User guide

In the following pages you can find help and guidelines for using the website. Note the book navigation menu.

See also a document outside the website: Configuration spreadsheet.

General terms

Here are some preliminary terms we ask you to understand so we can use a common language.

  • Domain - The real-world data (works, manuscripts, people, etc.).
  • Database - Our trial to partially formalize and represent the domain.
  • Object - A discreet work, person, institution, etc, in the real world; the real object.
  • Entity type - A type that represents objects.
  • Entity - A representation in the database for an object. Created out of an entity type.
  • Entity page - A full page with the data of the entity and from related entities. Has its own canonical URL.
  • Revision - A snapshot of an entity in a given time upon its data at that time. A new revision is created every time an entity is saved.
  • Field - A piece of data in an entity that depends on the containing entity.
  • Reference - A structural linkage of one entity to another one forming a relationship between the entities.
  • Back reference - The presentation of a referencing entity in the context of the referenced entity.
  • Label - A tag or a category to mark an entity with. Examples: Campū in Genres Abhinava in Social identifiers.
  • Label taxonomy - A group that represents a set of labels. Examples: Genres, Social identifiers. (See "Label taxonomies" below).

For the more tech-savvy contributor, see also the Glossary tab in our configuration spreadsheet.

Regarding relationships among types, see Type relationships in this guide.

Entity types

There are the main building blocks in order to enrich the database with data.

  • Extract - Represents a relevant piece of text from a work or a manuscript.
  • Manuscript - Represents a handwritten manuscript (on palm leaves or paper) or any fragment or piece of a manuscript.
  • Collection - Represents a manuscript collection - either current ones or old ones.
  • Work - Represents a text or a book in the domain (not to be confused with Print, see below).
  • Person - Represents a patron, a person mentioned, an author, etc.
  • Institution - Represents a temple, a matha (monastery) or a university.
  • Site - Represents a previously or curently inhabited settlement such as a town or a village.
  • State - Represents a country as India or a state inside another state as Kashmir.
  • Print - Represents a secondary scholarship such as a book, an article, a chapter in an edited volume, etc. (See "Print kinds" below).

The configuration spreadsheet holds technical specifications of the fields of each type. We specify each type and its fields in a separate tab (see list of tabs in the configuration spreadsheet).

Print kinds

These are sub-types of the Print entity type.

  • Article - An article in a scholarly journal.
  • Book - A book.
  • In book - A chapter in a book by a single author (that is, the chapter is by the same author as the entire book). Different from book stating the chapter because only one chapter is relevant.
  • In Collection - An essay or chapter printed in a multi-author volume.
  • Booklet - A booklet that is usually sold on the street.
  • Proceedings - An entire volume of conference proceedings, where all the papers delivered are provided.
  • Inproceedings - A paper, abstract, or other contribution found in "Inproceedings."
  • Phd Thesis - Doctoral thesis approved by an academic institution.
  • Master Thesis - MA Thesis approved by an academic institution.
  • Conference - A paper read at a professional conference (but not published).
  • Misc - Any item not covered by the other source categories.
  • Unpubished - An unpublished paper which the author has nonetheless shared with colleagues.

Extract kinds

  • Namaskāra phrase - Typically at the beginning of a manuscript.
  • Maṅgala passage - An auspicious verse, usually in praise of a deity.
  • Incipit - The beginning of the manuscript; use when not a namaskāra phrase or maṅgala passage.
  • Colophon phrase - The phrase that signals the end of a division or of the text, often mentions the title and author (e.g., "thus ends the Campūrāmāyaṇa composed by Bhoja").
  • Post-colophon - The section following the colophon that usually contains the name of the scribe, the date, and the site where the manuscript was copied out.
  • Explicit - The final section of a text before the colophon; ; use when not a Colophon phrase or Post-colophon.
  • Other - Any selection of text that might be prosopographically relevant but doesn't fit into the other kinds.

Label taxonomy types

These are the groups of tag-like values used to label an entity in some of the entity types.

  • Discipline - Area of interest (used to label a work).
  • Genre - Literature style or category (used to label a work).
  • Language - Languages such as Sanskrit, Tamil, and Persian (used to label a work).
  • Social identifiers - (used to label a person).