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How Specify Sources


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#1 landbrake

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Posted 18 March 2005 - 08:57 PM

OK, I have a confession to make.... until recently I was pretty slipshod about sources. I'm just an (enthusiastic) hobbyist, mostly gathering and recording family info I've received from other family members and researchers. However, I'm trying to change my errant ways and get serious about this!

One question that has come up for me quite often involves how to describe sources that are 2nd or 3rd hand. For example, say I get info (as I often do) from a web site that lists no sources for some facts, "oral" sources for other facts, and specific documents (e.g marriage license, census page, etc.) for yet other facts. When I put these into my database, do I specify that web page as the source for ALL these facts, or do I specify the "oral" source where appropriate (even though I've never spoken to the person who supposedly provided the information), or the particular document where appropriate (even though I've never seen it and certainly don't have a copy of it)?

I'm sure you can imagine countless other similar scenarios where equivalent questions arise. blink.gif

The obvious follow-up question is how to assess the "quality" of such sources, where someone quotes another source, and I now have to determine not only the reliability of the original source, but also of the person and/or place that quoted him/her/it.

This happens so frequently for me (almost every piece of information I have falls into some category like this) that I feel I need a comprehensive and consistent approach to managing these kinds of sources.

Thanks for any insights anyone can provide.

- Dave

#2 Patricia

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Posted 19 March 2005 - 08:27 AM

The appropriate source to cite is the one where YOU actually got the information. If the only source you viewed is a web page, then that's the one to cite. If a person gave you the information and told you it was from bible records, but you didn't actually see the bible records, then you should list the person's name as the source. You could use the detail citation field to include the actual the bible record or "oral interview of ... ".

If you contact the person and they send you a copy of the oral interview transcript or a copy of the tape, so you actually get to read or hear it yourself, then you could use the actual interview as the source. Or if they send you a copy of the actual source such as bible records, etc., so you get to view the actual record yourself, then it's appropriate to use the actual source as the citation.

But if you never view the actual source yourself, your actual source is the web page or the person who gave you the information.

#3 landbrake

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Posted 19 March 2005 - 08:58 AM

QUOTE (Patricia @ Mar 19 2005, 07:27 AM)
The appropriate source to cite is the one where YOU actually got the information.  If the only source you viewed is a web page, then that's the one to cite.

Thanks for the reply, Patricia. That seems to make sense, and it's pretty much how I've been doing it, except (alas) in most cases I haven't added info about "my source's source". But it also opens up some further questions. Say, for example, four different sources quote an out-of-print book as being their original source of information. I'd put in each of these individual sources, with citation detail naming the particular book. Now say I managed to get my grubby hands on a REAL copy of the book in question, and wanted to go back and update my sources... do I have a way to easily identify all the facts/sources where that book was named? I haven't been able to figure out a way to search on, or report on, particular sources that "contain" a piece of information in the way you can search for individuals by value of a field.

#4 wleague

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Posted 19 March 2005 - 10:46 AM

QUOTE
... do I have a way to easily identify all the facts/sources where that book was named? I haven't been able to figure out a way to search on, or report on, particular sources that "contain" a piece of information in the way you can search for individuals by value of a field.


What you can do is print a source list from the reports menu. You can check all the boxes or just one if you know where your target will be. Send the list to a text file and when it opens in your text editor, you can use the "find" feature there to locate the desired information. If it is in citation details then it will show the individual record number and you can then tab back to Roots Magic, look up that person and edit.

(Since Roots Magic will automatically open a report sent to a text file in your text editor, for all practical purposes, that editor becomes a part of Roots Magic itself.)

Wayne

#5 Guest_Rondajean Foulks Hennessey_*

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 04:43 AM

QUOTE(wleague @ Mar 19 2005, 09:46 AM) View Post

What you can do is print a source list from the reports menu. You can check all the boxes or just one if you know where your target will be. Send the list to a text file and when it opens in your text editor, you can use the "find" feature there to locate the desired information. If it is in citation details then it will show the individual record number and you can then tab back to Roots Magic, look up that person and edit.

(Since Roots Magic will automatically open a report sent to a text file in your text editor, for all practical purposes, that editor becomes a part of Roots Magic itself.)

Wayne



I want to print out a narrative report in which all of my sources, which are newspaper articles, are printed out in full and not just have the citation listed. Is there a way to do this. I am able to do this in Brother's Keeper and it is a very nice feature. It makes the Family Registry come to life for those of us who are left behind to read it. I also would like to be able to add my family pictures and have them printed as well. Please let me know if this is a capability of this genealogy program.

Thanking you in advance, RJ

#6 Marge

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 12:03 PM

QUOTE(landbrake @ Mar 19 2005, 08:58 AM) View Post

Thanks for the reply, Patricia. That seems to make sense, and it's pretty much how I've been doing it, except (alas) in most cases I haven't added info about "my source's source". But it also opens up some further questions. Say, for example, four different sources quote an out-of-print book as being their original source of information. I'd put in each of these individual sources, with citation detail naming the particular book. Now say I managed to get my grubby hands on a REAL copy of the book in question, and wanted to go back and update my sources... do I have a way to easily identify all the facts/sources where that book was named? I haven't been able to figure out a way to search on, or report on, particular sources that "contain" a piece of information in the way you can search for individuals by value of a field.



For on-line sourcing, very good information may be found in QuickSheet Citing Online Historical Resources by Elizabeth Shown Mills. Also for all sourcing a good guuide to follow would be Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian 1997, 15th printing (it says there's a revision in progress).

#7 Alfred

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 02:35 PM

QUOTE(Rondajean Foulks Hennessey @ Jan 9 2006, 04:43 AM) View Post

I want to print out a narrative report in which all of my sources, which are newspaper articles, are printed out in full and not just have the citation listed.


Put the text of the article in ths ctation details > Actual text.

Alfred