The Value of Custom Resource Associations

Two weeks ago I talked a little bit about the value of collections. To summarize, collections have two primary functions:

  1. They allow you to organize and group your books together so that they are easier to find in My Library. For example, you have a systematic theology kind of question, and you can’t remember all of the systematic theology books that you have. You could just type “Systematic Theology” in My Library, but then you’d miss Shedd’s Dogmatic Theology and many others. You could try the broader “Theology,” but then you’d probably get a lot more books than you’re really looking for (like all of the journals with “Theology” in the title) and you’d miss a book like Henry’s God, Revelation and Authority. If you create a Systematic Theology collection, you’d be able to view your entire list of available Systematic Theology resources without missing any and without weeding through resources that don’t belong.
  2. They also allow you to improve the way you search. Searching collections is the ideal way to search for two reasons: accuracy and speed. (1) You’ll get hits that are more likely to address your question without having to wade through lots of false hits, and (2) your search will take far less time than if you are searching your entire library.

Resource Associations
Today I’d like to talk about the value of custom resource associations. I’ve found that many users don’t know what resource associations are, how they differ from collections, what value they have, or how to set them up. I hope that the remainder of this post will help to provide some answers to questions like these.
A resource association is simply a grouping of resources that enables you to navigate easily to similar resources. There are two kinds: serial and parallel.
Serial Resource Associations
A serial resource association groups books in the same series, like commentaries in the WBC or PNTC. So if you are looking at Genesis 15:6 in Wenham’s commentary in the WBC and want to jump to Romans 4:3 in the same series to read Dunn’s comments, you can simply type Rom 4:3 in the reference box in the top left hand corner, and it will take you to the Romans commentary in the same series. Think of a serial resource association as making many resources in a series function like one big resource. For the most part, serial resource associations come included with products. You won’t normally need to create any of your own.
Parallel Resource Associations
A parallel resource association groups books that cover the same basic content. For example, you might create a resource association for all of your English Bibles, all of your Greek New Testaments, all of your commentaries on Romans, all of your Hebrew grammars, all of your Apostolic Fathers texts, etc. This allows you to jump to one of these similar resources to compare with just two mouse clicks. I find this incredibly handy for those times when I go straight to a commentary instead of running a full Passage Guide report. By clicking on the Parallel Resources button, you will get a drop down list of the other books in your association.


So here I’m looking at Galatians 3:6 in Betz’ commentary in the Hermeneia series. Clicking on The New American Commentary: Galatians will take me to the same location in George’s commentary. (You can also use your right and left arrow keys to scroll through this list, but I find that using the parallel resources button is much quicker because you can go immediately to the one you want.)
The value of using your own parallel resource associations is that only the resources that you choose will appear, making the list targeted and customized to the way you study—and they are only two clicks away.
Defining Custom Resource Associations
Setting them up is simple to do. First, make sure you have the Power Tools Addin installed (read about or watch how to download it for free). Next, click on Tools > Library Management > Define Resource Associations. Select Parallel, and then click New. I recommend sorting by Title and checking the Unlocked Resources Only box. Add all of the resources that you want in your resource association, and order them however you want (e.g., alphabetically or in order of priority). Click OK and Close, and you’re ready to use your new resource association. Create as many as you want. For more information, see the article “Define Resource Associations” in the Libronix DLS Power Tools Addin Help resource or search for it in Libronix DLS Help (F1 or Help > Libronix DLS Help). Also, check out the “Customize Your New Digital Library” training video. The applicable portion is 14:53–18:31.
Now navigating from one resource to the next will be easier than ever.
Two things you should be aware of as you create your custom parallel resource associations:
  1. A resource can be in only one parallel resource association.
  2. Adding a resource to a custom resource association will override the default associations.

Comments

  1. Thanks for this entry.
    I find it a bummer though that resources can only be added to one parallel association at a time.
    for example:
    MacArthur Commentary on Romans: associated with several others that you like from different authors, but ALSO in an association with “all MacArthur” stuff….

  2. Hi, Bob,
    Thanks for the comment. Can you explain a bit further what you’d like the software to be able to do? Are you saying you’d like MacArthur on Romans to be in a Romans parallel resource association but also to be in a MacArthur commentary association? If so, keep in mind that the latter is a serial resource association and will not conflict with your Romans parallel resource association. To jump to another MacArthur commentary, just type the reference in the reference box.
    If you are referring to a parallel resource association of all MacArthur books, you might be misunderstanding the nature of a parallel resource association. Books in a parallel association should have parallel content. Not all MacArthur books have the same content and index (like Bibles, commentaries, etc. do). You can have Greek grammars in a parallel association, even though they don’t have an identical index. So I guess you could do the same with MacArthur books, but perhaps creating a MacArthur collection is what you’re really after.

