ICT4D Bibliography

By Ismael Peña-López
ICTlogy (ISSN 1886-5208). Issue #28, January 2006


When I prepared my master’s dissertation, I — just as much people — happen to gather quite a good bunch of bibliographic resources: why not share them?

ICT4D Bibliography is my collection of books, articles, reviews, journals, institutions, authors, etc. in the field of Information and Communication Technologies for Development and other related subjects such as e-learning, knowledge management, free/libre open source software, online volunteering, nonprofits, etc.

The resources are filed under two main subjects: projects (the titles of the books, articles, reviews, etc.) and contacts (people and institutions that are related to the projects). A second filing method is categories (i.e. subject), type of author (author, editor…), type of project (article, blog…), language (in which the project is written) and country (of the contact).

You’ll see this is no formal way of categorizing at all but my way. Feel free to suggest improvements.

Powered with BibCiter

When I started with this bibliography I really needed a database and really needed I could use it not connected to the Internet. Another thing I was interested in having in my references database was that it created a bibliography — yes, that part at the end of a paper so tough to write. I found it easier and quicker to program it myself and the result was BibCiter, being the most interesting part of BibCiter — for me ;) — that it generates automatically the “correct” bibliographical citation according to the APA standards. The workflow is the following:

You log in as administrator and maintain a list of contacts and projects. The admin site does hold more information than the one that is open to the unlogged visitors, so you can have personal data for your contacts or assign to a project a typology or a state of reading. You can also “include” works one into another. The easiest example is a collective work under a unique title and an editor, but with multiple articles and authors within. Creating the “includer” and “included” projects, authors, editors or compilers, and linking included with includer makes it possible to cite (and browse) them afterwards with no chance of error (except programming errors, of course ;)

Once a contact and a project (or projects) are created (and linked one to each other) you can assign them to a “bibliography”. You can create as much bibliographies as you like: one for my master’s dissertation, another one for my Ph.D. Thesis, another one for that paper that I have to write for that journal, etc. It’s easy, then, to assign projects (articles, books, etc.) to a bibliography, so, at last, you can browse your selected bibliography and have a list of all the references perfectly cited, ready to be copy and pasted at the end of your paper. All in all, assigning a bibliography is kind of assigning a category to the project. Nevertheless, an independent system of categories is build and assignable both to contacts and projects.

As administrator, then, you can browse three lists or reports: contacts, projects and bibliographies. You can assign categories and bibliographies to the first two. And maintain the list of categories, languages, types of authors, types of projects and countries. Concerning the look, I’ve tried to make the whole thing compatible with WordPress themes, but some recoding is always necessary.

The first database I programmed was in MS Access. Actually, I still work with it because it is easier for me (specially when there’s no connection near) to work with it from my USB pen drive. Then, I upload from time to time the updated content to the one in the server. But MS Access is quite difficult to make it work for a web browser (I’m but a programmer). My personal (but not professional) interest in programming and LAMP made me try to recode what I was using in MySQL+PHP. BibCiter is the result. My intention is, once 90% of the bugs and horribly bad code is translated to just bad code I’ll open it and give it away to the public domain under some free license. If you are really really interested in helping me out, just let me know.

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2006) “ICT4D Bibliography” In ICTlogy, #28, January 2006. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from http://ictlogy.net/review/?p=325

ICTlogy Review

  • ISSN 1886-5208