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#1 BTBailey

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 07:26 PM

After a hiatus, I'm back at my research again, fresh off an upgrade to RM6. Have there been any changes to allow control of WHICH citations of a fact will print? I'd like to have multiple citations (along with their details and comments) print for an individual's research report, but have only the best 1 or 2 citations print for narratives and FGS's.

If this is not posible, I would be interested to hear any workarounds that people are using.

Thanks in advance.

#2 TomH

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 09:04 PM

Not yet. If you were conscientious about setting the Quality of each citation, I can imagine an enhancement that would filter just the higher Quality citations for the narratives and FGS's.

As a workaround, using SQLite, a copy of the database could be stripped of lower quality citations and RM could then generate the reports.

Tom user of RM6314 FTM2014 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celtiwiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix_tiny.png app, a growing bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#3 Laura

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 12:05 PM

You could record all the sources as Items in a Research log for the person. Then only link the sources you want to print in a Narrative or FGS to the person, fact, etc. This would also be the place to record the sources where nothing was found in a source.

Instead of printing a Research note report, print the Research log.
Laura

The following was overheard at a recent high society party...
"My ancestry goes all the way back to Alexander the Great," said one lady. She then turned to a second woman and asked, "How far does your family go back?"
"I don't know," was the reply. "All of our records were lost in the flood."
-on various web sites-

#4 BTBailey

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 07:24 PM

Laura: I have toyed around with the Research Log since it started. It's still not as robust as I would like to see. Oddly enough, I use Bygones to track my research. That application hasn't been updated in more than 6 years, but I still can't find anything that rivals it. I have been hoping that someone would create an add-on module for research tracking that would link to the people, places, sources, etc. in an RM database, but still remain a separate application so you could avoid the modal window issue. I would be willing to pay $$$ for that ability, as my entire research history of more than two decades relies on a freeware database application that is no longer being updated.

I think I remember Bruce saying that the Research Log was designed purposely without an ability to cite a master source, because he didn't believe that your Source List should be cluttered with negative results. While I certainly see that point, there is a lot of functionality that the Source List provides which is lacking with just plain text needing to be formatted, copied and pasted in many, if not dozens of locations.

After some more digging, it appears that the control I want is included at the Fact level. I suppose I could create facts like "Birth-Research", "Death-Research", etc. that would not print in Narratives/FGS's, but that seems like a lot of duplication of effort for little return.

Tom: While not even pretending to be a programmer, I would think your suggestion might be the easiest to implement. Even adding another flag/checkbox in the Quality tab would be beneficial.

#5 Renee Zamora

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 02:17 PM

After a hiatus, I'm back at my research again, fresh off an upgrade to RM6. Have there been any changes to allow control of WHICH citations of a fact will print? I'd like to have multiple citations (along with their details and comments) print for an individual's research report, but have only the best 1 or 2 citations print for narratives and FGS's.

If this is not posible, I would be interested to hear any workarounds that people are using.

Thanks in advance.


Confirming enhancement request is in our tracking system.
Renee
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#6 c24m48

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 02:49 PM

After a hiatus, I'm back at my research again, fresh off an upgrade to RM6. Have there been any changes to allow control of WHICH citations of a fact will print? I'd like to have multiple citations (along with their details and comments) print for an individual's research report, but have only the best 1 or 2 citations print for narratives and FGS's.


This brings up a philosophical and genealogical question that I have with myself from time to time, not really specific to RM. Is there a best practices procedure for getting rid of citations, or should you keep all citations forever?

Example #1: in 1995, I got a census transcription for a family out of a book that somebody had published. In 1998, I found the actual census image on microfilm that had been transcribed into the book. I still have both citations. Is it ok, not ok, desirable, or not desirable to get rid of the first citation?

Example #2. In 1995, I found limited information about a person's death from a compiled death index that was an index of death certificates. In 1998, I found the actual death certificate image for the same person on microfilm. Is it ok, not ok, desirable, not desirable to get rid of the first citation?

Jerry

#7 BTBailey

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 11:52 AM

Is there a best practices procedure for getting rid of citations, or should you keep all citations forever?


Jerry, I was having the same issue when I wrote this post. I found a passage in Evidence Explained that may shed some light on that issue. Mills says: "Citing a source is not an end to itself. Our real goal is to rely only upon the best possible source. In the research stage, we record every source consulted." [emphasis in original].

She later draws a distinction between a researcher's "raw notes" and "interpretive account." This is the problem that I have always had with lineage-linked databases like RM. There is no clear distinction! If you use RM to record raw research, like I have done, and it sounds like you have done as well, the waters are muddied between research and analysis. So when you print a narrative or FGS or really any report, you get an avalanche of data, much of it conflicting and hard to interpret.

Maybe some of TPTB can shed some light on this issue, but it seems like the Research Log was a step toward providing a distinction, at least philosophically. This is where you can retain ALL of your citations, while adding only the best one (or more if necessary) as an actual Source Citation in the database. But if you use the Research Log in that manner, at least in its current form, you lose a lot of the functionality of a relational database, including Source Templates, media tagging, etc.

It seems much of the literature on "professional" research methods assumes you have a very narrowly defined project, in which you do some research, analyze it, publish it and wash your hands of it. Many of us who use RM are family historians who are constantly collecting information and maintaining an "ongoing" project that is never really done. So our needs may be different than those who work for hire or publish limited studies for scholarly publications.

