Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Good Good Good Good Citations - Lee Anders


Good good good good citations
I'm pickin' up good citations
Your giving me excitations
Good good good good citations [1]


Lee Anders of the I Seek Dead People Blog has given us several examples of beautiful citations in her blog post, Calling All Historical Photo Enthusiasts, not to mention the fact that the entire post is a thing of beauty. From her writing, investigation, and photographs, to her attention to detail, this is a great read and very easy on the eyes.

There has been a lot of discussion recently regarding standardization of citation formatting for blogs. I am researching and testing all the different ways source citations are being used in online magazines, scholarly articles, books, blogs, etc. in an attempt to develop my own style sheet.

For bloggers, it is the ease of use we would like to retain. None of the dreaded html coding for us. In my own citations I have employed the same method of notation as has Lee. Here is an example of her footnoting method:

The little girl looks about 3 years old, the little boy about 4 or 5, and both are impeccably dressed. I haven't been able to find out much about boys' clothing, but the girl's dress and hairstyle appear to be from the Edwardian era (1901-1910).[3]

The simple bracketed number method [3] following the section being cited.

Lee then places all her citations at the end of her post and labels them Endnotes.

It is a debate among online scholars as to whether these are in fact footnotes or endnotes. I see no difference; the placement will be the same for blog posts. The end of blog posts are both the bottom of the page (footnotes) and the end of the article or chapter (endnotes). I prefer Lee's use of the term endnotes.

My personal preference is not to use inline citations (citations contained in the article itself) in blog posts or to break the article to insert a source citation. I believe this interferes with the readability of the article.

Here is one of Lee's endnotes:

Endnotes:

[1] 1910 U.S. census, Patrick County, Virginia, population schedule, Dan River, p. 15b, dwelling 258, family 258, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 November 2007); citing NARA microfilm T624, roll 1640. The only evidence we have that a 6th child probably existed is the 1910 census in which the number of children reported born to Dora Craddock is 3, and the number of children reported still living is 2.


Lee meets the three criteria of a good citation listed below; complete, consistent, closely follows the Mills Standard. Lee doesn't stop there, she also annotates her citation. I am a big fan of annotated citations, both where the annotation gives the reader extra insight into the source, or where the annotation adds an explanation of the material being cited that if placed in the article would disrupt readability. Alone this would be considered a note, here it is a note on the use of a source.

Lee also cites two online sources by creating a direct link to them. This works very well where the use of the post will be online only. The problem will occur where the article is to be viewed in printed format. At that point a complete citation to the online web site and article will be required rather than a link. (See endnote for this post.)

As none of Lee's citation were direct quotes, it was not necessary to add copyright information. (See endnote for this post.)

So great work Lee, you've given me excitations with your Good Good
Good Good Citations!

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).



Notes To Good Good Good Good Citations - Lee Anders



[1] Wilson, Brian, and Mike Love. “Good Vibrations.” Lyrics. Good Vibrations, Single. Brian Wilson, 1966. Copyright ©1966 & 1978, Brian Wilson and Mike Love. Lyrics Freak (http://www.lyricsfreak.com/b/beach+boys/good+vibrations_20013757.html
: accessed 18 October 2007).

*******


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

1 Comments:

Blogger Lee said...

Every time you write one of these I can't get that song out of my head. LOL...Thank you, fM!

To be honest, I struggle with citations, and wish blogware would add something to simplify the whole thing. I used a plugin with wordpress that helped but even it left much to be desired. I also wish there was some way for URLs to print out but not have to be shown on the page.

OK, I'm starting to ramble...

Thank you again!

November 9, 2007 at 4:27 PM  

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