* Bibliography Citation-specific Metafields

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AdrianBruce
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Bibliography Citation-specific Metafields

Post by AdrianBruce » 15 Apr 2021 16:09

This topic continues from Import of RM7 Citations (19266) where...
cwhermann wrote:
15 Apr 2021 14:57
... now I have to figure out how I want to handle the issue that Citation-specific Fields are not allowed in the FH Bibliography Format. One option is to abandon Evidence Explained methodology. Another would be to add another field to Source Level. ...
I'm sorry but I don't understand why (in general) citation specific items would appear in the Bibliography. Speaking very, very vaguely, and at risking of misusing terminology, Citation-level data is the most detailed and most specific, while Source-level data is less detailed and less specific. Footnotes (first and subsequent) contain data from both Citation-level and Source-level. Bibliography items describe the sources (or you might consider that they describe collections of sources) and they therefore contain only Source-level data.

If you need something to appear in the Bibliography (according to the relevant EE formats), then that something has to appear at the Source level, not the Citation level. So far as I understand! You may be using templates with this "something" at the Citation level - if so, in my simplistic view, that thing needs to be "floated up" to the Source-level. Of course, if you already have this data populated in FH, that may be easier said than done.
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Re: Bibliography Citation-specific Metafields

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 15 Apr 2021 16:15

Adrian, I'd just typed a response saying exactly the same thing! A Source List aka Bibliography contains source-identifying information, not citation detail. When you look at the Bibliography at the back of a history book, it tell you what documents/books were consulted at some point to create the book; it doesn't tell you e.g. which page the author read. That detail is in Reference Notes (Footnotes or Endnotes) distributed throughout the book.

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Re: Bibliography Citation-specific Metafields

Post by tatewise » 15 Apr 2021 16:55

So it seems the only option for RM imported Source Templates is to omit any Citation-specific metafields from the Bibliography.

Developing the idea further...
In a Method 1 'splitter' Source, the Source record could contain an XYZ metafield and include it in the Bibliography.
In a Method 2 'lumper' Source, that XYZ metafield could be in the Citation but is not allowed in the Bibliography even though the reference details would be the same as the Method 1 Source.

It is just that in the case of Method 1 there are many Source records, but in Method 2 there are many Citations, yet the overall number of distinct Source Citations would be very similar.
With Method 1 there would be many Bibliography entries but with Method 2 there would be far fewer as XYZ can't be included.
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Re: Bibliography Citation-specific Metafields

Post by tatewise » 15 Apr 2021 18:37

This may not be a real-world scenario but I think it makes the conceptual point or maybe I'm missing something.

Consider a typical 'lumper' who has a Source record for each Census Year for each Country.
I would expect Country and Year to be Metafields in the Bibliography.

An extreme 'lumper' might have one Source record that covered all Census Years for all Countries.
So in this case the Metafields for Country and Year would have to be Citation-specific.
If these Metafields were allowed in the Bibliography they would be identical to those above, wouldn't they?

The Bibliography list in both cases above would be the same, if Citation-specific Metafileds were allowed in Bibliography.
But they are not allowed, so the Bibliography in the 2nd case would be a very short list.
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Re: Bibliography Citation-specific Metafields

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 15 Apr 2021 18:56

Yes Mike. The less granular somebody's definition of a source the shorter the bibliography. As an analogy (or rather, to return to the origin of the terminology), a Historian might refer to a collection in their bibliography rather than an individual document from the collection especially if they'd consulted it widely. Another Historian might refer to a number of specific documents from the same collection as distinct sources.

Your focus on Citation meta fields is a red herring. If a user has decided the source is the whole 1841 census that is what should be in the bibliography. If they have decided its the 1841 census for Dorset, that's what appears in the list. The two users don't have to have identical lists.

