I love when I can almost literally feel my brain cells reorienting to some new idea that springs from the Read/Write Web, and today it happened with Collin Brooke’s post about Works Citing. I mean it’s not a new concept; one of the basic principles of source testing these days is to see who is using the source and how. That’s what trackback and Technorati are all about. And even Amazon has been getting into that act by giving information on what books cite any particular book you might be interested in. Reversable bibliographies…because we can. (The power of links…)

The shift today came when Collin’s idea made me think about how Works Citing might be useful in our own practice when we teach research. Could that be a new part of the research paper, listing some of the works that are citing the works in the Works Cited? Sounds convoluted, I know, but it would be a great way to get kids to examine their sources more deeply, to start discussions about source validation on the Web, and to begin to make it a regular part of their practice. You could teach them to use Technorati, or to run a link search on Google or Alta Vista. And how cool would it be if some student work was being cited by others? Depending on who those others were, that could be a great tool for validating a student’s contribution.

Just a thought…