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Cite Right – A Source Citation Initiative

I am trying to avoid the label “controversy” which has cropped up with the discussion of whether or not genealogy blogs merit consideration by genealogists – amateur and professional.  But I do think that as a group we can capitalize on this issue and turn it into a positive especially for those that are new to searching for their family history.

First, I’ve created a feed in the sidebar called Cite Right which will list recent posts by Geneablogger blogs dealing with source citation.

Second, I for one would like to see the discussion continue on the topic of why blogs are important to the genealogy community as well as whether or not to display source citations in your blog posts.  I am not sure if setting up a forum/bulletin board would be best for this or just to allow comments in this and other posts.

Third, what would be a nice outcome when all is said and done? As I’ve stated before, it would be most valuable to newbies to have several “guides” which harness the expertise and experience of our members.  There is no reason why we can’t have a Geneabloggers Guide To . . . series which helps introduce the amteur genealogist to various aspects of genealogy.  Keep in mind that come April 20, 2009 with the premiere of the series Who Do You Think You Are on NBC, we may very well see an uptick in traffic to many genealogy blogs from people seeking ways to trace their roots using the Internet.  Having one or more of these guides available would make a nice welcome.

11 thoughts on “Cite Right – A Source Citation Initiative

  1. I love the cite right links and the idea of a “guide” series of posts. Personally, following geneablogs has helped improve my research habits and introduced me to new avenues of research. I think education is a something that blogs center around already, but it would be great to pull together the top educational posts.

  2. I generally cite sources in my posts, either formally or informally, but I have no idea how to do endnotes or footnotes in a blog (as you would in a formal paper). So, if there’s going to be some education happening, that’s one aspect I would love to see: how to embed sources into a blog post so that you get those cool little numbers after your information. That’s assuming such a thing is even possible.

  3. I usually put a number in a bracket at the end of the sentence to reference an endnote. Then at the end of the post, I put a heading called “Sources:” Then I list all of my sources which are prefaced with the number in a bracket. Here is an example. If it’s a printed source, I look it up on Worldcat and click the “cite this” link and copy and paste the citation under the Sources heading on my post. Depending on what kind of citation format you prefer and blogging platform you use, you may have to manually italicize or bold or put quotations around your source title.

  4. Thomas, I think this is a fantastic idea, me being a newbie, it would be great to have the Guidance of expert Geneabloggers as yourself and so many others, I stand to learn alot and a guide would be a perfect for someone like me, especially the newbie genealogist that also has little time, and a full time job. I find myself all over the place sometimes, a guide would be more managable and organized. Thank you.

  5. Thomas, I like the idea of a “Geneabloggers Guide To” series. One note on my own sourcing, I wondered about how to list an internet site in my sources, so went to my handy “The Chicago Manual of Style” used in my past editing jobs. I decided their style suggestion for this part of a bibliography might do for my blog. You can see an example of my sources at Genealogy Traces. However, I did not go the extra step of referencing the endnote with numbers. I think, after reading Ginger’s comment, that that is something I should do. The internet is such a fluid, complex, and rapidly changing field it is difficult to keep up with!

  6. Dawn and others, it’s really easy to insert subscripts into your blog. Simply put the sub tag around the number, such as !(9)!

    Ignore the exclamation points, I inserted them in the hope that my HTML tags and be stripped. 🙂

    Then it’s up to you whether you want to insert a hyperlink to the sources at the bottom of the page. Personally I don’t think is enough time the day to bother with every single post!

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