I'd be interested in hearing other's thoughts on this.

#8 c24m48

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 01:34 PM

It seems much of the literature on "professional" research methods assumes you have a very narrowly defined project, in which you do some research, analyze it, publish it and wash your hands of it. Many of us who use RM are family historians who are constantly collecting information and maintaining an "ongoing" project that is never really done. So our needs may be different than those who work for hire or publish limited studies for scholarly publications.


Your comments that I just quoted are extremely insightful.

There was a recent post on one of these forums by an aspiring professional genealogist who was planning to begin working for hire, and who was commenting about the extent to which the RM To Do List and Research Log did or did not meet the needs of a professional genealogist - keeping track of how many hours were worked on each task and when, what was found or not found, etc. Such information is needed for billing purposes, and also to document for the client what was found (and how), and what was not found (and where it was searched). I found the post to be most helpful and illuminating, and I had meant to reply to indicate how much I appreciated the message and how illuminating it was. But I never got around to it, and now I'm not sure I can find the message again.

By contrast, I don't really keep up with (nor do I care to) how much time I spend on each task, nor when. I do keep up with what I searched and what I found or didn't find. But as I sometimes say about several of RM's features, I just "don't get it" about the To Do list or the Research Log. I feel like I can accomplish the same sorts of things much easier by running reports (sometimes in RM, sometimes with SQLite), by creating groups, by color coding, and by documenting results within the mainsteam of RM itself - with individuals, with families, and especially with facts. In particular, I use dummy facts that never print to indicate to do items and completed items. It works extremely well for me - much better, I think, than do the formal To Do lists and Research Log in RM. For example, you really can't make groups and color coding and do RM Explorer searches based on the RM To Do List or Research Log.

But having seen the message about the needs of a professional genealogist, I do now clearly see that what I do would not work at all for a professional. And I also see that some users who do not actually work for hire still would like to work more in the style of a professional as far as research tools. They really do want to know that they spent two hours at the Podunk Public library on September 29th, 2007 and never found a newspaper clipping for the birth of John Doe in March of 2002. I don't really care to know all that. I just document that I searched the Podunk Daily Times for a newspaper clipping of John Doe's birth. I don't care when I searched nor how long. I don't care which library's microfilm I used, or even if I found the microfilm online. So I'm not a professional. :) But now at least I do "get it" as to why many users are so into RM's To Do List and Research Log, and why they want certain additional features added.

Jerry

P.S. and I learned many decades ago working in IT that a project must have a beginning and an end. Work that doesn't have a beginning and an end may still be valuable work, but it's not a project. Therefore, much of my research is not a project because it's never ending. I maintain my sanity about the never ending aspect of my research by trying to break it down into smaller pieces that do have a beginning and an end, even if the end is several months or even several years after the beginning.

#9 Renee Zamora

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 03:27 PM

Your comments that I just quoted are extremely insightful.

There was a recent post on one of these forums by an aspiring professional genealogist who was planning to begin working for hire, and who was commenting about the extent to which the RM To Do List and Research Log did or did not meet the needs of a professional genealogist - keeping track of how many hours were worked on each task and when, what was found or not found, etc. Such information is needed for billing purposes, and also to document for the client what was found (and how), and what was not found (and where it was searched). I found the post to be most helpful and illuminating, and I had meant to reply to indicate how much I appreciated the message and how illuminating it was. But I never got around to it, and now I'm not sure I can find the message again.


I believe this is the thread you want - http://forums.rootsm...agement-system/ - it begins on post #20.
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#10 Laura

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 05:31 PM

Just my opinion, but tracking time worked on a project would be better done in a program dedicated for that use or even a spreadsheet, not a genealogy program.

However, I can see some possibilities using RM as it is today:
!. Create person, [Project name].

User defined facts:
Time spent, description: 10:00 am- 10:40 am
Minutes: 40 [ fact for each session of research]
Total minutes: total of all minutes entered in each Minutes fact]

Research, date, description: date of research, description ; fact(s) searched for, Birth, Death, etc, found/unfound, source linked to fact, media linked to fact and/or source, transcriptions of source in fact notes

Or add the research to a research log for that person and link the source to the person or the Minutes fact. Ref. no. as Found/Unfound. Objective as source name or person's name. Or put the research in ToDo's with the repository being the source. Or add the Research fact to real people searched for instead of the Project person.

Create a custom report and export it to a text file to be imported into a spreadsheet for the time spent and use the spreadsheet to add the minutes.
Laura

The following was overheard at a recent high society party...
"My ancestry goes all the way back to Alexander the Great," said one lady. She then turned to a second woman and asked, "How far does your family go back?"
"I don't know," was the reply. "All of our records were lost in the flood."
-on various web sites-

#11 BTBailey

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 06:24 PM

I believe this is the thread you want - http://forums.rootsm...agement-system/ - it begins on post #20.


Thank you, Renee. Even though you were responding to Jerry, that post crystallizes the thoughts/complaints I've had about research vs. analysis/results (although it got sidetracked and wonky at the end). If Paul Harris is correct, and there is an application coming that will take over the research side while leaving RM to handle the analysis/results side, I think that would resolve a lot of frustration and workarounds that some of us have now.