As a splitter I'm unlikely to find a bibliography os much use whereas a lumper will. Unless I set the bibliography entry to contain a high level subset of the source field equivalent to the lumped variety

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Re: Bibliography Citation-specific Metafields

Post by tatewise » 15 Apr 2021 19:11

So the Bibliography is just a summary of the Source records under a different name.
However, I thought the EE concepts were supposed to be independent of the software implementation structure.
So if the recommendation is to list each Census Country & Year in the Bibliography then shouldn't that be possible?
Maybe I have misunderstood.
Anyway, what you are saying is that RootsMagic have got its Bibliography implementation wrong.
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Re: Bibliography Citation-specific Metafields

Post by AdrianBruce » 15 Apr 2021 19:17

ColeValleyGirl wrote:
15 Apr 2021 18:56
... As a splitter I'm unlikely to find a bibliography os much use whereas a lumper will. Unless I set the bibliography entry to contain a high level subset of the source field equivalent to the lumped variety
Yes, I've always imagined that, even as a splitter, my Bibliography would look something roughly like:
  • 1841 Census England & Wales, Ancestry;
  • 1851 Census England & Wales, Ancestry;
  • 1861 Census England & Wales, Ancestry;
  • 1871 Census England & Wales, Ancestry;
  • ...
That may be a slightly short entry for each but the essence would be to just identify the sources at a high level, higher than my source-records. Incidentally Helen, thank you for reminding me that the alternative term for Bibliography is Source List. Makes it easier to see our argument.
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Re: Bibliography Citation-specific Metafields

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 15 Apr 2021 19:22

A bibliography is a list of sources. Whatever the user defines as a source.

Sombody doing an analysis of occupations in Dorset in 1851 will consider the 1851 census of Dorset as their source. Somebody doing a one place study will consider the 1851census of eg Stalbridge as their source. Somebody writing a biography of Boyle will consider his household in the census as a source.

None of them are wrong. And EE doesn't specify which should be the case

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Re: Bibliography Citation-specific Metafields

Post by tatewise » 15 Apr 2021 19:33

So if somebody has chosen '1851 census of Dorset' as their source (with a small 's') but they have set up their FH Project as a 'lumper' with a Source record for '1851 Census, England & Wales' and have a Citation-specific field for County which may have values such as Dorset, Hampshire, etc, what are they to do?
RootsMagic would let them include the County of Dorset in their Bibliography.
However, FH does not and I really don't see what would be the problem with allowing that.

In the same way as Adrian has chosen to make his Bibliography less granular than his Source records, what is wrong with allowing the Bibliography to be more granular than the Source records?
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Re: Bibliography Citation-specific Metafields

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 15 Apr 2021 19:41

How can you make a list of things more granular than the things you're listing? If you make the source list more granular than the sources it isn't a source list at all but a list of vague reference notes.

If the 1851 census of a county is the level of granularity that makes sense for you as a source, then you don't lump at a less granular level, surely?

On the other hand, Adrian is intending to focus his bibliography on collections which is frequently what EE users do.There is even a collection metafield in some (all?) of the templates.

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Re: Bibliography Citation-specific Metafields

Post by tatewise » 15 Apr 2021 20:23

How can you make a list of things more granular than the things you're listing? Answer: Use RootsMagic.
I and RootsMagic suggest they can be lists of two different things: 1) Bibliography list; 2) Source records list;
Either can be more granular than the other if the user so wishes in RootsMagic but not in FH.
Is there some fundamental software reason why FH prevents it?
You may not like the idea but clearly others think differently otherwise RootsMagic would not allow it either.
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Re: Bibliography Citation-specific Metafields

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 15 Apr 2021 20:37

It might be worth considering what a bibliography is for.

It isn't for demonstrating which exact pieces of evidence support a particular assertion (fact). That's the job of reference notes.

It is for demonstrating that you've consulted enough/the right sources to convince your reader that your conclusions are sound and unlikely to be overturned by a piece of evidence you haven't considered. I'd not be impressed by a report that missed out some obvious source eg relevant census, but I wouldn't expect or want to see a list of every county. I would expect to see countries and years separately because the 1901 census for Canada is a different source to the 1911 census for Wales. Different structure, different information.

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Re: Bibliography Citation-specific Metafields

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 15 Apr 2021 20:39

PS You're trying to redefine bibliography which can only lead to confusion. If you're suggesting there should be a fourth record presentation which is a hybrid that's fine but don't call it bibliography or source list because it's something else.

