APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2009-03 > 1238022931
Subject: Re: [APG] Citing Facebook (Twitter, Wikis,etc.)
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2009 18:15:31 -0500
References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <0FDD0BA4-261A-45F6-A329-CD52F97B8059@att.net><email@example.com>
The responses to my "food for thought questions" have been quite
<snip> I would contact the poster for more complete information, perhaps at
the least their real name and maybe going so far as to include some kind of
address. Without that step, how could anyone else ever track down the source
in order to evaluate it?
Joan prefaced her suggestions with this:
>... assuming I didn't follow up with the person who posted the information
and get to a better more permanent source), ...
Drew provided the most specific response, writing
> In this case, (1) is "tweet", possibly modified as either "private" or
"public," (2) is the name of the person who sent it, or only their Twitter
name if their real name isn't known, (3) is included if the tweet was sent
privately, or to a limited group (but otherwise the type might be "public
tweet" if it wasn't limited), and (4) would be a date and time, because more
than one tweet could be sent in a day.
>Using the Chicago Manual of Style (15th ed.) as a model, sections 17.208
and 17.209 on pages 706-707 are relevant. So a tweet might appear in a note
as one of the following:
>1. John Tweeting Genealogist, private tweet to author, March 25, 2009, 5:53
>2. genetweeter, public tweet, March 25, 2009, 5:58 PM ET.
It is particularly interesting to see differences between colleagues as to
what they consider essential--differences that may well stem from their
differing backgrounds and the principles and objectives they learned in
their training within other professional fields.
Amy and Joan both point to the importance of some type of permanent contact
information. Drew follows the conventional _Chicago Manual_ approach, which
is shaped by the economic need of its creator (a publishing house) to strip
citations down to the barest possible form---which makes its models a guide
for publishing but not necessarily for *research, evidence analysis, or the
maintenance of research files that we will need to reconsult in the future.
Another factor also comes into play that I'm particularly attuned to at this
moment, given that I'm doing final prep on a paper to be given this week at
the Organization of American Historians conference. While the specific focus
is "prospects for synergism between historians and genealogists," the
background does examine ways in which the perspectives of our two fields
Drew's suggestion points to one of those differences: the extent to which
historians (and other social scientists in academia) feel comfortable in
being far less precise in their citations than genealogists do. They are far
more comfortable in using synthesized works of other scholars, without going
back to each source used by the other scholars--grounding that practice in a
recognition that scholars in their field are well-trained, with appropriate
degrees and academic affiliations, and those works have been vetted by
academic or other major presses; thus, theoretically, their overarching
conclusions can be trusted unless reviewers point to major errors.
Also, because the conclusions of academic scholars encompass broad patterns
within a cohort or interpret events on a macrohistory level, they typically
feel they do not have to be as concerned in the research process about the
validity of very small personal issues of the type that are indeed major
matters for a genealogist. (For them, it rarely mattes if Tom Tweeter said
Rudolph Rumpelstiltskin migrated from Darmstadt, when he was actually from
Hamburg. For us, the identity of Tom Tweeter and the strength of his
evidence is a *big* issue.)
For all these reasons, a cryptic reference to a tweet and the date it came
in, such as that recommended for published citations of e-messages by CMOS,
with no actual identification of the tweeter or permanent contact
information, can well meet academic needs and standards. Amy and Joan raise
the issue of whether they meet *ours*.