Friday, January 7, 2011

You Don't Have to be "Citation Crazy" to Read and Use Casefile Clues

We mention citations in the Casefile Clues blog and the fan page on Facebook, but readers can get a lot out of Casefile Clues without reading the citations. The text of the newsletter is meant to be read without citations, if that is what the reader prefers.

All the analysis, methodology, and discussion is in the text of the newsletter--and I try and be as readable as possible while still explaining things adequately. The tone of Casefile Clues is not academic and stuffy.

Citations are included because they are important to genealogical research. However, I read articles and don't often refer to the footnotes. Tracking where we got information is important, but I realize that most of our readers are reading the text of the newsletter for ideas on how to continue their own research. And that's great.

Citation is only discussed in the text of the newsletter when it is crucial to the discussion of the material being analyzed. Sometimes the way a source is analyzed hinges upon the form in which it was accessed. Citations allow the reader whose concerned about how something was located to find it.

And while we cite everything we use, Casefile Clues is not the citation police. However, I do know from personal experience that when you start citing the materials you use adequately, you start noticing things that before might have "slipped past." And that's important too.

Subscribe to Casefile Clues, and when the spirit moves--read the footnotes. And when the spirit doesn't move you in that direction, that's ok as well. And if you were moved to read them and wonder why something was cited the way it was--just ask. That's how we all learn, myself included.

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