* Generic Source Templates and Evidence Explained guidelines

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santatraugott
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Generic Source Templates and Evidence Explained guidelines

Post by santatraugott » 23 Apr 2022 14:52

I have been bitten by the Evidence Explained bug and have embarked on redoing all my source citations to fit the guidelines, and to that end had settled on using Advanced Source Templates which do the job pretty well.

HOWEVER, I have now stumbled across something that should have registered, but didn't, when I read the Knowledge Base -- that it's probably best to use generic templates if you are thinking of exporting from FH to another program such as Roots Magic or TNG (and I have now followed a long discussion on the topic on the Export-Import Forum).

So my question is this: is it possible to tinker enough with generic source templates so that you can produce citations that meet EE standards, particularly with respect to "layered citations"? Has anyone had experience doing so?

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Re: Generic Source Templates and Evidence Explained guidelines

Post by tatewise » 23 Apr 2022 15:03

FYI: There is no such thing as 'Generic Source Templates'.
All generic sources follow the same standard FH/GEDCOM field definitions.
Perhaps you are referring to the 'Generic Source Formats' found at Tools > Preferences > Sources and the Generic Source Formats... button where Footnote, Short Footnote, and Bibliography formats can be defined and will be applied identically to every Source Citation. Source record Titles must be formatted either manually or by using AS.

I suspect they are not capable of achieving Evidence Explained standards but citation experts will provide more details.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Generic Source Templates and Evidence Explained guidelines

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 23 Apr 2022 15:30

To achieve something close to EE, I used the Create Source Form Template plugin (not yet updated for V7) to create Source Title and Short Title (using Generic source terminology) but it was nowhere near as good as using the Advanced templates in V7. It could come closer in V7, perhaps, but isn't high on my to-do list because there hasn't been much demand.

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Re: Generic Source Templates and Evidence Explained guidelines

Post by santatraugott » 23 Apr 2022 18:45

I am referring to the box that you get when you click on "add new generic source, " at the bottom of the property box in citation section (as opposed to "use existing source" or "add new source from template." In my own mind, I call that the generic source template. It's not Custom, it's not Advanced, it's not Essentials, it's plain vanilla V6. Sorry I wasn't clear.

There is a settings wheel on that box, and allegedly it can be used to customize citations.

I plan to back off for now, create a small dataset and experiment with options, uploading to a TNG test site and see what happens. (I am doing this in aid of a One-Name Study, which uses TNG on my website.)

It seems to me that there is some tension between formatting source citations for publication in a genealogy Journal, and producing source citations that will transfer across different platforms via GEDCOM, and I am looking for work-arounds to accomplish both ends. Maybe that's not possible, or maybe I don't know enough yet to figure it out. I do get the sense that the Evidence Explained guidelines are geared primarily to research reports appearing in publications, and if that's all I wanted to do, I'd be happy with the Advanced set of templates, which I think are quite well done.

It also occurs to me that the Evidence Explained guidelines might be said to be a "counsel of perfection" and perhaps a novice-to-intermediate user like me would be better advised to concentrate on keeping very detailed records of sources, in some place like Zotero, and producing "good enough" source citations in FH that will transfer properly, and work later on editing source citations for publications, in the event that ever becomes an issue.

Thanks for listening. I don't mean to start a controversy.

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Re: Generic Source Templates and Evidence Explained guidelines

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 23 Apr 2022 19:14

No controversy! Just a discussion.

There's merit in your comment about a counsel of perfection. Using easy to create source details in FH to enable you to locate a source again, and hand crafting an EE compliant Citation when publishing makes sense, especially since you'd almost certainly be hand crafting much of the published material anyway.

Re transferring source info via gedcom, you can transfer all the elements of source identification in a note attached to the source easily enough. See Exporting Templated Sources but how useful that is depends on the receiving product

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Re: Generic Source Templates and Evidence Explained guidelines

Post by tatewise » 23 Apr 2022 21:25

santatraugott wrote:
23 Apr 2022 18:45
There is a settings wheel on that box, and allegedly it can be used to customize citations.
That Customize Citation Window option is just like the similar option in Property Boxes.
It allows standard fields to be included in the screen display.
i.e. The Citation Window only shows a few popular standard Source Citation fields.
That customization option allows any of the other standard FH/GEDCOM fields to be added.
It does not add any non-standard fields.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Generic Source Templates and Evidence Explained guidelines

Post by cwhermann » 23 Apr 2022 22:24

I have spent a great deal of time and effort adapting EE style source citations to database templates in both RM and FH. In terms of full disclosure - I plan to continue along this path. It is not that I think the EE style is better than other styles, it is because I started with RM7 which was based on EE, for some reason, it resonated with me when I got started and I want to maintain that consistency in my database. In an attempt to keep this post somewhat short, I will hit some of the big picture issues I had with my experience - and hopefully provide additional information you can use to make a decision on what path you want to go down.

