Saturday, April 19, 2014

Regarding Website Updates

One of the things that MLA citation style asks scholars to track when referencing online materials is the date of last update. That is, scholars are asked to know and account for when the materials they use were last amended. This is due in part to the fluidity of online materials and in part as a holdover of the reliance upon print sources traditionally typical of those who work in the academic humanities. Because I am a member of the MLA and because I teach courses in disciplines that largely accede to MLA standards, I expect my students to keep track of such information, and my ethical stance requires me therefore to offer them that information in my own materials whenever I can.

During the Spring 2014 term at Oklahoma State University, however, this has not always been possible. There have been several occasions when I was unable to access the part of my course website where I make that information available--the comments section at the bottom of most pages. I tried to open the pages with several Internet browsers, and, although I could see the main material of the pages, I could not pull up my comments. This prevented me from being able to provide the information I would have liked to have provided in the way I want to provide it, and I neglected to take other opportunities to correct the error at the times in question.

I have, I believe, gone through the relevant pages and provided a date of update that, if not actually corresponding to the dates I made changes, at least do not have their last recorded updates before changes went through. Hopefully, the corrections will suffice to ensure that students have some idea of the recency of the information on my webpages and thus do not look to out-of-date data for their work.

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