Bibliographies FAQ

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What is the current status of the Sources bibliography?
The number of Sources in the bibliography at any given moment is found in the Sources header. As of the website launch, October 18, 2019, the Sources bibliography contains 1,560 references, as indicated in the screenshot:

Sources header

Each reference is being verified by direct inspection of a physical copy or digital facsimile. The Sources bibliography was developed offline in a Bookends reference file, and was imported into the Drupal website from Bookends.  During import, some textual formatting (like italics) did not transfer, and some key words were not parsed correctly into their specific fields (e.g., Genre Type). As a result, genre terms are only present in the Genre Type field in records that have been cleaned up since import. We hope to finish text cleanup in the first half of 2019. Meanwhile, the genres are listed in a general key words field; they are present on the bibliographic record (and therefore to a General Search), just not in a way that supports this Genre Type filter. Records not yet cleaned up have a Status (in the left sidebar) of "Unknown" or "None." Text cleanup is our number one priority after website development passes a threshold of minimum functionality.

What is the current status of the Studies bibliography?
The number of Studies in the bibliography at any given moment is found in the Studies header. As of the website launch, October 18, 2019, the Studies bibliography is just getting started with 305 references, the majority of which are from the last two years, or articles from Participatio. This emphasis on the last two years reflects the priority of launching the Recent Publications bibliography, which consists of the 100 most recent publications. One of our top development priorities for 2019 will be systematic data entry for Studies, working backwards from the present eventually to cover TFT and JBT contemporaries, while maintaining currency with recent and forthcoming publications.

There's a missing citation! Can it be added to the Sources or Studies bibliographies?
Yes, thank you! Please send the missing citation, including reprints, translations and forthcoming publications, to the bibliography editors at webmaster@tftorrance.org. Or use the online Publication Form, which will prompt for various helpful details. See the Wanted List.

Why does the scope of both bibliographies encompass all three Torrance brothers?
As siblings in a close-knit family, they shared similar life histories and cultural milieux, and mutually influenced one another. A work by any brother may throw light on the others (for example, David W. Torrance's interview, "Not My Will, But Yours," includes reflections on their family life, as does his 2015 book, The Reluctant Minister). Scholars interested in any one of the brothers may likely be interested in at least some of the works of the others (for example, the presence of all three brothers is evident in Introduction to Torrance Theology, ed. by Gerrit Dawson). Because they often co-edited works together, works by James and David would be represented significantly in the bibliography anyway (for example, Calvin's New Testament commentaries). For reasons like these, the Thomas F. Torrance Theological Fellowship website has long included a bibliography for James. The name of the "Thomas F. Torrance Theologial Fellowship" reflects a center of emphasis rather than an exclusive boundary. It includes the brothers in the same way that it includes the study of natural science, law, and philosophy, as seen in the light of Torrance theology.

What data is included in the Sources bibliography?

  • Complete citations for every known publication by the Torrance brothers: Thomas F. Torrance, James B. Torrance, and David W. Torrance.
  • Citations include standard data fields such as author, title, chapter title, journal, pages, translator/editor, publisher and date, etc.
  • Every citation also includes a McGrath number. For records not included in McGrath's bibliography, a new McGrath number has been assigned.
  • Additional fields may optionally include: Abstract; Description (physical); OCLC number; ISBN or ISSN number; DOI (digital object identifier); etc.
  • A Language field indicates when a publication appeared in a language other than English.
  • The Pages field for a book record indicates the total number of pages as an aid to comparing whether pagination has changed in different editions.
  • Key Words to categorize the genre type; key word; reprint status, etc.
  • Links to online versions of the work, in text or media formats, as well as to online records in WorldCat, Amazon, online journal websites, etc.

Are new editions and translations included in the Sources bibliography?
-- Yes! We welcome news of missing editions and translations. Whether and how the new one may differ from the original publication is described in the "Publication Life Cycle / Notes" field.

When do reprints warrant individual, separate entries?
We have followed Alister McGrath's example of listing reprint editions separately for the sake of clarity except in those cases when more than one publisher is indicated on the verso of the title page. In those cases, two publishers will be included in the same record. New and separate entries are created if there is a new publisher or ISBN number. In these cases, the entries are assigned a "Reprint-Revision" tag.

What is the "Publication Life Cycle / Notes" field, and how does it differ from the "Description" field?
The "Publication Life Cycle / Notes" field is devoted to annotations about the original circumstances, presentation or edition of the publication, and its relationships to other publications. For example, we use this field to indicate where the chapters were presented as papers or lectures, or to state the relationship between different reprints and editions (even to confirm that there are no differences). This field is therefore one of the most important aspects of the Sources bibliography as a research tool. We hope to augment its use in the future by implementing a means for Fellowship members to add their own comments, but meanwhile, please send us any corrections or suggestions to improve any record.

What is the "Related Sources" field?
The Related Sources field lists McGrath numbers for all editions of a publication, regardless of format. This field makes it possible to search by McGrath numbers, which is more precise than searching by key word phrases. Together with the Life Cycle Publication Notes field, this field allows one to determine at a glance the entire life cycle of a publication, from conference proceedings to articles to book chapters to anthologized reprints. It even includes the McGrath number for related media, if recordings of presentations are available. See the McGrath Number FAQ.

