*Evidence Explained citations and Evidentia

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Evidence Explained citations and Evidentia

Postby FoxFam » 15 Jun 2018 15:31

So, I have decided I want to be a lumper, and that I want to use Evidence Explained citations. If I use the Long title, Short title, then my understanding is that I won't be lumping, but rather splitting. Other options I've seen on this forum are to use tags or notes, and I don't really understand how to do either specifically. Can someone please help? I'm still evaluating the trial.

Also, FYI, I'm planning to use this program with Evidentia, and so I'd like to include all citations for claims, not just one, not just the best. I really don't know the best way to do this.

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Re: Evidence Explained citations and Evidentia

Postby tatewise » 15 Jun 2018 16:26

I note you have been studying Sources, Citations and Methods (13159) and posted Sources, Citations and Methods for Census Households (16001) where your questions suggested you were predominantly focussed on the Method 1 'splitters' style. Have you reviewed the advice at Knowledge Base > Recording Facts and Sources especially for Method 1 and Method 2?

The Family Historian Sample Project uses both Method 1 and Method 2 sources.
Most are Method 1 where the Citation fields are blank and the details are in the Source record fields, but not just the Long/Short Title. Also Media images are attached to the Source record.
But it uses Method 2 for the Book: The Life of Ian Scott Munro, GRO Birth/Death/Marriage Index, Social Security Death Index (USA) & Statutory Deaths Index Scotland where the Source record is largely blank and the details in in the Citation fields. I am not sure where tags and notes play a significant part. It is the Where within Source and Text From Source that are most important. Also Media images are attached to the Citations not the Source records.

Could you perhaps explain why you have decided you want to be a a 'lumper'?

As I understand it, Evidence Explained can be applied to many styles of Source Citations.

Every Fact, Name, etc, can have multiple Source Citations usually arrange in order from most to least significant.
The Family Historian Sample Project illustrates that feature (see the Facts of Anthony Edward MUNRO).
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Re: Evidence Explained citations and Evidentia

Postby FoxFam » 15 Jun 2018 18:35

I was thinking of using Evidentia with Family Historian - Evidentia for source collection and analysis and FH to manage my database. Evidentia seems to use Method 2. Below is an image of the source and citation screen.

Image

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Re: Evidence Explained citations and Evidentia

Postby ColeValleyGirl » 15 Jun 2018 19:56

As far as I know Evidentia can split (Method 1) or lump (Method 2). Evidence Explained steers you towards splittng, particularly when you get into the Source-Information-Evidence aspects of it. (It doesn't preclude you lumping).

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Re: Evidence Explained citations and Evidentia

Postby FoxFam » 15 Jun 2018 20:06

I have read about the differences between Method 1 and Method 2. I think I understand the disadvantages of Method 2, namely that I'd have to edit each citation separately. So whereas Method 1 allows me to link 15 facts to one citation, Method 2 gives me many citations for one source. This also makes for a larger file.

Even before discovering EE, I was already wishing I could see more citation details in the Focus Window and on reports.

I like the detail shown in Evidence Explained citations. Evidentia is based on EE, and so I like them as well. Whatever Tree Program I use (and I hope it can be FH), I want to see that level of detail in the reports. I'd like to see my Evidentia Source Titles, Citation Titles, Citations, as well as notes somewhere in FH.

Whats the best way to configure this? The reason I ask is because the FH citation details are limited to Entry Date, Assessment, Where, and Text. I don't think that covers everything in all the various source citations I will use.

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Re: Evidence Explained citations and Evidentia

Postby FoxFam » 15 Jun 2018 20:11

ColeValleyGirl wrote:As far as I know Evidentia can split (Method 1) or lump (Method 2). Evidence Explained steers you towards splittng, particularly when you get into the Source-Information-Evidence aspects of it. (It doesn't preclude you lumping).


Really? Then I'm confused. I thought that Method 1, splitting, has you put all the details in the source. How would you do this with EE. It shows a Source Entry with limited details and the Reference Note with all the details. That sounds like Method 2 to me.

Am I mistaken?

