There is no intention that CBC@ itself should ever be used or cited as a direct source of information about texts or “assertions”. Rather, it should be used like an annotated index: it points users to potentially useful scholarly sources pertaining to questions of ascription of Chinese Buddhist texts. Users might also think of it as a friendly service by means of which researchers share relatively informal notes about content of various sources relevant to questions of ascription. 

This means that when they find in the database information about a given text that promises to be useful to their research, users should always follow up and engage directly with those sources themselves, rather than relying exclusively upon CBC@. This frees contributors from onerous responsibility for excessive accuracy; only thus can such a user-contributor database be expected to reach and maintain relatively full coverage. 

Put differently: The database is a venue for friendly sharing of informal notes on sources—not, itself, an authoritative source. 

At present, and for the foreseeable future, it is also vital to note that CBC@ is incomplete

“Incomplete” means, first, that its information about any single given source, such as Nattier (2008), Hayashiya (1941) or Zhisheng’s Kaiyuan lu T2154 (all discussed above) may be incomplete (in the case of Zhisheng, for instance, it certainly is at present). 

“Incomplete” also means that there is no guarantee that CBC@ contains all the arguments ever made, or evidence ever found, about any single given Chinese text (indeed, it is hard to imagine how such a guarantee could ever be given, in light of the scattered, difficult and obscure nature of many potentially relevant sources). 

“Incomplete” therefore also means that nothing can be inferred from the silence of CBC@ on any given topic. 

Next: User contributor model