Accuracy of reference sources: the example of Balzac.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Mark Schumacher, Reference Librarian (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: The reference question concerning Balzac's birth and death dates reveals that a number of standard, respected sources contained inaccuracies and discrepancies concerning the simplest type of factual data. The lack of accuracy can cause a variety of problems, of varying degrees of seriousness. Librarians should be alert to inaccuracies and point them out to publishers. For the vast majority of our patrons, however, the year of Balzac's birth or death will provide information sufficient for their needs. Given that supposedly reliable reference books may contain errors from time to time, the reference interview thus becomes more important than ever. And if absolute accuracy is needed, consultation of more than one source may be on occasion necessary.

Additional Information

Publication
RQ, Fall 1992, pp. 26-29.
Language: English
Date: 1992
Keywords
Reference, Reference interview, Accuracy, Errors, Birth dates, Death dates