Approach to Citations in QuickLesson 26

In reading EE, forum posts, and Quicktips, such as "Citing Everything: Your 1-2-3 Guide," it's my understanding that the way to cite online imaged documents is (1) the imaged document, (2) the online collection, (3) source of the source.  

It seems the approach in Quicklesson 26 is to cite the online collection first (Ancestry example).

Is that to say either approach is ok?  (Again, talking image collections only, not extract databases.)  Does either approach apply to just mega sites like Ancestry and FamilySearch, or to any site?

Also if I may ask, EE 1st edition typically uses the following initial wording for layer 2
" ; digital images, . . ."   Is the preferred wording now " ; accessed as . . . " ? 


Submitted byEEon Sun, 10/18/2020 - 19:36

Yes, Jeff, we have a choice in the approach we use. As stated in the the QuickStart Guide tipped into the front of EE's last two editions:

Layered citations are mix-and-match. For example: If we need to feature the website, rather than the document, we can reverse the layers. Or, if EE does not have an online model for a particular record type, we can use the EE model for the original, then add the website citation.

As for the appropriate "wording" to bridge the layers, that depends upon the circumstances. Words that describe the exact situation is much more appropriate than formulaic words that are descriptively correct in some situations but not in others.  To answer your specific question with multiple examples:

  • In 2007, when EE's first edition was published, "digital image at ..." was appropriate language to use to introduce the online database where we found the image because the online delivery of document images was relatively new and there were still millions of researchers who, upon seeing a URL, would not know that it was an address on the Web (or even know what to do with it). Today, prefacing a website citation with "digital image," rather than just "image," would be superfluous.
  • If we download an online image and want to record in our notes the fact that we have that downloaded image online, we might say "downloaded from ..."
  • If we access a record but did not download it, it would be more precise to say "accessed at ..." (or "accessed as ...") depending upon the wording that follows.

Bottom line: clarity and preciseness is more valuable than rote recitation of some certain phrase.

Submitted byJeffH13on Sun, 10/18/2020 - 21:45

Thanks for clarifying.  Especially interesting is your comment how far we've come with internet sourcing since 2007.