New edition of the PPRG public procurement bibliography available

The PPRG has recently published a new edition of its extensive public procurement bibliography, the first from 2011 and with 4,000 new entries. The PDF is available here.

Having modestly contributed to the first edition when I was a Ph.D student at Nottingham a decade ago, it is great to see this resource expand as it has.

Having said that, the concerns I voiced then regarding the option for a text document to harbour all this information are ever more valid. The new edition overs 500+ pages and is very unwieldy to use if you either have a low spec computer or a small screen. It also forces submissions to be presented in the exact house style of the bibliography and this needs to be done by hand.

A text file is not a database or a proper repository for a bibliography and my suggestion in 2010 of using any of the various database formats then available was rejected. I think my preferred one was bibtex which is free, but I'm not 100% sure.

The database would have the benefit of being easily adaptable to the uses of any user and could easily be expanded upon by any motivated party. Plus, each source would constitute a single entry instead of being repeated multiple times as it happens in the current PDF version.

I also suggested back then a permissive Creative Commons license but that suggestion was also not taken up. In fact, there is a blanket ban on the electronic reproduction of the bibliography, once more restricting its usefulness. Only 'hard copy' reproductions are permitted, but I cannot really see many in this day and age printing 500+ pages of a bibliography.

Overall, it is still a relevant resource in 2020 but not as useful or user friendly as it otherwise could have been.

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