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What is the status of the Montessori Bibliography Online?

I periodically do an audit of the bibliography to gain an understanding of the extent of the coverage. Generally, I focus on 5 areas and for the most part the scope of these categories are self-evident, however there are some nuances to consider.

Type of entry refers to the type of material – journal article, book, book section, et cetera – in which the citation references.

Language of content refers to the language(s) which the referenced document is written. In some cases a document may be written in one or more languages.

Year of publication is pretty self-evident, this refers to the year in which the document was published. In some cases the date of publication is unknown or unidentified so this field is left empty.

Available or unavailable in digital form refers to whether the document is accessible digitally from a reputable and reliable source. This includes content that is freely available as well as content available behind a paywall.

Finally, tagged or untagged refers to whether I have completed a basic level of cataloging of the content. As I add content to the database I attempt to assign relevant tags – this has been a challenge to maintain or sustain.

As of August 28, 2023 – 43,572 unique entries

Type of entry

Type Quantity Percent
Book 3,650 8.38 %
Book section 2,766 6.35 %
Journal or magazine article 33,679 77.30 %
Manuscript of archival collection 427 0.98 %
Newspaper article 1,153 2.65 %
Thesis or dissertation 1,345 3.09 %
Other 552 1.27 %
“Other” is a combination of types which individually make up less than 0.5% of the entire dataset. These types include: audio recording, blog post, conference paper, dataset, dictionary entry, document, encyclopedia article, interview, patent, presentation, report, video recording, and web page.

Language of content

Language Quantity Percent
Dutch 3,332 7.65 %
English 26,953 61.86 %
French 572 1.31 %
German 2,803 6.43 %
Hungarian 298 0.68 %
Italian 6,306 14.47 %
Japanese 890 2.04 %
Korean 352 0.81 %
Spanish 552 1.27 %
Swedish 230 0.53 %
Other 1,377 3.16 %
“Other” is a combination of languages which individually make up less than 0.5% of the entire dataset. These languages include: Afrikaans, Arabic, Bosnian, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Estonian, Finnish, Galician, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Icelandic, Indonesian, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Marathi, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Tamil, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uzbek, Vietnamese, and unidentified. Some of the referenced materials include more than one language.

Year of publication


Available / unavailable online

Available 15,326 35.17 %
Unavailable 28,246 64.83 %
Tagged or untagged

With keywords 16,207 37.20 %
Without keywords 27,365 62.80 %

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New language filter feature

The search interface recently received a revised language filter feature that will hopefully enable more effective searches. This language filter can now be used to search for entries that are available in a specific language or languages. Previously the language filter was not as precise so this is sure to be a welcome update. The two figures below illustrate this new feature.


Language filter box
Figure 1. Language filter
Language filter dropdown list
Figure 2. Language filter dropdown selector list

The interface now allows users to filter a search by one or more languages by selecting from a dropdown selector list. As shown in Figure 2, the list displays the language name (e.g., English, Italian, Dutch). To the right of the language name is a number in parentheses which indicates the number of records in that language. The dropdown list is sorted largest to smallest based on the number of records in each language – not alphabetically.

Hopefully this update improves your experience and search effectiveness. Happy searching!

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Korean language content added

Korean language content in the Bibliography has been an area with limited representation. I’m excited to share that through the National Library of Korea I was able to identify more than 200 entries and add them to the Bibliography. These sources include theses/dissertations, books, and journal articles spanning from the 1970s to the present day.

One particularly notable source is the journal published by the Korean Montessori Education Society (한국Montessori교육학회) – Montessori교육연구 [Montessori Education Research]. This journal was superseded by 실천유아교육Journal of Korea Practice Association for Early Childhood Education (published by the Korea Practical Early Childhood Education Association, formerly Korean Montessori Education Society).

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New entries added!

The Handbook of Montessori Education (Bloomsbury, 2023) will be published in the very near future and includes nearly seventy entries about specific aspects of Montessori education and the Montessori education movement. These entries were just added to the bibliography.

Another addition to the Bibliography are articles from the Japanese language publication, モンテッソーリ教育 / Montessori Kyōiku [Montessori Education]. This is the official publication of the Japanese Association Montessori (JAM) which was first published in 1968. The index for this publication is available through Japan’s national library – the National Diet Library. Citations for articles in this publication from 1968 through 2010 are now a part of the Montessori Bibliography Online. This amounts to nearly 800 entries.

Another recent addition are entries for articles from MoMo (Mondo Montessori) an Italian language publication distributed by Fondazione Montessori Italia. This includes nearly 350 entries, primarily in Italian, and span from 2015 through 2022.

