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What is the status of the Montessori Bibliography Online?

Periodically – typically weekly – an audit of the Bibliography dataset is conducted. The audit focuses on the following five areas.

Type of entry refers to the type of material – journal article, book, book section, and so on.

Language of content refers to the language(s) which the referenced document is written. In some cases a document may include content of one or more languages.

Year of publication is pretty self-evident, this refers to the year in which the document was published. In some cases the publication year is undated (n.d.), or expressed as a date range (e.g., 1990–1995).

Available or unavailable in digital form refers to whether the document is accessible digitally from a reputable and reliable source. This includes content that is freely available as well as content available behind a paywall.

Finally, tagged or untagged refers to whether the entry has been assigned subjects (i.e., subject cataloging). This cataloging is generally conducted as new entries are added.

If you are interested in collaborating on the subject cataloging of entries in the Bibliography, please contact me via email. Please include a brief introduction of yourself and your experience with cataloging bibliographic content or metadata management.

As of June 11, 2024 – 45,240 unique entries

Type of entry

Type Quantity Percent
Books 3,654 8.08 %
Book sections 2,884 6.37 %
Journal or magazine articles
   – Peer Reviewed (more info)
34,357
2,033
75.94 %
———
Manuscript of archival collections 430 0.95 %
Newspaper articles 1,935 4.28 %
Theses or dissertations 1,404 3.10 %
Other 576 1.27 %
“Other” is a combination of entry types which individually make up less than 0.5% of the entire dataset. These types include: audio recordings, blog posts, conference papers, datasets, dictionary entries, documents, encyclopedia articles, interviews, patents, presentations, reports, video recordings, and web pages.

Language of content

Language Quantity Percent
Dutch 3,332 7.37 %
English 28,279 62.51 %
French 585 1.29 %
German 2,900 6.41 %
Hungarian 298 0.66 %
Italian 6,361 14.06 %
Japanese 890 1.97 %
Korean 352 0.78 %
Spanish 568 1.26 %
Swedish 234 0.52 %
Other 1,549 3.42 %
“Other” is a combination of languages which individually make up less than 0.5% of the entire dataset. Some of the entries include content in more than one language.

Year of publication

 

Available / unavailable online

 

Tagged or untagged

 

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How many articles in the Bibliography are peer reviewed?

“How many articles in the Montessori Bibliography Online (MBO) are peer reviewed?” This is the question that a number of individuals have posed to me. After considerable evaluation and problem solving I was able to identify an approach to collate this information and a method for recording it within entries of the database.

Method

To determine whether a magazine or journal article is from a peer reviewed publication I relied on the following steps:

  • Determine ISSN for publication and add it to applicable entries in the database.
  • Determine Peer Review status of publication and demarcate peer reviewed sources within the database.
Note: I utilize Zotero to organize and catalog all of the entries within the MBO and I use a plugin called Zutilo to perform some more advanced operations.

Determine ISSN

In order to identify the ISSN for publications referenced in all of the article entries I relied on three resources: ISSN PortalUlrichsweb, and WorldCat. Once an ISSN was identified, I added it to the applicable entries in the database (in the “ISSN” field of Zotero). Not all publications will have an ISSN: some publications pre-date the ISSN standard, other publications have not applied for an ISSN. I am operating under the impression that all peer reviewed publications will have an ISSN.

Approximately 77% (31,842) of all entries in the MBO are magazine/journal entries and I was able to identify ISSNs for 61% (19,564) of these entries. These article entries are from 1,694 (based on ISSN) or 2,636 (based on publication title) unique publications. This discrepancy is due to the fact that not all publications have ISSNs and a publication can have the same ISSN but then change title.

Determine peer review status

After identifying the ISSN for as many entries as possible, the next step was determining the review status of the publications. In order to achieve this I relied on a few methods. Firstly, I consulted Ulrichsweb which indicates if publications are peer reviewed (i.e., refereed). Additionally, I consulted publication websites to see how they present their review process. It’s important to note that “peer review” is generally synonymous with double-blind review, blind review, and refereed. Once I determined whether a publication employed peer review or not I added this demarcation to the applicable entries in the database.

Technical note: This specifically resulted in repurposing the “journalAbbreviation” field in Zotero to capture the peer review status data. Therefore, if I was able to determine that a publication is peer reviewed then “Yes” was added to the “journalAbbreviation” field in the respective database entries.

