Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Good Good Good Good Citations - Steve Danko

Good good good good citations
I'm pickin' up good citations
Your giving me excitations
Good good good good citations

One of the most important jobs of the family historian is to document their sources. The true measure of a professional researcher will lie in their documentation. It is the trail of breadcrumbs followed by those who will make use of our research and a map for us to be able to return to that source of "yesteryear" without having to recreate the entire process.

The way we identify those sources is in a citation. A citation contains words, abbreviations, and numbers in a specific format that allows the reader to locate the source we have cited. A citation is a demonstration that our information is well researched and well supported.

Not all citations are created equal. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we had a drag and drop template for every source we wished to cite. We do not. There are certain basic principles of citation, once mastered, we are free to interpret them in the manner we deem appropriate.

I have spent a great deal of time reading the articles of fellow GeneaBloggers and observed the different forms of citations to sources used by each. Starting today I will award the footnoteMaven Good Citations Stamp to the GeneaBlogger whose citations meet the following three criteria:

1. Complete - no further information is needed to find the source.
2. Consistent - citation form used is consistent throughout the blog.
2. Mills Standard - the source citation closely follows the recommendations in Mills, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace (Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., Fall 2007).

The first recipient of the footnoteMaven Good Citations Stamp is Steve Danko of Steve's Genealogy Blog. His citations are complete and consistent throughout. His citations closely follow the standard set forth by Elizabeth Shown Mills.

Here is a prime example of his citations found in the post, Adam Bonislawski in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census.

SOURCE: 1910 U.S. census, Worcester County, Massachusetts, population schedule, Worcester City, Ward 1, Precinct 2, enumeration district (ED) 1825, sheet 19-A, dwelling 205, family 433, Adam Bonislawski; digital image, ( : accessed 16 October 2007); citing National Archives microfilm publication T624, roll 631.

Note: Although Steve lists this simply as "SOURCE," it is the proper citation for a Full Reference Note.

Congratulations Steve on being the first recipient of the footnoteMaven Good Citations Stamp! If you're into badges the stamp is yours to display.


Do you know a GeneaBlogger with great citation habits? Email the footnoteMaven with your recommendation.


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