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Sources: Original, Derivative, and Duplicate?

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#1 Beth Savage

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Posted 15 August 2021 - 08:51 PM

Since I have to re-do all my data, I'm trying to do it correctly this time. Right now, I'm looking at Source Quality: Source/Information/Evidence.

SOURCE
A source can either be:
-Original- "in its first recorded form"
-Derivative- "extracted, transcribed or otherwise derived from the original"

My problem is what to do with photocopies/scanned copies, etc. They aren't originals because they aren't the original birth certificate/etc. But the definition of derived means that the info came from the original but isn't necessarily the same. There's a chance the new copy could have errors. [I'm guessing that these definitions came about before the common use of copy machines.]

If I'm physically taking notes from an original document, I could interpret handwriting wrong, etc. But if I'm making a scanned copy, it's going to have the exact same info as the original.

On the other hand, a scanned copy could be manipulated to change some of the data. I doubt that comes up often, but it can happen.

I'm thinking of using:
-Original- the one and only (ideally) version that has the original signatures, special paper, seals, etc.
-Duplicate- a machine-copied version of the original
-Derivative- Indexes, automatically computer-generated summaries (which rely on OCR software, which can make mistakes), hand-written notes, etc.

I could include Duplicate under Derivative, but I want to know to look out for the original/duplicate 1900 Census since I only have a summary which may be wrong or be missing data. Auto-summaries get a lot of things wrong, so I'd rather get info from an original or duplicate rather than a derivative.

Thoughts?

Should I be posting in a different forum?
Thanks.



#2 KFN

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Posted 15 August 2021 - 11:32 PM

I’m not sure where RM got its values for “QUALITY”, but here is what the GEDCOM Standard v5.5.1 which I follow and what researchers use when creating scholarly documents.  Don’t look at the numbers, just how most researchers view the sources they are using.  The problem with your use of “duplicate”, would mean that all sources found on the internet or a photograph are all copies.  

 

CERTAINTY_ASSESSMENT:= {Size=1:1}
[ 0 | 1 | 2 | 3]

The QUAY tag value conveys the submitter quantitative evaluation of the credibility of a piece of information, based upon its supporting evidence. Some systems use this feature to rank multiple conflicting opinions for display of most likely information first. It is not intended to eliminate the receiver need to evaluate the evidence for themselves.

0= Unreliable evidence or estimated data
1= Questionable reliability of evidence (interviews, census, oral genealogies, or potential for bias for example, an autobiography)
2= Secondary evidence, data officially recorded sometime after event
3= Direct and primary evidence used, or by dominance of the evidence


#3 Charlie Allingham

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Posted 31 August 2021 - 06:40 AM

I don't want to confuse things but in UK courts scanned/photocopied etc documents are referred to as 'mechanically reproduced original documents'.



#4 Beth Savage

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Posted 02 September 2021 - 09:02 PM

KFN >I’m not sure where RM got its values for “QUALITY”, but here is what the GEDCOM Standard v5.5.1 which I follow and what researchers use when creating scholarly documents.

 

I had been assuming that RM used GEDCOM, but hadn't checked for myself. I'll switch over to that standard. Thanks.

 

KFN >The problem with your use of “duplicate”, would mean that all sources found on the internet or a photograph are all copies.

 

I don't see this as a problem. In fact, I think it's something that should be taken into account. If the goal is reliability, then the original is more reliable than a screenshot of that same document on-line. A digitized document can be altered; the original can't (for the most part).

 

Charlie> I don't want to confuse things...

 

I like 'mechanically reproduced original documents' even though it's a little wordy. It makes it very clear what exactly the document is.

 

Thanks to you both!