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University of Bergen Library

Scientific referencing in the age of digital reproduction

Guest lecture by Daniel Jung, Digital Culture (LLE), at the Humanities library

Digital technology has made writing and publishing scholarly texts quicker, easier and more flexible. A part of this development is the use of databases and software for citations and references. But what happens when authors, editors and readers use and trust these tools and do not discover bugs and errors? What does it say about the digital culture in production and reception of science?

Walter Benjamin (1936) argued that the mechanical reproduction of art objects removes their authenticity and aura. I will compare referencing to modern art, and show how digital production and reproduction have removed one kind of aura, but introduced another one. I will present a range of curious examples (some of them hilarious) to show how digital tools have refactored the interplay between authors, software, editors and readers, and changed the way we treat references.