In January 2023 I also added a large group of Hungarian-language entries that I unearthed in the Arcanum Digitális Tudománytár. This collection comprises historical magazines, journals, newspapers, books, and other materials primarily published in Hungary. This resource yielded 206 entries.

Similarly, in early January I learned about a digital library which contains historical materials covering the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Iceland – This resource only yielded 24 entries, but it did fill in an area of geographically and linguistically limited coverage. Prior to this, there were zero entries in Icelandic within the Montessori Bibliography Online and very few focused on this geographical region.

New entries are always being added to the database. I look forward to highlighting some of them here in the future.

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How many articles in the Bibliography are peer reviewed?

“How many articles in the Montessori Bibliography Online are peer reviewed?” This is the question that a number of individuals have posed to me. After considerable evaluation and problem solving I was able to identify an approach to collate this information and a method for recording it within entries of the database.

The method I employed to determine whether a magazine or journal article is from a peer reviewed publication initially relied on the following steps:

  • Determine ISSN for publication and add it to applicable entries in the database.
  • Determine Peer Review status of publication and demarcate peer reviewed sources within the database.

It may be of interest to know that I utilize Zotero to organize and catalog all of the entries within the Montessori Bibliography Online and I use a plugin called Zutilo to perform some more advanced operations.

Determine ISSN

In order to identify the ISSN for publications referenced in all of the article entries I relied on three resources: ISSN PortalUlrichsweb, and WorldCat. Once an ISSN was identified, I added it to the applicable entries in the database (in the “ISSN” field of Zotero). Not all publications will have an ISSN: some publications pre-date the ISSN standard, other publications have not applied for an ISSN. I am operating under the impression that all peer reviewed publications will have an ISSN.

Approximately 77% (31,842) of all entries in the Montessori Bibliography Online are magazine/journal entries and I was able to identify ISSNs for 61% (19,564) of these entries. These article entries are from 1,694 (based on ISSN) or 2,636 (based on publication title) unique publications. This discrepancy is due to the fact that not all publications have ISSNs and a publication can have the same ISSN but then change title.

Determine peer review status

After identifying the ISSN for as many entries as possible, the next step was determining the review status of the publications. In order to achieve this I relied on a few methods. Firstly, I consulted Ulrichsweb which indicates if publications are peer reviewed (aka “refereed”). Additionally, I consulted publication websites to see how they present their review process. It’s important to note that “peer review” is generally synonymous with double-blind review, blind review, and refereed. Once I determined whether a publication employed peer review or not I added this demarcation to the applicable entries in the database.

This specifically resulted in repurposing the “journalAbbreviation” field in Zotero to capture the peer review status data. Therefore, if I was able to determine that a publication is peer reviewed then a “Yes” was added to the “journalAbbreviation” field in the respective database entries.

Peer review statistics

As of January 5, 2023, 1,776 of magazine/journal article entries in the database are from peer reviewed publications. These peer reviewed articles come from approximately 880 unique publications (884 by unique title, 876 by unique ISSN).

5.58% of all article entries are from peer reviewed sources.

9.08% of all article entries with an ISSN are from peer reviewed sources.

The chronological distribution of all peer review article entries in the Montessori Bibliography Online (as of Jan 5, 2023).

The chart above indicates a clear exponential upward trajectory beginning in the early 2000s. This sharp increase is likely in part due to changes in scholarly communication – such as the introduction of electronic/online journals – during the past 20 to 40 years. Other similar factors also may partially explain this uptick. Thus, it’s difficult to say whether this trend indicates an increase in research related to Maria Montessori and/or Montessori education.


These numbers may under-represent the actual figure because determining peer review status of historical publications or publications which are no longer in print is quite difficult. All this to say, I’m not sure if any meaningful conclusions can be drawn from these figures, but I think it at least provides some insight into the Montessori Bibliography Online dataset.

Regardless, now that this data has been captured within the database it can be displayed in records on the search results page. For any article that is from a peer reviewed source, the record will include a “Peer Reviewed” label as illustrated in the image below.

Any article entry that is from a peer reviewed publication now has a “Peer Reviewed” label included at the head of the entry.

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New year… New beginnings… News section

Happy New Year! With a new year comes new beginnings. In that vein I am pleased to introduce a new section – a News section – on the site. In this section I will provide periodic updates about the Montessori Bibliography Online and any other related information. Some of the updates I’m excited to share: statistics about the overall number of entries/citations in the database; the chronological distribution of entries/citations; a breakdown of different types of entries (articles, books, etc.).

I’m excited to introduce this News section where I can share updates and news with you.