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Re: Evidence Explained citations and Evidentia

Postby LornaCraig » 15 Jun 2018 21:01

FoxFam wrote:So whereas Method 1 allows me to link 15 facts to one citation, Method 2 gives me many citations for one source.
Not quite right. Method 1 allows you to link 15 facts to one Source record, but there will still be 15 citations, one for each fact. The point is that most or all of the detail is in the Source record, and doesn't have to be entered separately in each citation. All the citation has to do is point to the Source record.

Method 2 gives you many more citations for each Source record but the Source details are restricted to a more general level, so a lot of detail has to go into the citations. So you might have 100 citations to the Source, 15 of which are identical but they all have to contain a lot of details.
FH citation details are limited to Entry Date, Assessment, Where, and Text. I don't think that covers everything in all the various source citations I will use.

This is a reason to use Method 1. You can put as much detail in the Source record as you like (including a long detailed title).
I don't use Evidentia or EE so can't comment on those.
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Re: Evidence Explained citations and Evidentia

Postby FoxFam » 16 Jun 2018 00:35

I guess I will have to import from GEDCOM file that originated from Evidentia to see what I need to do?

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Re: Evidence Explained citations and Evidentia

Postby FoxFam » 16 Jun 2018 00:39

What about the Where within Source field in the citation details box? I've seen in past threads on this forum (sorry, I can't find the link) that this box has a character limit of 248. I wonder how easy it is to surpass that limit when using it for Evidence Explained type reference details.

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Re: Evidence Explained citations and Evidentia

Postby ColeValleyGirl » 16 Jun 2018 09:15

FoxFam wrote:What about the Where within Source field in the citation details box?

As you've said, it's limited to 248 characters, and there isn't any way to expand it. An EE-type citation will almost always blow that limit.

What I do (and this is only one way you might do it):

Method 1 (splitting).

For each Source, I have a Long Title (unlimited size) that is an EE Full Reference Note -- note there's nowhere in FH that you can add formatted text so you can't have italics in here, so you can't comply fully with EE. (Not being familiar with Evidentia, I can't swear to it, but I think you'll be able to get Evidentia to generate this and cut-and-paste into FH.)

For each source, I use the Short Title (248 chars or less) and Type (ditto) to make the sources easily findable in FH (e.g. Short title: Baptism 1706 England Clifton-with-Glapton, Samuel Fletcher; and Type: Baptism). I put a transcription of the source in Text from Source -- I make an exception for very long transcription, but only because I'm lazy.

I link the Source to a media record that links to the original document, if available.

I don't use any of the other source fields e.g. Author, Publication, Repository. All this information is included in the Long Title, so I see no need to duplicate it.

The only Source information I include in reports, websites etc. is the Long Title as that has all the relevant identifying information, and the Text from Source if present (plus any extra info I've added to citations -- see below).

In the Citation itself (i.e. the link between an Assertion (Fact in FH-speak) and the Source) I don't use Where within Source (as the source is split, this isn't necessary) or Text from Source (to avoid duplication). If there's a particular piece of the source I want to draw attention to, I use a citation note to identify it and explain why it's significant.

There are a few sources I 'lump' -- such as the GRO birth indices for England and Wales; for these, I have a single source with an EE-style Long Title and a Note about the source to make it clear that it's an index; and then in Where within Source in the Citation I identify the location within the Source (i.e. whatever information is necessary to locate the appropriate record in the index). I don't include transcriptions or media links in the source record -- no point.

I'll confess, I don't separate Source List Entries and Reference Notes -- if I did I think I'd put the Source List Entry in the Source Long Title (the Short Title isn't long enough, as already mentioned) and the Reference Note in a Source Note (you can have many Source Notes) but I haven't experimented with how to best show this in reports. There isn't a field in a Citation that is long enough for the Full Reference Note except Text from Source or the Note field, but I also haven't experimented with these.

I'll just add: one thing you don't need to worry with in FH is the size of the data file -- there are some truly huge ones around and FH works just fine with them.

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Re: Evidence Explained citations and Evidentia

Postby tatewise » 16 Jun 2018 10:02

Clarification: There are primarily two types of text field in FH/GEDCOM.

