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02 October 2009

The Importance of Citing as You Go

As I continue to integrate complete citation of sources into Casefile Clues, the importance of citing sources as research is done and compiled becomes increasingly important to me.

It takes less time to create the citation and documentation as the research is done instead of months or years later. And saving time allows for more research time.


  1. Indeed! Unless I am looking at records online, I force myself to do the citation BEFORE I start cranking the microfilm or opening the dusty courthouse boxes, etc. When you are excited to dig in, the citation comes more easily~~ Good for you for role modeling!

  2. I couldn't agree more. I am struggling to document my own tree that was grown primarily by using other's research that wasn't necessarily of the highest (i.e. taken from secondary and tertiary sources) quality. But, I am plugging through it.

  3. again I ask... are you looking over my shoulder? :-) I too am struggling with things that were documented when I first started researching 15 years ago - much can happen in that amount of time and going back to find them is no fun! But, in the end you get a solid file with good citations; and most importantly you learn not to add to the problem.

    By the way, congrats on your nomination to the Top 40, as a regular reader you certainly got my vote! -cindy

  4. Thanks for all the comments. Another important part of citation is the perceived reliability of the document itself. I'm working on incorporating that into things as well. The difficulty (as Cindy stated) is that I have things I copied early in my research that I didn't get enough information so that I citation can be created. Fortunately early in my research I learned to get documents and not rely on someone else's undocumented conclusions. The problem is in the early days, I just made copies from record books without being concerned about what book it was and where I got it.

    And thanks for the votes, I appreciate it! Michael