Please forgive me, but I'm resurrecting a post I made regarding RootsMagic 4 back in July 2009. It's eight years later, and I still feel that things haven't changed much. I've seen people (myself included) who have become "extreme splitters" to deal with the issues I outlined below as well as issues with GEDCOM transfers, editing a citation that was memorized and pasted multiple times, etc.
My basic thinking on this is that extreme splitting solves most of these issues, but at a cost. A lot of data needs to be copied or reentered for new sources, the source list becomes very long, the bibliography is useless, source transcriptions entered at the master source level don't show up in the Research Notes report, and I'm sure there are a few other things.
As I see it, Rootsmagic has "Sources" and "Citations", although these are sometimes called "Master Sources" and "Source Details". What we really need are "Master Sources" and "Source Details", which together make up the "Source", and "Citations". When citing a "Source", one would select an existing "Master Source" / "Source Detail" combination, add a new "Source Detail" to an existing "Master Source", or add a new "Master Source" and a new "Source Detail" to that new "Master Source". This could work similarly to the way Places and Place Details work. The "Citation" would then reference this "Source", and also include the things that really are unique for that citation such as quality or comments on that unique use of the combined "Master Source" / "Source Detail".
Memorize and paste could still be used to copy this "Citation", and any changes made to the unique items in a citation, such as quality, would be made only to that use of the copied citation. Any change made to something in the "Source Detail" would be reflected in all the places that "Source" was used.
Posted 06 July 2009 - 01:39 PM
I want to use RootsMagic to eliminate the need to refer to my paper files. I tend to have scans of most of my documents or at least transcriptions that I enter as the source text. I want to be able to quickly see the documents I have, which has led me to entering each document as a source. That way I can just open up the source list and browse for the item of interest. Right now I have chosen to name my sources based on the source type and individual, such as "Obituary - Farley, James (1870)". For each source I've attached the scan or the transcription.
The default templates in RootsMagic fall in the middle of the source vs. citation debate. This works well for documenting a genealogy, but makes it more difficult when researching a genealogy. For example, I may come across a document that refers to someone who MAY one day be part of my genealogy. I want to enter that source into RootsMagic now and link a fact to it later, if appropriate. Without making this document its own source, I can't enter all the citation details for the document until I actually "cite" the source.
Ideally, it would be nice if there was a way to "bridge the gap" between sources and their citations. That is, I would like to create a source like "Louisiana Birth Certificates" with all the vital records registry data, and then create citations off that source for each individual certificate. In the source list I would like to see "Louisiana Birth Certificates" with a "plus" sign before it to expand the listing to include listings for each individual's certificate. In this way, the citations could be treated as just a more detailed source. When adding a citation to a fact, one could select a previously entered citation from the source list or create a new citation using an existing source.
This would ease data entry, keep the list of sources reasonable, yet allow more utility while researching.
I think this same way of looking at things could be applied to places and place details. That is, in the place list I would like to see a list of places with a "plus" sign to expand a place with its place details. I should be able to select a place in general or a detailed place interchangebly. They should work the same anywhere a place is expected, such as selecting a place for a report.