Archiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2011-02 > 1297113778

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Subject: Re: [TGF] census citation help
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2011 14:22:58 -0700

Michael wrote:

>The citation has
> three separate "clauses."
> 1. The citation of the census record.
> 2. The citation of's digital images. This citation equates to
> the citation for a book: no author, title (, publication
> location (URL), publishing company (not necessary, "WWW" implied),
> publication date (date of access), page number (unnecessary here because the
> "page number" that applies is the census record already cited).
> 3. The citation of the source of the image.
> This is why, at least in my mind, a comma would not be appropriate in this
> scenario. A comma would indicate that the source was equivalent to a page
> number in the context of the publication citation. This would not be
> appropriate at all in this context. Instead, this part of the citation
> should be considered a separate "clause," a note about the publication, and
> thus separated by a semicolon from the other elements of the citation.

I think your #3 reveals the heart of our disagreement. You're thinking
of "citing NARA publication XYX" as a full-fledged citation for an
actual source. I'm thinking of it as a descriptor associated with what
Ancestry says is the source and it's simple enough not to require being
set off by a semicolon. Simple meaning it's a relatively short phrase
with little punctuation, so it's not likely to cause confusion when
being read, so I can consider the option of using a comma.

In this example, I do not know if your #3 is the actual source. Yes,
use of the word "citing" makes that clear. I think using a comma makes
it even clearer and avoids giving the information the status of being an
actual citation of the images's source by setting it apart with a
semicolon (your #3).

Regarding the relative importance of entries in a comma delimited list,
I don't think there's any reason to insist that every item on the list
be of the same relative importance. It is necessary to require that
there be a reason for why they're listed (grouped) together. In this
case the reason is because they describe the Ancestry component of the

I don't think either of us will be carted off to the citation dungeon on
this point, although I may be put in the citation stockade for public
humiliation. Lucky Elizabeth gets to decide what she turns in for
homework. <g>

Linda Gardner

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