Simon Browne

see also being kind to the reader, cleaning up text, editing, rebinding, repaginating, republishing, reprinting

Academic research requires citation, and inevitably this means referring to a quote from a book, located on a particular page. Citation allows readers to locate the reference efficiently. For this to happen, the reader must be able to find the text easily by searching for it in a catalogue system. Often books will include cataloguing information in the front matter, and for citation purposes this can be retained in a bootlegged book.

Digital files don’t always come with text that is suitable for print, particularly when the text is kerned too tightly or too loosely, or when bad OCR (Optical Character Recognition) returns characters that are not actually in the source publication. Sometimes a dark mark on a page will be interpreted as a character by OCR software. In these cases the text may need to be set again using a different format, font and page layout.

Image: A bootleg copy of The Open Work by Umberto Eco. Optical Character Recognition software has mistakenly rendered the page number (page 80) as the word “So”