[APG Public List] Online death certificate - citation help

Susan G. Johnston zacathan at comcast.net
Fri May 7 15:24:33 MDT 2010

Thank you to all who responded to my citation query.  Robert, thank 
you very much for succumbing to your "fools rush in" syndrome.  Your 
comments and your page citations are very helpful, and your listing 
of principles is something I really need to do.  I think the 
principle I'm trying to conceptualize in my own mind is something 
that would help me decide when to place the emphasis on the original 
document (citation example 1) and when to place the emphasis on the 
website (citation example 2).  I know there's an art involved, but 
the scientist in me says that I should be able to identify some 
general principles that usually govern when this choice comes up.  In 
fact, as your quotation below points out, one needs to learn the 
principles of citation before artistic license comes into play.

>Often multiple principles of citation can be applied, leading to 
>Elizabeth's statement, "Citation is an art, not a science... Once we 
>have learned the principles of citation, we have both an artistic 
>license and a researcher's responsibility to adapt those principles." (EE, 41)
>The choice may depend on another citation principle: "Clarity always 
>beats consistency." (EE, 462.)

Although this comment referred to my question about when "citing" vs. 
"imaged from" was more appropriate, I think it could also refer to 
whether or not the original or the website should be emphasized when 
citing a digital image.  A foolish consistency may be the hobgoblin 
of little minds, but sometimes inconsistency can be very distracting.

I will continue thinking.  Thank you all for your help.

Susan Johnston

More information about the APGPublicList mailing list