professionals did, as most experienced professionals wrote what was in their heads, without looking it up. But many then included extensive bibliographies, which we included in the Additional Resources sections. (See below.)
Our goal for the additional resources was to include 5-20 Web resources that provided additional information, some additional explanations of the underlying concept, and other examples and/or case studies that put the concept into practice. As much as possible, we tried to provide a diversity of examples: one from an international conflict, one from an inter-group conflict, one from an environmental conflict, etc. While the Middle East came up a lot, we tried to look at other parts of the world as well. Sometimes we fell short of our goals, and other times there was so much material that it was hard to decide what to put in and what to leave out. In those cases, we had several more criteria:
- Additional resources needed to come from credible sources -- the more credible, the better.
- They needed to have a significant amount of information that supplemented what was already in the essay, rather than just repeating what was in there already.
- They needed to be easily accessible. While we put in listings of print materials in the original BI, we are generally replacing all but the most important print materials with online materials. That does have the downside that links are always going bad, but we are trying to find sources that are likely to be pretty stable. We also link to the "way back machine" for sources that have disappeared from the current Internet.
- Unavoidably, authors put in materials they were familiar with. That means they may have missed really good things if they didn't know about them. So if you know of a particularly good resource that we have missed, please tell us about it in the comment section at the bottom of every article (only accessible if you register, which is free). If you don't want to register, you can still send us an email and tell us which article your resource should go to.
- When authors didn't provide additional resources themselves (as was common, especially for Web resources, since many scholars are STILL not very familiar with or aware of how much good material is on the Web), the Consortium staff looked for outside resources ourselves. We did as well as we could, but if users have other suggestions for better resources, please let us know.