Peer review statistics

1,972 of magazine/journal article entries in the database are from peer reviewed publications (as of October 19, 2023).

5.58% of all article entries are from peer reviewed sources.

A bar chart illustrating the quantity of peer reviewed articles by year.

The chronological distribution of all peer review article entries in the MBO.

The chart above indicates a clear exponential upward trajectory beginning in the early 1990s. This sharp increase is likely in part due to changes in scholarly communication – such as the introduction of electronic/online journals – during the past 20 to 40 years. Other similar factors also may partially explain this uptick. Thus, it’s difficult to say whether this trend indicates an increase in research related to Maria Montessori and/or Montessori education.

Conclusion

These numbers may under-represent the actual figure because determining peer review status of historical publications or publications which are no longer in print is quite difficult. All this to say, I’m not sure if any meaningful conclusions can be drawn from these figures, but I think it at least provides some insight into the MBO dataset.

Regardless, now that this data has been captured within the database it can be displayed in records on the search results page. For any article that is from a peer reviewed source, the record will include a “Peer Reviewed” label as illustrated in the image below.

Any article entry that has been peer reviewed now has a “Peer Reviewed” label included at the head of the entry.

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New language filter feature

The search interface recently received a revised language filter feature that will hopefully enable more effective searches. This language filter can now be used to search for entries that are available in a specific language or languages. Previously the language filter was not as precise so this is sure to be a welcome update. The two figures below illustrate this new feature.

 

Language filter box
Figure 1. Language filter
Language filter dropdown list
Figure 2. Language filter dropdown selector list

The interface now allows users to filter a search by one or more languages by selecting from a dropdown selector list. As shown in Figure 2, the list displays the language name (e.g., English, Italian, Dutch). To the right of the language name is a number in parentheses which indicates the number of records in that language. The dropdown list is sorted largest to smallest based on the number of records in each language – not alphabetically.

Hopefully this update improves your experience and search effectiveness. Happy searching!

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Korean language content added

Korean language content in the Bibliography has been an area with limited representation. I’m excited to share that through the National Library of Korea I was able to identify more than 200 entries and add them to the Bibliography. These sources include theses/dissertations, books, and journal articles spanning from the 1970s to the present day.

One particularly notable source is the journal published by the Korean Montessori Education Society (한국Montessori교육학회) – Montessori교육연구 [Montessori Education Research]. This journal was superseded by 실천유아교육Journal of Korea Practice Association for Early Childhood Education (published by the Korea Practical Early Childhood Education Association, formerly Korean Montessori Education Society).

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New entries added!

The Handbook of Montessori Education (Bloomsbury, 2023) will be published in the very near future and includes nearly seventy entries about specific aspects of Montessori education and the Montessori education movement. These entries were just added to the bibliography.

Another addition to the Bibliography are articles from the Japanese language publication, モンテッソーリ教育 / Montessori Kyōiku [Montessori Education]. This is the official publication of the Japanese Association Montessori (JAM) which was first published in 1968. The index for this publication is available through Japan’s national library – the National Diet Library. Citations for articles in this publication from 1968 through 2010 are now a part of the Montessori Bibliography Online. This amounts to nearly 800 entries.

Another recent addition are entries for articles from MoMo (Mondo Montessori) an Italian language publication distributed by Fondazione Montessori Italia. This includes nearly 350 entries, primarily in Italian, and span from 2015 through 2022.

In January 2023 I also added a large group of Hungarian-language entries that I unearthed in the Arcanum Digitális Tudománytár. This collection comprises historical magazines, journals, newspapers, books, and other materials primarily published in Hungary. This resource yielded 206 entries.

Similarly, in early January I learned about a digital library which contains historical materials covering the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Iceland – Timarit.is. This resource only yielded 24 entries, but it did fill in an area of geographically and linguistically limited coverage. Prior to this, there were zero entries in Icelandic within the Montessori Bibliography Online and very few focused on this geographical region.

New entries are always being added to the database. I look forward to highlighting some of them here in the future.

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New year… New beginnings… News section

Happy New Year! With a new year comes new beginnings. In that vein I am pleased to introduce a new section – a News section – on the site. In this section I will provide periodic updates about the Montessori Bibliography Online and any other related information. Some of the updates I’m excited to share: statistics about the overall number of entries/citations in the database; the chronological distribution of entries/citations; a breakdown of different types of entries (articles, books, etc.).

I’m excited to introduce this News section where I can share updates and news with you.