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METACANON 0.7
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METACANON 0.7

This is not a greatest books list.

Metacanon is a database that offers an alternative to the genre of the greatest books list. Unlike lists compiled by individuals or small committees of experts, metacanon builds custom book lists by culling data from tens of thousands of scholarly texts. This data-driven approach results in a more comprehensive, flexible, and inclusive gateway into the canon(s).

Metacanon 0.7 is limited primarily to American fiction after 1800, but future updates will expand to include other areas, genres, and periods.

Use the menu below to generate your own version of the canon.

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19th Century
20th Century
1800 - Present
New York Times Archive

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Include only works published between and .

Althorithm Modifications

Change the weight of these data points in order to change the shape of your canon.










# Title Author Year Score
1Mark as read.The Wings of the DoveHenry James190217.97
2Mark as read.The VirginianOwen Wister190214.09
3Mark as read.The Leopard's SpotsThomas Dixon19029.28
4Mark as read.The Sport of the GodsPaul Laurence Dunbar19027.01
5Mark as read.Hagar's DaughterPauline Hopkins19026.06
6Mark as read.The Valley of DecisionEdith Wharton19025.68
7Mark as read.The KentonsWilliam Dean Howells19024.44
8Mark as read.The American Diary of a Japanese GirlYone Noguchi19023.32
9Mark as read.The ConquerorGertrude Atherton19023.10
10Mark as read.The Cruise of the DazzlerJack London19022.94
11Mark as read.A Japanese NightingaleWinnifred Eaton19022.48
12Mark as read.The Flight of Pony BakerWilliam Dean Howells19021.99
13Mark as read.Dorothy Vernon of Haddon HallCharles Major19020.97
14Mark as read.AliensMary Tappan Wright19020.00
# Score
1Mark as read.The Wings of the Dove (1902)
Henry James
17.97
2Mark as read.The Virginian (1902)
Owen Wister
14.09
3Mark as read.The Leopard's Spots (1902)
Thomas Dixon
9.28
4Mark as read.The Sport of the Gods (1902)
Paul Laurence Dunbar
7.01
5Mark as read.Hagar's Daughter (1902)
Pauline Hopkins
6.06
6Mark as read.The Valley of Decision (1902)
Edith Wharton
5.68
7Mark as read.The Kentons (1902)
William Dean Howells
4.44
8Mark as read.The American Diary of a Japanese Girl (1902)
Yone Noguchi
3.32
9Mark as read.The Conqueror (1902)
Gertrude Atherton
3.10
10Mark as read.The Cruise of the Dazzler (1902)
Jack London
2.94
11Mark as read.A Japanese Nightingale (1902)
Winnifred Eaton
2.48
12Mark as read.The Flight of Pony Baker (1902)
William Dean Howells
1.99
13Mark as read.Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall (1902)
Charles Major
0.97
14Mark as read.Aliens (1902)
Mary Tappan Wright
0.00

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Include only:


Include only works published between and .

Althorithm Modifications

Change the weight of these data points in order to change the shape of your canon.








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N-gram Frequency Correction.

Titles consisting of words or phrases that are exceedingly common in the English language corpus (such as Stephen King's It or Joyce Carol Oates's them) tend to be overrepresented in search results, thus resulting in an articially inflated citation count. To counteract this tendency, Metacanon adjusts the scores for these works accordingly. Scores subjected to n-gram frequency correction are estimates only and are marked with an asterisk. N-gram freqencies are drawn from the Corpus of Contemporary American English, a project created by Mark Davies.


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Non-unique author Correction.

Books by authors with a non-unique name (for example "Winston Churchill," the American novelist) tend to be overrepresented in search results, thus resulting in an articially inflated citation count. To counteract this tendency, Metacanon adjusts the scores for these works accordingly. Scores subjected to non-unique author correction are estimates only and are marked with a dagger.


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