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Re: Bibliography Citation-specific Metafields

Post by AdrianBruce » 15 Apr 2021 21:29

tatewise wrote:
15 Apr 2021 20:23
How can you make a list of things more granular than the things you're listing? Answer: Use RootsMagic.
...
Is there some fundamental software reason why FH prevents it?
You may not like the idea but clearly others think differently otherwise RootsMagic would not allow it either.
In theory we can design any list that includes anything. However, in practice, certain words and phrases tend to have certain accepted meanings. Just not always the same accepted meaning everywhere!

In the Evidence Explained! that I have access to, it says this about Source Lists / Bibliographies:
As a master list of materials we have used, a source list does not document any particular fact. During our research—where it might be called a working source list—its primary purpose is to keep track of the materials that have been examined and essential details about the nature of those works. In a publication, where the source list is commonly called a bibliography and typically omits descriptive data, its function is to provide readers with a convenient list of key materials.
So that's basically agreeing with Helen, so far as I can see. I would imagine that this EE interpretation, plus the normal usage of the bibliography section in printed books, are what have driven Calico Pie's definition of Bibliography v. Source and Citation elements. Adherence to EE is, after all, a bonus point.

It's important (maybe) to note that this doesn't stop a Bibliography entry having a page number range (say) - that might make sense if you only wanted to draw attention to certain entries in a massive, multi-part book. It just means that the page number ranges would be recorded in the Source Record - potentially with an exact page number / number range in the Citation level as well. I doubt I'd do it like that - I just mention it to say that it could be done.

As for RootsMagic doing it - well, if it comes to a penalty shoot-out between EE and RootsMagic for best practice, I think EE wins it. RM might do things for purely pragmatic reasons.
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Re: Bibliography Citation-specific Metafields

Post by cwhermann » 16 Apr 2021 01:15

cwhermann wrote: ↑15 Apr 2021 10:57
... now I have to figure out how I want to handle the issue that Citation-specific Fields are not allowed in the FH Bibliography Format. One option is to abandon Evidence Explained methodology. Another would be to add another field to Source Level. ...
I should have been more clear: The issue is FH will not allow the use of a portion of a citation specific metafield to be used in the Bibliography when citing online images.

Fortunately, I have found a gold mine of genealogical sources in digital catalogs of State and County records found on both FamilySearch and Ancestry. These catalogs tend to be non-searchable, nor indexed, nor put into collections. (Yes, I spend lots of time browsing the images to locate the record I am interested in.) I will try to provide some clarity on the issue and the rationale for using a portion of the Citation-specific Metafield in the Bibliography when dealing with citating these online images.

When I made the decision to utilize a computer based genealogy database, I made a commitment to follow EE methodology/guidelines in my citations. NOTE: References to EE pages are all from the third edition, revised; 2017.

The general guidance on the citation of Online Materials is covered in section 2..32, p57. "Online sources are publications, with the same basic elements as print publications." "Rule 1: Most websites are the equivalent of a book." "Rule 3: A website is a publication, not a repository." EE Section 2.33 provides the basis for Layered Citations - most often utilized when citing digital sources. The first layer is the derivative of what is being sited, the second layer is the images and the third layer is the source of the source .

I know there are lots of genealogists who consider Ancestry and FamilySearch as a repositories and construct their citations base on that. To me, these sites play many roles, depending on the record. Sometimes they are a publisher of digital images, sometimes they are the author of an index and other times they are a repository of digital books. But this issue I am concerned about deals with them as the publisher of digital images.

If the basis of the methodology for digital images is that "A website is a publication, not a repository" and the basic format of a Bibliography entry for a book is: Author. Title. Place of Pub'n. Publisher. Year. then, according to EE, it follows that the basic format of a Bibliography entry for a website becomes. Website. Title/Database. URL. Year. With website references, EE considers the year of access as the year of publication. Their rationale is that you could look at the same document on the same website in another year and it may have been updated, revised, etc. much like a book published in a different year most likely would be different.