Also, I find the forum at www.evidenceexplained.com a valuable tool to gain a better understanding of some of the issues specific to creating EE style source citations for different types of genealogy records. If you would like to discuss specific examples, issues and decisions in more detail feel free to send me a message.
  • Custom Templates do not Gedcom well - Mike, Helen and others on the forum with a lot more knowledge than I have can explain, why, non standard fields and flags, etc., but one of the things that kept me from moving to FH a year ago was the amount of work I was facing trying to import the templates and/or create new ones. Having said that, now that FH provides for the direct imports from RM without using a Gedcom file - I have successful imported with my custom templates relatively intact. RM8 does not provide for direct import from FH so as Helen said, the transfer ability is heavily dependent on the receiving software.
  • I have not tried to transfer my custom templates to a website such as TNG, but I know other RM users who maintain websites so I assume most website generation software can handle the templates.
  • EE style and models were developed for manual publishing a document - not database data entry. One has to decide if they want to strictly follow the EE templates - which means many of the templates will need to be customized or accept that the provided templates are "close enough". A case in point - when citing an online digital image, EE states the date the image was accessed is part of the citation specific information, but also notes the year the image was accessed in the bibliography. RM uses a modifier in the bibliography template to display only the year of the date accessed, (which does not work when printing reports if one is accessing the same source in multiple years), FH solved this problem by ignoring the year in the bibliography template and my solution was to customize the template to provide a YEAR(S) field that can handle a YYYY-YYYY range in the Source Record template for use in the bibliography. My point here is not to start a discussion/argument about the methodology, it is to point out that one has to decide how they are going to handle the "conflicts" that arise when adapting EE guidelines to database templates.
  • EE lends itself to type 2 or lumping strategies and all the templates incorporate some level of lumping. I have found the level of lumping one can accomplish is driven by the level of information in the bibliography template. Depending on what "level of lumping" one wants to do with any given record, it may mean customizing the bibliography template to something that does not adhere strictly to the EE guidelines.
  • Neither EE guidelines nor the templates handle all situations and I often find myself customizing one of the templates that is close, to fit my needs. For example I happen to find a great deal of family records in FamilySearch browsable images that are not indexed or cataloged. The links to these images are subject to change as the images are indexed and/or cataloged, so the only consistent way to find the image is via the path/waypoints through the digital file number. There are no EE models or FH or RM templates for this situation. One can copy/past the link and deal with link rot when and if it happens or one can create custom templates that provide for the entry of a path/waypoints. Again, I am not trying to start a debate - one just needs to expect to spend some level of effort customizing the templates. My hat is off to the programmers who have done a lot of the work with the template libraries and made it pretty easy to create customized templates.
I think you hit the key point in your consideration about publishing. EE guideline are built around formal publication complete with bibliographies. If your goal is just to create citations that allow you and a potential reader to know where you got the information/image and the ability to find it again, then there are certainly easier and/or more straight forward approaches. On the upside, if you do decide to move forward with EE style citations, you know that if you decide to formally publish some of your work, you have citations built around a methodology well accepted in the genealogy publishing community.
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Re: Generic Source Templates and Evidence Explained guidelines

Post by tatewise » 24 Apr 2022 10:22

cwhermann wrote:
23 Apr 2022 22:24
I assume most website generation software can handle the templates.
In my experience with the Export Gedcom File plugin, few if any genealogy products handle source templates, mainly because there is no GEDCOM standard for such things and no de facto standard has emerged. That is why they did not migrate from RM 7/8 into FH using GEDCOM. The direct import from RM 7/8 specifically translates from RM to FH template formats and only works because the 'conceptual structures' are very similar. The best that can usually be achieved is for the Source record Titles to provide sufficient details, but metafields only migrate as Note text.
cwhermann wrote:
23 Apr 2022 22:24
EE lends itself to type 2 or lumping strategies and all the templates incorporate some level of lumping.
Most of the installed built-in FH Source Templates only support Method 1 'splitter' type source citations.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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