Defining a Collection for Church History

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Allen Browne | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Oct 11 2012 3:55 AM

If you have created a Collection that defines your church history resources, would you mind sharing the definition?

I don't see one in http://wiki.logos.com/Example_Collections
Perhaps someone can add it if we come up with a good one.

To get the ball rolling, this is what I'm currently using:

(("church history","Christian history","Ecclesiastical history","Church--History",Reformation) OR title:("Encyclopedia of Christianity","Christian church")) ANDNOT (type:(Commentary,Devotional,Calendar,Bible,media) OR series:("Priscilla Papers","Journal of Ministry","Reformation and Revival") OR title:(Catechism,Doctrine,Dogmatics,Resurrection,Salvation))

Any other definitions could be a help. My goal is primarliy for searching. Thanks.

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 11 2012 6:33 AM

I have the following:

type:(monograph, encyclopedia) AND (subject:(councils, "church history", "history of doctrines", 270, reformation, "doctrines--history", "doctrinal--history", 15??, 16??) OR title:("church history") OR (title:history AND title:doctrine))  ANDNOT subject:("n.t.", "old testament", judaism, "20th century", "graeco-roman", "B.C.", "dead sea")

It's supposed to include everything from the reformation or earlier.

Posts 159
David Matthew | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 11 2012 7:59 AM

After fiddling around for ages, I eventually settled on doing this subject manually. That enabled me to have two separate collections:

  • Church history (general)
  • Church history (writings from)
Yes, a bit of work initially required to get these set up, but easy to add the odd new church history volume thereafter.

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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 11 2012 9:08 AM

Sometimes trying to create a dynamic collection is just futile. The two examples you've both given show that in a sense you have manually created those collections. What is the chance your next church history book will get caught by these rules (with all their detail and exceptions). Sometimes it is better to realize that until Logos gets more consistent in tagging resources ( by subject, for instance) dynamic collections are more of a goal than a reality.

I have many dynamic collections. I'm grateful for what they do.  Some just aren't worth trying to accomplish. Tag your books and use the tags for your collection or add them manually.

This is still an area Logos needs to give some order to.

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

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Todd Phillips | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 11 2012 9:47 AM

Mark Smith:
What is the chance your next church history book will get caught by these rules (with all their detail and exceptions).

Pretty good in my experience.  The detail doesn't prevent  books from being included, but rather it covers the various ways that books are tagged or titled.  The less-detailed rule would be the one that misses books.  I agree that subject tagging could be better, but unfortunately that is the publisher's responsibility--they select the LOC subject categories appropriate for their book.

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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 11 2012 10:18 AM

Todd Phillips:
Pretty good in my experience.

You have one of those collection rules? Glad it is such a success. That doesn't detract from what I said: that it is a manually made collection that was built by looking at what books the creator wanted to include and exclude and trying to figure out how to write that into a set of rules. If it catches the right books later on, good job. Never-the-less it would be easier to tag or to manually create the collection and manually add the few additional books you'd later add. Most users would never begin to try to create such rules. Kudos to Allan and Mark for figuring a good rule out. Most are never going to try.

Todd Phillips:
I agree that subject tagging could be better, but unfortunately that is the publisher's responsibility--they select the LOC subject categories appropriate for their book.

Yes, and we've been down this road before. If dynamic collections are ever going to be less than esoteric for the average user, Logos is going to have to take responsibility and create a consistent subject tagging scheme and add that to the book's metadata. They can keep the ridiculous subject listings the publishers create if they want. We need something consistent and simpler.

type:(monograph, encyclopedia) subject:"Church History" should do the job and is relatively simple. It misses some obvious ones for me.

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Bridgeport, CT USA

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 11 2012 11:26 AM

I agree that creating collections like this is not as easy as it should be, but it's not futile. Carefully crafting a rule like this means it will catch most future books - I was pleasantly surprised that mine had caught the recent Moravian church history collection, for example. 