There are a number of quick reference guides in EE that refer to online images and layered citations (p.157,p. 167, US census images on page237, church records on page 314, jurisdictional record on page 381, etc), all with the following generic Bibliography entry: Item Description. Website owner. Website Title. URL ; Date.

Based on the guidelines from EE as I interpret them, my citation for an image of a typical county issued marriage record, creates the following:

Footnote: Nez Perce County, Idaho, Marriage Record Vol. 6: p. 372, Jacob Phillip Hermann to Mary Walker Gibb, 3 June 1920; browsable images, FamilySearch (https:/familysearch.org/search/catalog : accessed 4 April 2020) > digital film 4533344 >image 194 of 841; imaged from Family History Library film 1516570, item 1, microfilmed by the Genealogical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah at the Nez Perce County Courthouse on 27 August 1987.

Short Footnote: Nez Perce County, Idaho, Marriage Record Vol. 6: p. 372.

Bibliography: Idaho. Nez Perce County. Marriage Record. Courthouse, Lewiston. Digital File 4533344, FamilySearch. https:familysearch.org : 2020.


On EE's online forum, it was argued that if a person had looked at the same digital file on 20 October 2018 and found the record in Vol. 6 page 252 for another couple dated 5 September 1917, it would result in two separate Bibliography entries for the same county record book with the only difference being the year of the date of access. EE's response/rationale is that if one accesses the images in two different years, it is the same as looking at a book that was published in two different years. The images may have been enhanced, the digital file may have been rearranged or expanded so the image numbers are different, etc. The bibliography should reflect the "edition" / year of the publication being cited.

Now back to the original issue: RM allows me to use the [AccessDate] (which is a citation level metafield) and "extract" the year and use it in the Bibliography using [AccessDate: Year]. FH does not allow {AccessDate} at citation level to be used as {AccessDate: YEAR} in the Bibliography.
As noted, I could abandon EE's methodology and re-write the Bibliography to exclude the year or could revise the template to include a Source level field called {AccessYear}, but this would change where I divide the lumping/splitting line and I would have to remember to create a new Source record every year. Each is doable, but would require revising all the templates and/or Source records once imported.

Given that more and more of sources are being digitized and we access them via digital images and CP's desire to support EE methodolgy, I would like to see CP provide the flexibility and will be submitting a ticket.
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Re: Bibliography Citation-specific Metafields

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 16 Apr 2021 07:42

As Adrian has said elsewhere, EE is only concerned with the output content/format (so Footnote, Short Footnote, Bibliography) not with how the data used to construct the output is held in whatever software you're using. RM and FH have made different decisions about how to derive the data for the Bibliography (what comes from Source fields, what comes from Citation fields) but can both construct EE-compliant output.

One thing EE is clear about (as Adrian has also already said) is that a Bibliography/Source List in her terms is a list of sources.

Which leads me to conclude that your
Idaho. Nez Perce County. Marriage Record. Courthouse, Lewiston. Digital File 4533344, FamilySearch. https:familysearch.org : 2020.
is a source, however RM architected the storage elements used to construct it.

You can already construct the same Bibliography entry within FH, using a different storage architecture for the elements. I do it already, including Date Accessed in the Source details (because I'm a 'splitter'). Calico Pie need to do nothing to enable this EE compliance for splitters.

However, you wish to retain the RM storage architecture but using FH, and 'lump' your source records (in storage terms) in a different structure from how you'll display them in a Bibliography. (FH allows collections of sources to be included in a Bibliography, which is a different structure from how they are stored as Source records, but not the structure difference you want to see).

Can I suggest you raise a Wish List request (via the Wish List forum ) so that the feature can be voted on and (hopefully) gain enough support for Calico Pie to see that it's a widely wanted facility? This wouldn't prevent you raising a ticket for CP but would enable them to see how much demand there is for the feature.

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Re: Bibliography Citation-specific Metafields

Post by tatewise » 16 Apr 2021 10:12

Is it at all possible, even just a tiny bit, that the EE concept of 'source' might not necessarily be identical to FH Source records?
I'm sure I recall it being stated that EE does not prescribe a software implementation or structure, so maybe EE 'source' and FH Source records can sometimes represent different things.

