Content of "WEBSITE TITLE" field in QuickCheck Models

 
 
 
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History Hunter
History Hunter's picture
Content of "WEBSITE TITLE" field in QuickCheck Models

Dear Editor;

I have a minor question that developed as I reviewed the Evidence Explained (EE) book.

When constructing a citaton, using QuickCheck Models, there is a field called, "WEBSITE TITLE". The example content of this field is often shown as, "Ancestry.com". I believe the ".com" denotes the American site. There is also a Canadian site, "Ancestry.ca" and even an, "Ancestry Library Edition".

In EE, Sec. 3.16 on Page 127 (Image 133), there is the statement that, "website titles are equivalent to book titles". Both initial "Ancestry.com" and "Ancestry.ca" webpages are titled as simply, "Ancestry".

I know that the "Library Edition" is a subset of what you get with a personal membership, but I don't know that the American and Canadian site contents differ in other than the URL. It seems that stating the ".com" and ".ca" suffix may not be relevant, but that stating that one is using the "Library Edition" is very relevant to finding a record.

As such; would one not complete the "WEBSITE TITLE" in a manner more analogous to a book title? ie. "Ancestry" or "Ancestry Library Edition"?

 

EE
EE's picture

History Hunter, the website title that we cite is what we see on the screen when we use it. In the past, the name we saw on the website of the company Ancestry.com LLC depended upon which site we accessed. If we accessed the American version of the site, the website title was Ancestry.com.  If we accessed the Canadian version of the site, the website's title was Ancestry.ca. (see EE 6.50, for an example). If we accessed the UK version of the site, the website's title was Ancestry.co.uk (see EE 9.48 for example).

Yes, you are now seeing "Ancestry" as the website title. Ancestry.com LLC recently changed the website names. As a result, whether we use the Canadian version, the American version, etc., we see a common website title, Ancestry.  If you are using a library version that carries the title Ancestry Library Edition, then that is what you would cite because the content of the site is different.

When the 3d edition of EE went to press in 2015, the U.S. website was still Ancestry.com. The Canadian website was still Ancestry.ca and the British website was still Ancestry.co.uk.  Millions of the company's users have downloaded material into their working files that carry those website names. 

Each new edition of EE and each new edition of the QuickSheets updates the citations to the then-current status of each site we cite. As an example, the new Ancestry QuickSheet has just gone to press. There, the website is now cited as Ancestry, and the title of the QuickSheet is Citing Ancestry Databases & Images instead of the previous Citing Ancestry.com Databases & Images. 

Researchers daily have to deal with corporate name changes, agency name changes, URL changes, etc. The basic rule remains the same. We cite what we use and we cite it under its identity at the time we used it. If we know of a corporate or agency name change, then we can add a note to our citations to say that, for example, Footnote.com is now Fold3.  It would not be wise to silently make a universal change to all our ciations because material that was at, say, Ancestry.ca in 2013 may not be there in 2017.

You will find other discussions of this corporate-name-change problem in back conversations in the Forum. For example: https://www.evidenceexplained.com/content/heritagequestonline .

The Editor