How does Evidence Explained differ from other citation guides?


Evidence Explained is built on one core principle: We cannot judge the reliability of any information unless we know

  • exactly where the information came from; and
  • the strengths and weaknesses of that source.

Beyond this, Evidence Explained differs significantly from other citation guides in several ways.


Evidence Explained vs. Traditional Citation Guides

Traditional Guides

Evidence Explained

Primary focus on published materials; limited treatment of academic papers

Primary focus on original records not treated in traditional guides:

  • 9 chapters (532 pp.) cover local, state, and federal government records, business & institutional records, ecclesiastical records, vital records, materials in private possession, and other archival resources and artifacts in the U.S. and other western nations
  • 3 chapters (282 pp.) cover published materials more extensively than the traditional guides

(The 2 introductory chapters teach the fundamentals of citation and analysis.)

Emphasis on stylistic matters Dual purpose; EE provides not only citation styles but instruction in the use and analysis of each type of historical source material
Citation models (varying quantities) for bibliographic, full reference note, shortened reference note, and in-text formats
  • Citation models for 1100+ record types and 161 diagrammed templates
  • Each in bibliographic, full reference note, and short reference note formats

(In-text formats are not suitable for typically complex citations to original historical documents and digital materials.)

Limited treatment of digital materials

Extensive treatment of digital materials—including

  • original records of all types reproduced online and in other media
  • print publications reproduced or archived online or in other media
  • new publications created online or in other digital media
Very limited coverage of legal works and published government documents Extensive discussions and models of legal publications and published government documents
Emphasis on output—i.e., the minimum details needed at publication to enable readers to relocate a source. Emphasis on input—i.e., the details researchers need to capture while using a record, in order to understand (a) the nature of the source and (b) the strengths and weaknesses of the information that source provides.