In our final post on APh, we’re tying up all those loose ends. Here you’ll learn how to read an APh entry, organize the Results page, and export your results to your own computer. If you missed the first parts, you can read about how use the EBSCO version, conduct a basic search, and some advanced tricks!
Let’s start with how to read an APh bibliography entry. In the previous post, we saw some very basic entries. Here’s one that’s a bit more complex:
APh bibliography items follow the same format (mutatis mutandis) for all forms of scholarship. They always begin with the author’s name (in this case, James C. Abbot), followed by a dash. After the dash, you’ll see the work’s title. The site doesn’t distinguish between titles that are typically italicized and titles that are typically written inside quotation marks. For example, this work (a dissertation) would usually be written in quotes — but as you can see, there are no quotes here. Both the title (“Roman Deceit”) and subtitle (“dolus in Latin literature and Roman society”) are included.
The next abbreviations will be a little unfamiliar for English-speakers! [s. l.]: [s. n.] is the French way of saying “n.p. : n.d.”, or “no place [of publication], no date [of publication].” That tells us that this dissertation is unpublished. For a published work, including a journal article, you’d see the relevant publication information here. For example:
This very short book was published in Berlin in 1914. (We’ll come back to this entry later.)
Let’s take a look at that dissertation again first.
After the publication information, we get the total number of pages in the work (for book-length works only), and in the case of our dissertation above, a little more information — namely, that it’s a dissertation, and therefore is still a work of scholarship despite its unpublished status. This information about the department and date substitutes for the publication information.
The next part is the summary, which I find to be the most useful part of APh. Not all bibliography items have an abstract, as we see in the second example above. But many do, and the most recent works of scholarship almost all do. Note that this dissertation abstract is quite long, and includes a list of materials in each chapter. If you’re considering whether or not to order the dissertation from ProQuest or University Microfilms (often with a surcharge), this information can be really valuable.
The next sentence tells us how to get a copy or more information, if we decide we want to. First, it says that there’s a summary in Dissertation Abstracts [International] (which is exactly what it sounds like: a compendium of dissertation abstracts across all fields). This is a database now run by ProQuest (I’m not sure if that was true in 1997). The next 8 digits tell you the year, volume, number, and entry number of the DA volume where you can find the abstract. This information is a relic of the pre-digital age; don’t worry, you can full-text search ProQuest! The final sentence tells you that the entire dissertation is available on microfilm from University Microfilms International (now also run by ProQuest and linked to Dissertation Abstracts). You could, conceivably, copy-and-paste the number rather than type in a search string.
Finally, the entry ends with APh‘s own reference number in the bottom right.
Books have one other special bit of information, which is why I wanted to go back to that German entry:
After the double line (||), you get a list of book reviews and the authors of the reviews. So Virck’s book was reviewed in Philologische Wochenschrift in 1925 on p. 473 by Klotz. Again, newer entries will usually include more reviews.
Now that we’re gone through how to read an entry, we can speed through the rest of the information. In your results page, you can sort by Author, Title, or Date, ascending or descending, by clicking on the column header. Results will refresh immediately. You can also choose to view 10, 15, or 20 results per page, or navigate through the entries by using the arrows visible on the pictures above.
Clicking the boxes to the far left will add the entry to your session. If you move to a new page of results, the site will remember which boxes you’ve checked — but if you’re inactive for too long, those remembered articles will be lost. Similarly, the Search History won’t remember you individually if you navigate away from APh, unless you’re logged in with a personal APh account.
Another one of the advantages to an APh account is that you can save these entries to the account using the Add to “My Records” button (and you can Add to “my searches” as well; this saves the search terms you’ve used). You need to save them in batches of 50 or fewer, so you may want to get in the habit of saving once per page. You can also use the filters at the side or the button at the top to Modify the search.
When you’re done with your session, you can export your results in several ways. I like to E-mail mine, because you can put in any email address you want. It doesn’t need to be affiliated with your university. That means that I can send the entries to my phone and use them from the library. (TIP: you can choose a variety of output formats, but they all arrive as an attachment.) But you can also Print them or Save them to PDF or RefWorks. For all of these functions, you’ll max out at 100 entries. So select carefully!
You can see the same export and modify functions within the entry itself:
You can also see here, in the bottom right, the arrows that let you navigate to different items in your search.
Now you can use APh in its full glory!