  3. Dan DeVilder says:

    one possible need for a dual parallel source would be, say, a Max Lucado book. I would use his books in a collection of books that have good illustrations. (by the way, it would be nice to add books to what currently counts as illustration books in the Passage Guide). But then another parallel collection would be books arranged around a specific topic or text (John 3:16, or “Forgiveness” or something.)

  4. Robert,
    It might be helpful, when you are thinking of Parallel resource associations to keep in mind that the link between them is a common Active Index.
    If you have the same resource in two different association lists, the program doesn’t know which list you are using when you go to the parallel resources…
    in future versions of the program, it might be possible to list the same resource in two or more resource association lists, but it will require the user to designate or toggle which resource association list you want to be active… similar to the way you can select the active index in any resource window now.
    Dan,
    I share your frustration with not being able to add additional resources into some of our automated reports. I’d like, for example, to add topically indexed books to the Topic Guide Report and the topics section of the Passage Guide as well as Maps to the Passage Guide and Illustrations to the illustrations section of the Passage Guide.
    One way around this, of course, is to search user-defined collections with the Reference and Topic Browsers. Its a couple of extra steps, but highly modifieable.

  5. Phil,
    I used Parallel Resources to create an English Bibles association. This did two things for me:
    1. It removed all of the Bibles that are listed in the default Bibles Association list that I don’t normally use (like the Targums and my Spanish and German Bibles) that get in the way of quickly navigating to the other English Bibles that I use more frequently when studying in English. I don’t know about you, but when I’m in my ESV and I want to take a quick look at what the NIV or the NASB says, I didn’t like having to hit the little arrow at the bottom of the list of Targums to scroll down to them…
    2. I was able to customize the order and thus list the Bibles I use most frequently near the center and the ones I use less frequently further away. that way, I can simply hit the left and right arrow keys to go down or up the list in the order that I have since memorized. Also, I listed them on a spectrum: from the most dynamically equivalent (The Message at the top) to the most essentially literal (Young’s Literal and the NASB at the bottom). HOwever, I put my ESV and ESV Reverse Interlinears at nearly the center of the list so that I could toggle between the ESV (my preferred Bible) and the Reverse Interlinears and then move up for more dynamic equivalence, NIV, etc… or down for other literal translations to compare English Glosses…
    I also use similar lists for my Greek Bibles, my Hebrew Bibles, Latin Texts, and then one for all of my other modern translations, non-english Bibles (German, Dutch, Spanish, Arabic, Korean,Russian, French, etc… (for when I’m presenting to a multi-nationality / ethnic audience or witnessing to someone with my computer…)

  6. Let me just follow up why we might want a resource in more than one parallel association.
    When I preach through a bible book, I create a parallel association for that book. As you say, it allows me to easily switch between various commentaries. This is fine for Galatians, but what about a commentary on the Pastoral Epistles? If I include it in my 2 Timothy list, I can’t have it in my Titus list.
    Another example. I have a parallel resource for OT textual critical notes, and another for NT. But where do I put the NET Bible notes? There are countless other examples. This limitation has really bugged me.
    On the other hand, thanks for responding promptly to comments on this blog. This often doesn’t happen, so thank you.

  7. Great ideas, Ed. Glad to see someone else making use of the the custom parallel resource associations. They take a little work to set up, but pay back in time saved in just a couple of days.
    Mark, I’m right with you that it would be great for a resource to be in multiple parallel associations. Your exactly right that some books cover the same content as two or three other books and thus need to be in multiple associations. I’ve been talking with Bradley Grainger about it, and the next major release of the software should overcome this inconvenience.
    I’ll do my best to keep prompt responses coming.

  8. Let me just add a late follow-up. In the new version of Logos it would be brilliant if the drop-down menu that lists parallel resources could indicate which of the resources had the current topic/reference available in them.
    For example, I have a parallel resource for Bible Dictionaries, with 13 resources in it. It’s frustrating clicking on one of the other resources, and then finding that it doesn’t have that topic in it. You then lose the topic, and have to navigate to it manually again.
    If by some colour-coding or re-ordering the menu could indicate which were available that would be very helpful.

  9. Phil,
    Thanks for responding…I wish this blog had a “be notified of replies by email” thingy…then I’d have noticed your question earlier…
    You are right…I was mistaken about the Mac thing…serial vs parallel…
    bob

  10. Sandy Browder says:

    I am looking to have a custom bible made that contains an old and new testament interlinear along with the strongs numbering system and the corresponding dictionaries. It also would need to contain a large concordance, wide margin, leather bound. No footnotes or commentaries. Do you know of a company I can get this made at? Thank you and God bless…

  11. Hi, Sandy,
    I’m sorry, but I’m not aware of any company that would do what you’re looking for.