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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 11 2012 11:38 AM

Mark Barnes:
I was pleasantly surprised that mine had caught the recent Moravian church history collection, for example. 

It is no doubt an elegant collection rule.

Wouldn't it be nice (better?) if Logos simply took the extra minute or two it would take before releasing every resource to tag it with a standardized Logos subject index entry (or two)? We are paying for the 'extra' Logos puts into their resources. I don't think this is asking too much and would put dynamic collections more within reach of an average user. (I can imagine the dismay I'd generate by displaying your or Allan's rule to my user group of laypersons who are casual users of L4.)

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Bridgeport, CT USA

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 11 2012 12:49 PM

Certainly I do - and you'll find posts on here from me saying exactly that. Bob's mother is a librarian with all the skills and experience to do it. However, the answer then was that they only wanted to use the publishers LOC subjects. The best solution now may be crowd-sourcing - Logos must have thousands of tags on their servers, and that data may end up providing what you need in the future - particularly if the tags are curated. librarything has done this very successfully (curated a set of user-specified tags, that is).

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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 11 2012 1:13 PM

Mark Barnes:
The best solution now may be crowd-sourcing

Agreed that that might work, but who applies the tags to my resources? Me?

The problem isn't being able to apply tags or figuring out a tag to apply. The problem is that dynamic collections need consistent resource tagging in order to work in a reasonable fashion. That tagging should be supplied without me having to do anything. I know we can discuss this forever. Your and Allen's convoluted and involved rules for getting church history books into a collection simply points out how crazy the state of affairs is. Logos can change that. I believe they should and that Bob needs to listen and change his policy. User input.

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 11 2012 1:20 PM

Mark Smith:

Mark Barnes:
The best solution now may be crowd-sourcing

Agreed that that might work, but who applies the tags to my resources? Me?

The problem isn't being able to apply tags or figuring out a tag to apply. The problem is that dynamic collections need consistent resource tagging in order to work in a reasonable fashion. That tagging should be supplied without me having to do anything. I know we can discuss this forever. Your and Allen's convoluted and involved rules for getting church history books into a collection simply points out how crazy the state of affairs is. Logos can change that. I believe they should and that Bob needs to listen and change his policy. User input.

I think this is another one of those cases where Bob would say "so few of our users ever use tags, so we're not going to invest time and money into making it better." And our broken record answer is once again, "Hmm, I wonder whether that's why more people don't use tags?"

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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 11 2012 1:53 PM

Rosie Perera:
I think this is another one of those cases where Bob would say "so few of our users ever use tags, so we're not going to invest time and money into making it better." And our broken record answer is once again, "Hmm, I wonder whether that's why more people don't use tags?"

I'll bet they have data to prove it, but as you say, it doesn't prove users wouldn't use it if it were simpler.

I say, don't make tags better, make tagging of subjects useful and uniform. Logos can do that. They built a collection scheme to take advantage of that. Create the data so it can be efficiently and relatively easily used. Allen's and Mark's examples show how far from simple and useful we currently are.

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Bridgeport, CT USA

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Schezic | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 11 2012 2:13 PM

Rosie Perera:
"so few of our users ever use tags, so we're not going to invest time and money into making it better."
So, Why is the official Logos trainer spending so much time in camp 2, brainwashing users to "Tag Every Book in Your Library"?

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 11 2012 3:35 PM

Here's the post I was referring to earlier, http://community.logos.com/forums/p/5107/40798.aspx#40798

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 11 2012 4:16 PM

Mark Smith:

Rosie Perera:
I think this is another one of those cases where Bob would say "so few of our users ever use tags, so we're not going to invest time and money into making it better." And our broken record answer is once again, "Hmm, I wonder whether that's why more people don't use tags?"

I'll bet they have data to prove it, but as you say, it doesn't prove users wouldn't use it if it were simpler.

