How collaborative is the OED?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Dec 28 04:17:43 UTC 2009

Thanks, Jesse.  Despite the reliance on databases, I won't be
completely discouraged.  EAN (and ECCO, for books) still don't turn
up everything I come across.  :-)

I was hoping the OED databases could trace accepted quotations back
to the submitter, and distinguish in-house from volunteer.  But alas,
I suppose the necessary data base fields are not present.


At 12/27/2009 09:34 PM, Jesse Sheidlower wrote:
>On Sun, Dec 27, 2009 at 10:30:02AM -0500, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> > On another list, someone remarked:
> >> The OED was and to a lesser extent is a highly collaborative, highly
> >> edited venture.
> >
> > How collaborative is it these days?  In numbers of volunteers vs.
> > staff?  In numbers of quotations submitted by volunteers that are
> > "admitted" vs. numbers from staff?  How does that compare to the old days?
>As Fred notes, the majority of OED quotations now come from
>databases (typically found by in-house researchers or editors)
>rather than from reading-program volunteers. And the nature of
>the reading programs has changed, since they're no longer the
>primary way we gather citations.
>However, there are still a very large number of people
>involved in the project as volunteers, and we get quotations
>(both hand-found and database-found), suggestions,
>corrections, etc. all the time. I don't think there's any way
>to quantify this, but it's certainly the case that
>collaboration remains an important part of OED editorial
>Jesse Sheidlower
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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