  1. Long text fields such as Text From Source, long Source Title, and any Note field, plus a few others.
    These are of unlimited length and have an [...] edit button on the right that opens a popup edit box.

  2. Short text fields such as Where within Source, and Source Short Title, plus many others.
    The GEDCOM specification does have length constraints, but in practice most products have no limit, including FH.
    The problem in FH is that there is no popup edit box, so any text longer than the field's text box is awkward to edit, and that is the practical limitation. Thus there is no 248 character limit, but editing even that much text is very awkward.
See Let us expand 'Where within Source' like 'Text from Source' (13807) for further details and Wish List request.

All details and media in all Source Citation fields can be included in Reports.
Most are included by default, but a few need settings adjusted in the Report > Options > Sources tab.
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Re: Evidence Explained citations and Evidentia

Postby ColeValleyGirl » 16 Jun 2018 11:13

Thanks for the correction Mike -- I was thinking the Gedcom limit, and also the limitation of how much text from a long field you can display in a query. The point about the problems editing a long e.g Where in Source is well made.

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Re: Evidence Explained citations and Evidentia

Postby tatewise » 16 Jun 2018 12:00

To display long text in a Query and elsewhere see Knowledge Base > Display long text such as Notes.
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Re: Evidence Explained citations and Evidentia

Postby FoxFam » 21 Jun 2018 18:12

Thank you Helen for that description of how you use the Long and Short Title to do EE style citations. And thanks Mike for the clarification.

I'm still interested in lumping, but I think I need to see how the data appears after an export from Evidentia.

Is there a character limit when the data is exported to a GEDCOM and displayed in Ancestry or in RootsMagic? In other words, even if Evidentia exports it all, and FH receives it all, is there a chance for it to be truncated in Rootsmagic or Ancestry?

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Re: Evidence Explained citations and Evidentia

Postby tatewise » 21 Jun 2018 20:49

It is very difficult to answer a generalised question about data limits for products such as Ancestry and RootsMagic.
Firstly it depends upon which specific data fields you are interested in, and secondly such products are under continuous development so limits that applied yesterday may not apply tomorrow.

Long text fields as described earlier should never have any limits.

Short text fields as described earlier may have limits but those may be different for each type of field.

Further complications are that most products do NOT support all data fields.
e.g. Ancestry does not support the Source Record Short Title (ABBR) field, so the Export Gedcom File Plugin converts it to a full TITLe, unless that already exists, whereupon it is converted to a Record local Note with a Short Title: label.
For details see:
Knowledge Base > Export Gedcom File ~ (ANC) Ancestry Family Tree
Knowledge Base > Export Gedcom File ~ (RMT) Roots Magic Tree

The best strategy is to create experimental data with long text fields where required, and export that to the desired products.
There are more Long text fields to choose from in a Source record than in a Citation.
Each Source has Title, Author, Publication Info, Text From Source and Note.
Each Citation has only Text From Source and Note.

I don't use Evidentia, but my guess is that it will be easier to import the required data into a single Method 1 'split' Source record, than repeatedly into each of the potentially multiple Citations of a Method 2 'lumped' Source even though you can use the Copy/Paste Citation buttons. Even locating all the associated Citations of say one Census household is more difficult when using Method 2. One possible alternative is to import the Evidentia data into Ancestral Sources so that it populates all the desired Method 1 or Method 2 fields automatically. I could not find any Evidentia documentation online that explained exactly which fields it used for what data in exported GEDCOM files. Can anyone help?

Evidentia offers a 14 day free trial, but I would not want to start that in order to offer advice, until all interested parties had reported their findings.
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Re: Evidence Explained citations and Evidentia

Postby FoxFam » 23 Jun 2018 22:54

Thanks Mike. This is a lot for a noob to understand, but I'm trying. I've been working with Evidentia like you recommended, created a source, a citation, a couple of subjects (people), and a claim (marriage). Then I exported it GEDCOM and imported into FH , RootsMagic, and Legacy.

