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Archiver > APG > 2008-07 > 1216016271-01

From: <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Professional genealogy as a career
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2008 01:17:51 -0500
References: <002c01c8e53b$d7e35450$87a9fcf0$@net><282219.37005.qm@web51110.mail.re2.yahoo.com>
In-Reply-To: <282219.37005.qm@web51110.mail.re2.yahoo.com>

Terri wrote:
>At it's most basic, aren't citations pointers to where the reader, or
others, can find the information that is written about? I know that is a
somewhat simplistic explanation but . . .

Ah, yes, we all think in terms of "telling folks where to go" <g>. And,
sure. That's the old rule we learned back in 7th grade when we had to write
our first "research paper." The purpose of citing sources is to tell folks
where they can go to find for themselves what I've copied, in case they
don't want to take my word for what I've said.

*And* that's why so many genealogists disseminate inaccurate work and get
stuck with problems they can't solve. They think in terms of "making sure I
name my source so it can be found again," rather than making sure they're
using the best sources possible for each conclusion they reach.

Once we start thinking in terms of the *evidence* we get from the source, we
start thinking about how to identify each source fully enough that we
can--now and much later, after our memory of this source has gone
cold--judge the reliability of the information that source provides.


Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
APG Member, Hendersonville, TN

Track 4, Advanced Research Methodology & Evidence Analysis
Samford University Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research

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