[APG Public List] Citing Sources - Your Opinion

Cindy Leigh cindy at rahman.com
Tue Jun 29 17:13:43 MDT 2010


Fascinating!  Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I guess my
concern is with the "tide" and how to intervene to at least make it
relatively easy to fill in SOMETHING that will show where they got their
information.

Interestingly, I’ve checked out a Wiki group that Beth Gay referred me to at
http://www.WeRelate.org who have already created almost 1 million source
pages from the Mormon records and are now discussing how to standardize and
simplify a “source page.”  It seems to be headed by a software
engineer/researcher and a few interested genealogists. My impression is that
“wiki” is something that veteran genealogists either loath or don't have
reason to pay much attention to; however, I'm wondering if the old adage,
“if you can’t beat them, join them – to lessen the damage” may apply here?
No tomato throwing, please.  What do you think?

Cindy

 


-----Original Message-----
From: Harold Henderson [mailto:librarytraveler at gmail.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 2:25 PM
To: Cindy Leigh
Cc: apgpubliclist at apgen.org
Subject: Re: [APG Public List] Citing Sources - Your Opinion

Cindy --

A special thank-you to Linda for her thoughtful reply. It suggested to
me that your question may not probe deep enough. Many of those who
cite "sources" are actually citing other individuals' largely
unsourced collections of names, or index entries, or other problematic
items. This practice may be better than nothing, but it is a long way
from understanding or substantiating their conclusions. In doing
client work I have also learned that people may not appreciate the
difference between an on-line transcription of a record and an image
of the original record itself.

My thought is that the needed "education" involves understanding
different sources as well as simply citing what you used. The
underlying problem is not that professionals fail to do enough; it's
that they're trying to stop the tide from coming in. In line with our
culture and the need to survive as a business, commercial genealogy
entities and the mass media have a natural vested interest in
portraying genealogy as faster and simpler than it actually is. A
thesis dealing with that issue is one that I would enjoy reading.

Harold



On Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 8:23 PM, Cindy Leigh <cindy at rahman.com> wrote:
> Hello!
>
>
>
> I am a grad student doing an online genealogy research degree from the
> University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, and my thesis is on the
> practice of citing sources in the amateur genealogist population.  There
has
> been much concern among professionals about the integrity of family
> histories floating around the internet and the amount of misinformation
> being shared due to lack of proper documentation of sources.
>
>
>
> Your opinion/s on this subject would add tremendously to my research.  A
few
> short questions:
>
>
>
> Obviously, education is the key.  Do you think professionals are doing
> enough to help educate the general population about the importance of
citing
> sources?
>
>
>
>
>
> Do you think one solution would be to lobby the largest subscription
> services, such as Ancestry.com, to provide more up-front and visible
prompts
> to add ANY kind of information as to where the information as obtained –
in
> their public family trees?
>
>
>
> 3.  Can you refer me to others who may have an opinion on this subject?
>
>
>
>
>
> Other thoughts or comments?
>
>
>
> Thank you,
>
>
>
> Cynthia Leigh
>
>
>
>
>
>



-- 
Harold Henderson
Research and Writing from NW Indiana
midwestroots.net



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