Similar misunderstandings surrounding 'source' and 'citation' versus FH Source and Citation have arisen before.

Users who migrate from other products that often use 'lumped' Source Citations may face similar Bibliography issues.
As it stands they will just have to make do with a 'lumpy' Bibliography.
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Re: Bibliography Citation-specific Metafields

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 16 Apr 2021 10:54

EE says:
Sources are artifacts, books, digital files, documents, film, people, photographs, recordings, websites, etc.
Elsewhere she refers to a collection of papers as a source, and also to a document within that collection as a source. She acknowledges that it isn't helpful e.g. for most researchers to include census records at household schedule level in a Source List, but it's a matter of choice/practicality not a dictum -- the important thing is that a Bibliography is fit for purpose:

From https://www.evidenceexplained.com/conte ... if-so-when
A well-organized, well-categorized list of all the sources that have been used will help readers understand the scope and depth of the work you've done. It will enable them to quickly check whether certain sources were or were not used. It provides a convenient and valuable reference work for them to come back to again and again in doing their own research on a related topic or the same geographic area.


Strathclyde refers to all the following as examples of potential sources:
  • a document or physical object
  • pictures
  • websites
  • a transcription of a census record
And FH says:

So what is an example of a source? A document could be a source(such as a death certificate, say), or a record in a record office. But you could also see your source as being a person (or a particular interview with a person), or a gravestone, or a cemetery, or a newspaper article, or a census record, or a website, or … many other things.

[snip]

Depending on the approach you take to citing sources, you might consider that your source is a very large item (such as an entire census), or a relatively small item (such as a particular household census entry). There is no definitive right answer about this. It is up to you. Whatever you decide to treat as your source will be represented within Family Historian as a Source Record. [emphasis mine]
So, no disagreement about what a Source is, and they all acknowledge that different people will draw the virtual boundary around a distinct source in different places.

EE and Strathclyde don't have the concept of a Source record (being focussed on output and not storage).

FH says (in effect): if you create a Source record for it, it's a source. Which I interpret to mean that a FH Source record is intended to correspond 1-1 with a conceptual Source. But it's your concept of a Source, not FH's concept of a Source -- which means you can adopt EE's concept of a Source but FH expects you to represent that concept using a Source Record.

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Re: Bibliography Citation-specific Metafields

Post by Mark1834 » 16 Apr 2021 12:11

I am a humble scientist by training, not an academic historian, so I’m struggling slightly with one key point here. Some sources are easily checked to verify the conclusions drawn, e.g. a Parish Register entry. Others are not. “Interview with granny on 1 Apr 1980” is not a verifiable source. Neither is a website url from some point in the past, as it cannot be verified if the website has been reorganised (unlike a physical book, where old editions remain accessible). The science equivalent is citing “personal communication”, which is strongly discouraged for just that reason - it cannot be verified.

For me, that creates a distinction between true sources and what should really be classified more as a research log. It reminds you of what you did when. For example, a UK Census source image is fully described by its National Archives piece reference, folio, and page. I would record which site I downloaded it from (e.g. Ancestry), but that’s all. That information is both necessary and sufficient to support my conclusion. If I cite a book, I cite the usual title, author, and publication details, not which library it was in or its shelf classification

I realise that none of this addresses the how we record the information, but I fear there is a danger of losing sight of why we record it, and highly detailed sources become an end in themselves, rather than just a means of supporting our conclusions.
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Re: Bibliography Citation-specific Metafields

Post by Mark1834 » 16 Apr 2021 12:19

I only realised after reading it back afterwards that I got three homophones into one posting- cite, site, and sight... :D
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Re: Bibliography Citation-specific Metafields

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 16 Apr 2021 12:36

Mark, that's what the Assessment citation field is for (plus if necessary the Citation Notes field.)

I have a source: Interview with AMJ. AMJ was known for plaiting facts out of fog. At least one citation to the source includes the Assessment: Questionable and a Citation Note that says: (in slightly more words): Mum lied. Other citations are not Questionable: she was in the Land Army between two dates and other sources support that.

