Reference Note Updates

 
 
 
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rworthington
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Reference Note Updates

Dear Editor,

The User Forum question Com or Not Com question:  

https://www.evidenceexplained.com/content/com-or-not-com-question

reminded me that I have several Enhancement Requirements that I need to provide input to my genealogy database management program.

  1. The use of ".com" or ".org" for the Web Site Title should not be used.
  2. A website that has records that we might use in our database, should not be a repository
  3. The "accessed" date that the record was added to our database should be included in the URL part of the Reference Note.

In the QuickSheet, Citing Ancestry.com® Databased & Images, I am using the example of the first entry for the "Washington Deaths, 1890 - 1907" as my example. I noted that this record was accessed in 2009. I was able to locate that record in 2017. My Full Reference Note, as crafted in my genealogy database looks like this.

"Washington, Deaths, 1883-1960", database with image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 July 2017), entry for Adam Engles, 2 June 1899, Spokane ; citing "Various county death registers, microfilm, Washington State Archives, Olympia.".

There are two things here. The database title changed, or expanded from 1890 - 1907 to 1883 - 1960, and the database I found for this entry had an image. I think the "database with image" would be the appropriate term based on what I found.

Wanting to make sure that my understanding is close so that I can submit an enhancement request.

Thank you,

Russ

EE
EE's picture

Russ,

I puzzled for a moment over your reference to "Enhancement Requirements." Given the nature of your question and the fact that you capitalized those words, I've concluded that you are referring to some specific form to be submitted to the maker of your software. As you know, EE does not personally work with any specific software company or attempt to direct those developers who embed Evidence Style citations, so I'll answer your question generically.

Citing a "database with images" at any website follows the same pattern as citing a chapter in a book.

"Title of Chapter/Database in quote marks," type of item, Name of Author/Creator, Name of Book/Website in Italics (Place of publication/URL : Date ), exact location of the data of interest.

This pattern makes it simple for a developer to create a template for a website—all they need to do is use the basic format for a book.

Below are specific examples, color coded to show matching parts:

(Book)   "Fundamentals of Citation," Chapter 2, in Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace (Baltimore:2007), 41–90.

(Database)   "Washington Deaths, 1883–1960," database with images, Ancestry, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.comaccessed 23 July 2017), database entry for Adam Engles, 2 June 1899, Spokane.

As explained at the QuickCheck Model at EE p. 219, when the website has the same title as the creator of the website—and especially when the URL repeats the name yet again—it would be redundant to say the name three times, as above. We can in these cases, drop the “Name of Creator” and just use this:

(Database)   "Washington Deaths, 1883–1960," database with images, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com : accessed 23 July 2017), database entry for Adam Engles, 2 June 1899, Spokane.

In your example, you add a layer to report the source-of-the-source data given by the website. That is good.

To answer your 3 questions specifically about this database:

  1. Ancestry no longer uses the .com in its official name or its website title. EE3, revised edition, reflects that change.
  2. A website that publishes information and documents is not a repository. A website is a publication. When citing sources, we name a repository only if the information is unpublished and is to be found in only one place (that repository) to which an individual must physically go to access the record. A book is published and is widely available in many libraries, etc.  A website is published and widely available to anyone with Internet access. Therefore, citation templates for these publications do not include a repository field.
  3. When citing a book or website, the publication data (place : date) goes in parentheses after the book/website title. For websites explicitly:
    • A website’s “place of publication” is the URL
    • A website’s “date” can be a date of publication, if cited. More often, the date of publication is not shown and so we cite the date of access instead and we state that it is the date of access.
    • By putting the date inside the parentheses, we follow the same pattern that we use in citing plain ol’ books—thereby keeping it simple for developers to create their templates and simple for users to remember where the date goes.

In your next to the last paragraph, you state that the database includes images; therefore you are referring to it as a "database with images." That is appropriate. Once we do that, our citation needs to indicate whether we have used the images or the database entry. Therefore, our citation above says "database entry" for Adam Engles.

If we were citing the image, that would change the citation. I'll address that separately.

The Editor

EE
EE's picture

Part Two ...

Russ, when you cite the image, the citation becomes more complicated. You now have two things to cite:

  • Layer 1: The original register

  • Layer 2: The database and website that delivers the register

You may also need a Layer 3 for the source-of-the-source data, when the website provides it. Let’s keep it simple here and deal with the first two layers.

Layer 1, citing the original register, would follow the model at 9.34, “Vital Registrations: County-Level Registrations.”

Name of Agency/Creator, “Title of Register, with Book Number and Dates If Shown,” page number, specific item of interest; [location of record expressed as Office, City, State]

The “location data,” in this instance of an online record, is replaced by the name of the website. Therefore your Layer 2 would cite the database and website, as shown in Message 2 above. Putting these together would give us this (Layer 1 in black; Layer 2 in blue):

[Spokane, Washington], “Register of Deaths” [Book no. and dates not shown], p. 106, entry 3318, Adam Engler, 2 June 1899, Spokane;  "Washington Deaths, 1883–1960," database with images, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com : accessed 23 July 2017), image 8 of 39. The reason that 

(The reason that "Spokane, Washington" is placed in square editorial brackets is that the original register leaves blank the name of the county that created the record. In analyzing the iimaged pages, we can see that every individual has a Spokane street address, clearly implying that the register was for Spokane, not for the county.]

One other critical thing needs noting here,

  • all details about the original document and all details taken from the original document go in the layer for that document.

  • all details about the database and website—including the image number—go in the layer that identifies the database and website.

In Message 2 we handled the data differently:

  • There we put all the details about Adam in the same layer as the database.
  • We did this because we were not citing the original record. We were taking data from a neatly typed page created by Ancestry itself—Ancestry's database entry in which Ancestry typed details that Ancestry itself extracted from the record. Ergo, all details about Ancestry's database go in the same layer.
  • Because we were citing Ancestry’s db entry, instead of the original, we did not cite the original volume or page; instead we added a second layer to cite the “source-of-the-source” data, as given to us by Ancestry.

The Editor

rworthington
rworthington's picture

Dear Editor,

That is exactly what I was looking for. 

Thank you,

Russ

rworthington
rworthington's picture

Dear Editor,

Finally received version 3 revised for my Fire.

Page 11 had the answer so I didn't have to look too far.

Now to try to educate some engineers. I hope to see them in person in a couple of weeks.

Thank you.

Ross

EE
EE's picture

Glad it helped, Russ!  

Did you notice something else about the Kindle edition of EE3r? The "front matter," for which traditional books use roman numerals, has been reworked to merged with the numbered pages so that Kindle's image numbers will match page numbers throughout?  And we managed to do it without renumbering any of the substantive page numbers from Chapter 1 through the end of the book! 

The Editor

rworthington
rworthington's picture

Dear Editor,

I didn't, but when I just looked, I didn't because I have had no navigation issues on my Kindle.

Thank you,

Russ