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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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Althorithm Modifications

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









AMERICAN FICTION 1901

# Title Author Year Score
1Mark as read.The OctopusFrank Norris190115.47
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 279 (5.52 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 364 (4.20 points) | American Literature: 46 (3.51 points) | American Literary History: 6 (2.25 points)
2Mark as read.The Sacred FountHenry James190113.43
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 65 (3.40 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 563 (4.79 points) | American Literature: 66 (3.99 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
3Mark as read.The Marrow of TraditionCharles Chesnutt190111.52
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 151 (4.53 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 124 (2.97 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 11 (2.97 points)
4Mark as read.The Tory LoverSarah Orne Jewett19015.17
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 27 (1.72 points) | American Literature: 7 (1.61 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
5Mark as read.Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage PatchAlice Hegan Rice19014.55
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 14 (1.89 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 48 (2.14 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.The CrisisWinston Churchill19014.32Score adjusted to correct for an author win a non-unique name (for example "Winston Churchill").
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 22 (2.27 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2651 (2.00 points)Score adjusted to correct for an author win a non-unique name (for example "Winston Churchill"). | American Literature: 2 (0.02 points)Score adjusted to correct for an author win a non-unique name (for example "Winston Churchill"). | American Literary History: 1 (0.02 points)Score adjusted to correct for an author win a non-unique name (for example "Winston Churchill").

Non-unique Author Name Correction: -98.49%
7Mark as read.GraustarkGeorge Barr McCutcheon19013.07
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 24 (1.65 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
8Mark as read.Crucial InstancesEdith Wharton19013.03
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 6 (1.28 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 28 (1.75 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.The Making of a MarchionessFrances Hodgson Burnett19011.18
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
10Mark as read.The Helmet of NavarreBertha Runkle19010.95
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2 (0.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
# Score
1Mark as read.The Octopus (1901)
Frank Norris
15.47
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 279 (5.52 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 364 (4.20 points) | American Literature: 46 (3.51 points) | American Literary History: 6 (2.25 points)
2Mark as read.The Sacred Fount (1901)
Henry James
13.43
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 65 (3.40 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 563 (4.79 points) | American Literature: 66 (3.99 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
3Mark as read.The Marrow of Tradition (1901)
Charles Chesnutt
11.52
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 151 (4.53 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 124 (2.97 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 11 (2.97 points)
4Mark as read.The Tory Lover (1901)
Sarah Orne Jewett
5.17
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 27 (1.72 points) | American Literature: 7 (1.61 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
5Mark as read.Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch (1901)
Alice Hegan Rice
4.55
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 14 (1.89 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 48 (2.14 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.The Crisis (1901)
Winston Churchill
4.32Score adjusted to correct for an author win a non-unique name (for example "Winston Churchill").
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 22 (2.27 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2651 (2.00 points)Score adjusted to correct for an author win a non-unique name (for example "Winston Churchill"). | American Literature: 2 (0.02 points)Score adjusted to correct for an author win a non-unique name (for example "Winston Churchill"). | American Literary History: 1 (0.02 points)Score adjusted to correct for an author win a non-unique name (for example "Winston Churchill").

Non-unique Author Name Correction: -98.49%
7Mark as read.Graustark (1901)
George Barr McCutcheon
3.07
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 24 (1.65 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
8Mark as read.Crucial Instances (1901)
Edith Wharton
3.03
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 6 (1.28 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 28 (1.75 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.The Making of a Marchioness (1901)
Frances Hodgson Burnett
1.18
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
10Mark as read.The Helmet of Navarre (1901)
Bertha Runkle
0.95
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2 (0.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)

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Include only:

Include only works published between and .

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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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