Here's how things mapped from Evidentia to FH
Source Title (a short title to be displayed in source lists and GEDCOM ABBR record) ---> mapped to FH Source long title with a truncated version in short title
Classification (original, derived, authored work) ---> Could not find in FH
Source Listing ---> FH Source publication information with html italics brackets around the words that were originally italicized
Citation Title (a short title to be displayed in citation lists) ----> Could not find in FH
Citation Title for Reports (Title of citation as you want it to appear in reports) ----> Could not find in FH
Citation Listing (Full EE style Reference Note) ---> FH citation box Where within source box

Subjects - FH individuals
Claim - FH facts
Claim analysis - FH citation note (but there is some customization here on how Evidentia can export this...citation note, citation data, fact note, person note, separate event/fact per claim)
Proof conclusion - FH fact note (again customizable to be fact note, person note, or master note)

Overall, there seems to be less cleanup involved with the FH import than with the Legacy and RootsMagic imports. I just wish it would italicize words.
Last edited by FoxFam on 25 Jun 2018 00:30, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Evidence Explained citations and Evidentia

Postby FoxFam » 23 Jun 2018 23:01

Is there a way to get the Source Title into a Source List of some kind? I'm looking at report options, and I don't see how to list sources separately from citations.

I'm also wondering about merging. Will it be possible to update existing citation notes, fact dates, places, etc with later GEDCOM imports?
Last edited by FoxFam on 23 Jun 2018 23:04, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Evidence Explained citations and Evidentia

Postby Jane » 24 Jun 2018 07:42

Source Reports
For a "one liner" use the Source Records All Query (View>Standard Queries>Source Records (all)
For a detailed report use Publish>Miscellaneous Reports>Source Summary Report
or just use the Publishing Tools Finder from the Publish menu and select "Source Reports" which will explain all the options.

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I am not clear what you mean on the Merge, if you are matching Sources you can have multiple notes, but you can merge field contents.
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Re: Evidence Explained citations and Evidentia

Postby tatewise » 24 Jun 2018 09:47

There seem to be some fundamental processes that need considering before finalising your data entry strategies.

Beware that using one Individual, with one Fact/Claim, with one Citation of one Source is unrepresentative.
Typically one Census record such as your example will involve multiple Individuals, multiple Facts/Claims, and multiple Citations.
I advise that you investigate complex scenarios such as that before finalising your strategies.

I believe Evidentia only exports a GEDCOM for one Individual at a time.
So typically the same Source records will appear in multiple GEDCOM files.
After adding new Facts/Claims and Citations the same Individual will need exporting again & again & again.
I suspect those scenarios are where you correctly anticipate merging will be required.
FH does support GEDCOM merging, and will probably be needed for every Evidentia exported GEDCOM.
You need to experiment with that to see if it is an acceptable working process. It sounds like it could involve a lot of effort just to add a handful of new data, because of the repetition & merging of all the old data.

I don't know if Evidentia has any options to choose which of its data fields are exported in specific GEDCOM fields, other than for the Claim analysis and Proof conclusion you mentioned. That might allow a better choice of Method 1 or Method 2.

An alternative approach could be to use FH and AS to create each Individual, Fact/Claim, Citation & Source.
As part of that process, data fields from Evidentia can be copied into data fields in FH or AS by hand.
I know that sounds laborious, but may actually be more efficient that the exported GEDCOM technique above.
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Re: Evidence Explained citations and Evidentia

Postby FoxFam » 24 Jun 2018 10:29

I think you are right. I probably will copy and paste by hand if I choose to use Evidentia.

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Re: Evidence Explained citations and Evidentia

Postby jmurphy » 27 Jun 2018 22:18

I'd like to point out three things about Evidence Explained that get overlooked a lot of the time, in the heat of discussion.

The first -- on page 10 of the 2012 edition (not the most recent, I know, but it's the one I have as an ebook and therefore easiest to copy from), Elizabeth Shown Mills says:

We identify our sources -- and their strengths and weaknesses -- so we can reach the most reliable conclusions.


She goes on to say that while other guides emphasize output, the purpose of Evidence Explained is to focus on input -- what we need to record in the research phase.