What is the purpose of the "Revisions status" field?
This field documents, when needed, corrections made to information printed in the standard bibliographies ("BG" = Bryan Gray; "IT" = Iain Torrance; and "AM" = Alister McGrath). For a desciption of these and other standard bibliographies, see "Previous Bibliographies: Development of the Sources Bibliography." Changes are noted in this field when they would make a citation inaccurate or potentially difficult to find. This field does not track minor clarifications, such as supplying the number of an issue, or completing a full title, etc., but only corrections required for accurate citation or location of a publication. When the standard bibliographies do not agree, this field will confirm the correct information on the basis of direct verification. It also notes any missing information we are in the process of trying to verify (please help us by emailing the editors at webmaster@tftorrance.org).

When are separate chapter records added, in addition to the book record?
The first edition of any book containing material published separately is entered into the bibliography in expanded form, with separate, individual chapter entries to manifest their relations to other articles and sources. Chapter records are not added for later editions or reprints unless they are new to that edition.

What reference types are used in the Sources bibliography?
The most common reference types are Book, Book Chapter, and Journal Article. To facilitate searches (and interoperability), finer distinctions with reference types generally have been avoided (for example, newspapers and magazines are formatted as Journal Articles). The only other reference types used are the following: Audiovisual; Internet (includes academic websites and online resources); and Unpublished (includes lecture notes and handouts).

What tags are used in the Sources bibliography?
Tags are used to indicate the following genre types: Bibliography, Biography-Memoir, Book Review, Ebook, Edited Book, Interview, Library or Archive, Audio, Video, Obituary, Pamphlet, Prefatory matter, Reprint-Revision, Series, Sermon, Torrance Festschrift, Translation, Unpublished, and Website. Additional tags describe the access or availability of the publication, such as "Open Access/No Cost" or "Online Cost/Subscription." Items are also tagged if they appear in Elmer Colyer's Reader's Guide, with the section indicated of the Reader's Guide in which they appear.

How can the Sources bibliography help me format references in an article to submit to Participatio?
Two fields contain references pre-formatted; one for footnotes according to the Participatio style guide, and the other in Chicago style for compiling bibliographies. Just copy from these fields and paste into your word processor and you're done; only slight manual tweaking required.

What is the scope of the Studies bibliography?
The Studies bibliography contains secondary sources that engage the Torrance tradition published from the time of TFT's earliest works up to the current year. The Studies bibliography includes secondary sources which engage one of the Torrance brothers by means of an explicit mention in a title, chapter, or section heading, or a discussion at least several pages in length. It does not include works that simply cite T. F. Torrance or one of his brothers but do not explicitly engage the Torrance tradition in a significant discussion. Essay reviews merit inclusion in the bibliography, but no attempt has been made to seek out every review of a Torrance publication. The emphasis is on academic studies, but non-academic sources are included when of significant interest (e.g., a popular magazine or prominent newspaper).

What data is included in the Studies bibliography?
-- Complete citations for select publications engaging the works of the Torrance brothers.
-- Publications by members of the T. F. Torrance Theological Fellowship are indicated by tags.
-- With the exception of ISBN and OCLC numbers, which are provided, the various custom fields, tags and links of the Sources bibliography are not necessarily added to the Studies bibliography, given the difficulties of maintaining over time a large and ever-growing database of secondary sources.

What are the benefits of the Studies bibliography?
What secondary studies are most important to your work? When Fellowship members enter a secondary study into the Studies bibliography, we help other scholars discover them, and save them time in data entry and formatting. Entering records into the Studies bibliography also helps members discover other members, for the studies written by any Fellowship member appear in that member's profile in the member directory. The Studies bibliography also is used to generate a rolling list of recent publications. So the Studies bibliography is designed for long-term collaborative input. Eventually, Fellowship members will be able to add records to it directly from the website. Now, in its initial format, it is starting off as a seedbed for the longer-term project. Although it is now the smaller of the two, it will quickly grow to be larger than the Sources library.

What future enhancements do you anticipate for the Studies bibliography?
First and foremost, the Studies bibliography is a cooperative endeavor of the T.F. Torrance Theological Fellowship. It is an open-ended project that will grow as a result of the collective input of Fellowship members. We hope to increase the collaborative character of the bibliographies by implementing online commenting and tagging by Fellowship members.

How are the Studies and Sources bibliographies cross-referenced to Elmer Colyer's Reader's Guide?
The different segments of Colyer's Reader's Guide are the basis for cross-references between the bibliographies and the Member Profiles. Section headings, or "Colyer Categories," arise naturally and organically from Colyer's analysis of TFT's works. So they may be more helpful than commonplace topics as listed in this or that course catalog or systematic theology. If you're unsure which Colyer Categories you're interested in, or which ones to use when tagging a submitted publication, we suggest comparison with the works discussed in any segment of the Reader's Guide. The concrete examples listed in any section of the Reader's Guide provide a non-arbitrary basis for selecting Colyer Categories.

PS: In adopting Colyer's categories, we're assuming a basic analogy between TFT and JBT, in that JBT's publications would naturally correspond. Since this would not be so obviously the case for DWT, we expanded Colyer's category of Sermons to include Pastoral Ministry, since a category of Sermons/Pastoral Ministry would seem to fit many of DWT's publications.


Send new materials, corrections, and comments to the bibliography editors at webmaster@tftorrance.org. Also let us know if you can provide or verify any item on our Wanted List.