I'd argue all sources are true sources, if your concept of a source includes them, but your recording of them and the facts they support must include your assessment of them. Mum's interview wasn't part of a Research Log -- it was oral testimony.

P.S. How do you incontrovertibly verify the conclusion drawn from a single Parish Register Entry? I've written proof arguments considering half a dozen possible baptisms for my person of interest and only been able to select one based on the balance of probabilities.

P.P.S. You can uniquely identify a source, but whether the information in that source provides evidence for a particular fact is a whole other board game. And off topic here?

P.P.S Trained scientist here, not an academic historian: Imperial College 1976-1979. But the lessons I learned about interpreting sources/information still work in this context.

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Re: Bibliography Citation-specific Metafields

Post by AdrianBruce » 16 Apr 2021 14:21

Curtis - thanks for your explanation.

I understand your desire to record the date of access. I have serious practical problems, however, with EE's idea of recording the year of access in the Bibliography, not least because some of my parish registers and censuses (in particular) might have a bibliography entry for every year since I started this lark, were I to follow the same process. So 20 different bibliography entries all for "1901 Census, Ancestry, accessed yyyy" (substitute actual year for "yyyy"). Hm. (NB - I would indeed lump my bibliography entries like that)

Setting that to one side, the other issue that I then have is the idea that the Bibliography is a Source List. It's fine for EE to pick up the access date out of what we would put in a Citation level entry, because she doesn't enter that into a computer system, so she's only picking it up out of text.

But if the Bibliography is truly a list of sources, then I'm looking for the Bibliography in Family Historian to match the list of source-RECORDS. Yet, by omitting the access year from your source-record data (which I am in total agreement with, by the way!) then (in my example) I'd have 20 different bibliography entries all for "1901 Census, Ancestry, accessed yyyy" but Source Records reading like (and I'm missing bits out here for speed of typing) "1901 Census, Bloggs household, Nantwich, Ancestry" - no access date, implying my Bibliography / Source List isn't actually a (summarised) list of source-records.

Yes, I understand what you're trying to do - and sympathise - but it creaks in my head. Personally I'd have to either remove the access year from the Bibliography / Source List or create multiple Source Records, each with the access date - as you don't want to do (understandably, I think).

You can only raise the request and see what happens...
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Re: Bibliography Citation-specific Metafields

Post by Mark1834 » 16 Apr 2021 14:42

Helen,

I think you have misinterpreted what I was saying, so apologies if I was not clear. By verification, I mean verifying that the source has been recorded accurately, not that the source information is correct. For me, an individual source citation is more about the former, not the latter. It is so I, and anybody else so minded to do so, can go back to the source and check that the raw data I am using have been recorded correctly.

By combining multiple sources, you build up a hypothesis that eventually becomes the family tree. The "Assessment" field is about how reliable the data are for supporting the hypothesis, not the accuracy of how the data have been recorded.

My main thrust was just a gentle question of why we record data in our citations that (IMO) support neither of those objectives. But it's only an opinion - others may prefer to record every minute detail of their journey, and that's just as valid an approach.

I could have waved at you from further round the Circle Line (UCL, 1974-80) :)
Last edited by Mark1834 on 16 Apr 2021 15:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bibliography Citation-specific Metafields

Post by tatewise » 16 Apr 2021 15:11

Adrian, if FH were to allow Bibliography to include Citation-specific fields (like Access Date) you are not forced to use it.
If it conflicts with your EE or any other interpretation of Bibliography then don't use that feature.
I suspect there may be many FH features that you don't use by choice and that is OK.
I don't think FH says that its Bibliography is intrinsically bound with EE concepts, so its features could be expanded.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: Bibliography Citation-specific Metafields

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 16 Apr 2021 15:13

AdrianBruce wrote:
16 Apr 2021 14:21
Personally I'd have to either remove the access year from the Bibliography / Source List or create multiple Source Records, each with the access date - as you don't want to do (understandably, I think).


My approach is not to generate a Source List :D but the fallback would be to do it at collection level. I'd continue recording the date accessed at Source level.

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