Very often I see people treating EE as one of the traditional guides that ESM refers to. They are concerned only with the style of citations they produce, and ignore the stated purpose of the book. Whether you are a lumper or a splitter, whatever format of citation you use, make sure you write down in your own notes whatever you need to leave a record that you understand the source and remember what you've looked at (following ESM's principle of citing what you actually used).

The second thing I want to caution people about is that ESM's use of primary/secondary is not quite the same as what UK researchers are used to. If you want to see the history of how this came about, I recommend looking at ESM's article from NGSQ Volume 87, No.3, September 1999 , "Working with Historical Evidence", which Mills has generously made available on her site, Historic Pathways. Also available for download is an earlier copy (the '2 x 3') of the Evidence Analysis Process Map than the one (the '3 x 3') in current editions of EE.

The third thing I wanted to mention that there is a companion website for Evidence Explained. It is currently down for conversion to a new content management system, but should be back shortly. If you're on Facebook, I recommend following the Evidence Explained page for updates and pointers to interesting posts.

As for Evidentia -- I have an earlier version which I haven't yet upgraded. But I would caution you, while using it, against falling into the trap of trying to do things 'right' because that's the way the computer wants you to do something, rather than taking the time to consider the process itself.

In my opinion --

If you take nothing else away from Evidence Explained than this one pull quote, you'll be better off than all the people who turn out picture-perfect citations with every comma and semi-colon in place, but don't think through the quality of their source material.

However you record your citations -- do your best to cite what you use, and to understand what you've seen.

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Re: Evidence Explained citations and Evidentia

Postby mezentia » 02 Jul 2018 18:40

I've read this thread with interest as I find myself having to go back over early research where my enthusiasm for following a trail oftimes led to a less than meticulous noting of sources such that I now need to fill in the missing source references, and thankfully only occasionally, revise my research.

I've examined, briefly, Evidentia, but feel that it means double the record-keeping, and I would much rather keep all my sources within FH, complete with text references, and then complete any analysys using notes against the individual (if I may once again here bemoan the lack of text and paragraph formatting, for example, to identify verbatim quotes). Two books that I have found invluable in helping me with recording my sources are:

Genealogy - Essential Research Mathos, by Helen Osborn, and
Family History Nuts and Bolts. Problem solving through family reconstruction techniques, 3rd edition, by Andrew Todd.

I don't know how these compare to Evidence Explained, but from the foregoing discussions I expect they cover similar ground. If not, they make good reading anyway, and I would recommend them to anyone doing serious family history research.

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Re: Evidence Explained citations and Evidentia

Postby jmurphy » 19 Aug 2018 23:37

mezentia wrote:Genealogy - Essential Research Mathos, by Helen Osborn, and
Family History Nuts and Bolts. Problem solving through family reconstruction techniques, 3rd edition, by Andrew Todd.

I don't know how these compare to Evidence Explained, but from the foregoing discussions I expect they cover similar ground. If not, they make good reading anyway, and I would recommend them to anyone doing serious family history research.


Both of these are on my genealogy book wishlist.

The Evidence Explained website https://www.evidenceexplained.com/ is currently being redone. If you'd like to get a taste for what EE is like in the meantime, I recommend these two blog posts from Michael Hait:

Why we don’t always need source citation templates …
… but we do need Evidence Explained.

Hait examined the content of EE Chapter 8 in depth to show there is more to EE than Citation Templates.

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Re: Evidence Explained citations and Evidentia

Postby Simonides » 04 Jan 2019 17:15

jmurphy wrote:
mezentia wrote:The Evidence Explained website https://www.evidenceexplained.com/ is currently being redone.


It's back up now. I'd love to take a look at the book but it doesn't seem to be available for a standard Kindle and neither Amazon nor I were able to get Kindle for PC to work. It's very expensive in paper format. Disappointing.

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Re: Evidence Explained citations and Evidentia

Postby ColeValleyGirl » 04 Jan 2019 17:37

I have it on Kindle -- not sure why it wouldn't work for you. Not cheap on Kindle either though.


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