I. METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES1
A. Bias related to the extension and quality of the corpus of references
1. Extension and quality of the patristic corpus
Ultimately, BIBLINDEX will allow research in all patristic literature, on reliable and comparable data. For now, a number of difficulties remain.
First, the corpus is still neither exhaustive nor homogeneous. The data available is the combined wealth of data inherited from the CADP (see Story of the project): that is, 270,000 verified and homogeneous references for Philo of Alexandria; all of the Greek and Latin patristic works from the first three centuries and part of those from the fourth century; 100,000 other digitalized entries, but not yet published, which one can assume have undergone the same validation process as the previous ones, mainly concerning Athanasius of Alexandria, Jerome, John Chrysostom and Procopius of Gaza; and approximately 400,000 other references, unverified, typed up from the CADP paper archives, as well as references from various corpora, written between the 4th and 11th centuries. As for the major authors of the 4th century, we believe that we are approaching exhaustiveness. For the 5th century, Cyril of Alexandria and Theodoret of Cyrus are fully covered, which is also the case for later authors such as Gregory the Great (6th century) and Maximus the Confessor (7th century). Many Catenae have been analysed: As far as possible, each fragment has been attributed to its alleged author.
The corpus is constantly evolving as new references are entered – and in any case, even when it is more or less stabilized, the inability to access citations of lost works will always distort the calculations of proportions: only the orders of magnitude is reliably ascertained. As soon as you work on a specific corpus, you should check whether the desired works are available online (see Patristic corpus).