I say, don't make tags better, make tagging of subjects useful and uniform. Logos can do that. They built a collection scheme to take advantage of that. Create the data so it can be efficiently and relatively easily used. Allen's and Mark's examples show how far from simple and useful we currently are.

Yes, that was the point I was trying (clumsily) to make. Or rather my point applies to the inconsistent subjects as well as it does to tagging. Logos isn't going to spend more time making the Subjects uniform if they don't think many users are using subjects to make dynamic collections. I'm sure they have the data to back up their decision. We who like to make collections can whine about it all we want. But if it isn't going to be worth it to their bottom line, that isn't going to help.

Schezic:

Rosie Perera:
"so few of our users ever use tags, so we're not going to invest time and money into making it better."
So, Why is the official Logos trainer spending so much time in camp 2, brainwashing users to "Tag Every Book in Your Library"?

Maybe he's trying his darnedest but still can't make a dent in the low numbers of users who are taking advantage of that feature. Relatively few of all the million or so Logos users have been to a Morris Proctor training camp anyway.

I can't find any place where Bob has said explicitly that not many users use tags or dynamic collections, but it seems like the type of thing he would say. He's said that for sure about other features when defending their decision not to expend more development resources on them.

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fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 11 2012 5:24 PM

Schezic:

Rosie Perera:
"so few of our users ever use tags, so we're not going to invest time and money into making it better."
So, Why is the official Logos trainer spending so much time in camp 2, brainwashing users to "Tag Every Book in Your Library"?

And why is Provide management of mytags number 11 on Uservoice?

"The Christian way of life isn't so much an assignment to be performed, as a gift to be received."  Wilfrid Stinissen

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Posts 1642
Allen Browne | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 11 2012 6:54 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. Particularly useful were:

  • Mark Barnes example (which I will play with) and
  • the suggestion to manually tag some resources so they do meet simple collection rules.

Mark Barnes:
The best solution now may be crowd-sourcing

That's a really useful idea, Mark. Logos is ahead of the game with some of the cloud-based features, and this one would be surely a very cost-effective solution (i.e. they don't have to pay staff to tag resources) that continues to improve over time.

Thanks

Posts 1642
Allen Browne | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 11 2012 10:23 PM

Okay, I've followed the advice on tagging books with "Church History".
So I've now simplified my definition to (tentatively) this:

("church history","Christian history","Ecclesiastical history","Church--History",Waldens,Moravian) ANDNOT (type:(Commentary,Devotional,Calendar,Bible,media) OR series:("Priscilla Papers","Journal of Ministry") OR title:(Catechism,Doctrine,Dogmatics,Resurrection,Salvation))

Admittedly, this excludes much of the doctrinal stuff that would be important to some as church history, but I'm primarily interested in the narrative.

Thanks for your help. Maybe there's a reason why there wasn't a definition for this topic in the Wiki on collections.  :-)

Posts 5
Craig Barrett | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 12 2012 11:22 AM

Mark, many thanks!!!  That rule was awesome!

Posts 8893
fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 12 2012 12:09 PM

I use the fairly simple

(subject:"church history" OR ((title:church,christian) AND title:history) OR mytag:CH) ANDNOT (mytag:(hidden,liturgy) OR title:(doct,dogm))

The part I left unbolded is, of course, only relevant with my particular tagging.

I checked what books were caught only by the CH tag and found that virtually all of them belonged to one of two groups: a) Jewish-Christian relations in the first centuries, or b) biographies. I don't think there is any possible and reasonable rule that could have caught these, so it seems that my simpler rule works just as well for my needs as your much more complicated ones.

Allen Browne:
series:("Priscilla Papers","Journal of Ministry")

Personally I hate rules that are longer than necessary and/or longer than the box. I'm guessing series:(priscilla,ministry) would do the exact same thing with less words, and I suspect putting priscilla,ministry among the title words instead would also do the same thing, with even fewer words.

"The Christian way of life isn't so much an assignment to be performed, as a gift to be received."  Wilfrid Stinissen

Mac Pro OS 10.9.

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