[APG Public List] Online death certificate - citation help

Susan G. Johnston zacathan at comcast.net
Sat May 1 20:57:08 MDT 2010

My computer user group is working through Evidence Explained, and the 
question came up as to the best way to cite the Ohio death 
certificates available at the Record Search pilot site on 
FamilySearch.org.  In studying sections in EE and the QuickSheet 
models, I came up with two variations.  I'd appreciate a critique of 
these two first reference notes.

1. Ohio Department of Health, death certificate no. 30990 (file no.) 
85 (reg. no.) (1911), Silas N. Longfellow; digital image, "Ohio Death 
Certificates, 1908-1953," FamilySearch Record Search 
(http://search.labs.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html : 
accessed 22 November 2007); imaged from FHL microfilm 1953043.

2. "Ohio Death Certificates, 1908-1953," digital images, FamilySearch 
Record Search 
(http://search.labs.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html : 
accessed 22 November 2007), death certificate no. 30990 (file no.) 85 
(reg. no.) (1911), Silas N. Longfellow; citing Ohio Department of 
Health, Certificates of Death, Office of Vital Statistics, Columbus.

The first variation treats the digital image as an image copy; and I 
think the second variation treats it as a publication. The first 
variation gives information on all three incarnations of this record: 
the state certificate, the FHL microfilm copy of the certificate, and 
the online digital image of the certificate.  I'm not sure that the 
second variation's credit line should refer to the original state 
certificate or the FHL microfilm, but either way, I feel like it 
leaves out information a reader might find helpful.

Which variation would be preferable, and why?  I would also like to 
know when one would use the phrase "imaged from" and when one would 
use the word "citing" in the credit line.

Despite the fact that my conscious know there are no citation police, 
my subconscious is convinced there's one hiding in my closet.  Thanks 
for your help in keeping him stuck there.

Susan Johnston

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