Monday, February 21, 2011

Collecting Information For A Source

Just remember, a tip is only good if it works for you.
If it doesn't, we call it an anchor.

~ fM ~

A small, much used Xerox photocopier in the li...Image via WikipediOne of my favorite sayings is "Fortune favors the prepared." While our online world is wonderful, it doesn't always have everything we need. Sometimes we have to enter the real world. They have some wonderful resources available in those brick and mortar buildings. But we need to enter "prepared."

You're at your local library, courthouse, or historical society and you're working the copying machine. Behind you is a line of people coughing, restless, looking over your shoulder and asking you how long you're going to be. They want you to hurry.

But if you hurry, you may miss some really important information. Information pertinent to your source and your ability to find it again.

Here is something I bring with me to save time and money ( yes, I'm cheap). My ticket to cite.

I create a word document tailored to the resource (books, magazines, wills, directories, etc.) I will be researching. In this example, I was copying a photographic article in a magazine and would be researching a couple of books, so my tickets are geared to those resources.

This ticket is created from the source citation examples in Evidence Explained, that tells you exactly what information is needed. I have a binder and I keep two copies of each set I've created. Just in case I find a resource I wasn't expecting. (Books, Magazines, Newspapers, etc.)

Word Document

Now, you can make a copy of the title page for the book or magazine (be aware, not all information needed may be found on that page). Making a copy of another page takes time and costs. They're still in line behind you. And remember, I'm cheap. Or you can copy the information by hand to each page. Time consuming.

So, prior to using the copy machine, I fill out one of these tickets for each source. Then I place the ticket on the front page of my article, face down in the copy machine, being sure not to obscure any important information on the document. You can reuse the ticket, placing it on each page of the article, in the event that the stapler is out of staples and you drop your pile of copies from three different sources on the way back to your table (Yes, I've done this), when I placed the ticket on one page only.

Fill out the information once,

use a dozen times.

Now I have all the information necessary to find the source again, or write a source citation when necessary. Plus, I know which real world repository holds the resource and where it can be found there.

Tim Cox wrote me saying - " I use something similar and I even took it a step further......I copied them on a full sheet of adhesive paper at Kinkos and cut them in strips so now I have a stack that is just like a Post-it. When I need one, I pull it off and stick it to the material copied." Another great idea.

We are a bright group and I'm sure many of you have real world and digital tips for compiling information on a resource you're using. Share, please. Let's make the information available to everyone.


Blogger Sheri Fenley said...

You may be cheap fM, but you are definitely not easy LOL

Most excellent advice, as usual and a clever tips are a bonus!

February 21, 2011 at 1:08 AM  
Blogger Susan Petersen said...

This is, by far, the best tip I've read in a long time! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

February 21, 2011 at 3:11 AM  
Blogger Caroline said...

Well, now that I have an iPhone, I use digital camera & ProScanner App. I take a photo of the cover of the publication, a photo of the publisher info page(s), & a photo(s) of the pages that I want/need. Then with the App, I'm able to convert the pics to PDF's on the iPhone then save, email to anyone or myself, send to my Evernote account, send to my Dropbox account, etc. I also use OneNote to keep my client's info as I find it & I record the citation info there with a note to myself to see photo on phone &/or PDF in email.

Without an iPhone you could just use a digital camera & have them as JPEG's.

Before, I used to photocopy & write the info on the back of each copy. But I'm pretty good about remembering/knowing the info that I need to record on the back to make the citation.


February 21, 2011 at 5:36 AM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...

Caroline - I have not gotten my iPhone. This is great information for the digital world. And for those in the real world standing behind you in line at the copier wanting you to hurry.

I understand, but have not yet investigated that there is a scanning app for the iPhone.

If the next iPad comes with camera(s) this app is set to move to the iPad as well.


February 21, 2011 at 7:53 AM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

People still use copy machines? ;) I've got an Android phone and use an app (CamScanner) that pdfs my images and syncs with my dropbox, google docs, etc. I can share from the computer at home or the phone. Best time saver ever.

However, I like your idea of having the slip with every page to keep it straight. I might try that with the scanning.

February 21, 2011 at 10:36 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...

Unfortunately, not all of us have our iPhone (in my case) yet. LOL! Nor does a very large percentage of my society.

We also have microfiche and microfilm to contend with. If you have a tip for them, please let me know.

I have taken document photographs, used the slip, and it has worked. My next adventure is trying it with microfilm.

When the iPhone gets here I will be buying the JotNot Scanner Pro for my phone, but I will still have those strips until I figure out a digital method. ;) -fM

February 22, 2011 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Shoer said...

This is such a great idea. I particularly like and will try making templates based on Evidence to keep with me at repositories and at home. Thank you for sharing your part of your arsenal. :)

February 25, 2011 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...

You are SO welcome. We share so there's more time for the good stuff! -fM

February 25, 2011 at 12:17 PM  

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