Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Book Notice: Evidence Explained, Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, Third Edition

The latest "Bible" of genealogical reference books came yesterday, and I want to encourage genealogists and family historians at every experience level to obtain either the print or digital copy of this book.

I am referring to, of course, Elizabeth Shown Mills' 892 page work titled Evidence Explained, Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, Third Edition.  It is available from the Genealogical Publishing Company in Baltimore, Maryland.  The book can be ordered online here (or from Amazon and other online book dealers).

There is no way for me to provide a comprehensive review of this book.  I will rely on the publicity material:

"It's Here! The new Third Edition of Evidence Explained, the nationally acclaimed guidebook on source citation and analysis.

"Eight years have passed since the first edition of Evidence Explained, the definitive guide to the citation and analysis of historical sources--a guide so thorough that it leaves nothing to chance. Yet advances in genealogy and history research, changes at major repositories and online information providers, and the ever-evolving electronic world have generated new citation and analysis challenges for researchers. While countless websites now suggest ways to identify their offerings, few of those address the analytical needs of a researcher concerned with the nature and provenance of web material, whose numerous incarnations and transformations often affect the reliability of their content.

"Like the previous editions of Evidence Explained, the third edition explains citation principles for both traditional and nontraditional sources; includes more than 1,000 citation models for virtually every source type; and shows readers where to go to find their sources and how to describe and evaluate them. It contains many new citation models, updates to websites, and descriptions and evaluations of numerous contemporary materials not included in earlier editions.

"Highlights of the third edition include:
  • QuickStart Guide
  • Expanded “3x3” Evidence Analysis Process Model
  • Expanded coverage for genetic citations
  • Expanded coverage of layered citations
  • Latest concepts in evidence analysis
  • Coverage of latest media and delivery systems
  • Expanded glossary
  • Handling of cached materials at Wayback Machine and elsewhere
  • Privacy standards for genetic research
  • Updates in National Archives citations after changes at NARA and TNG
  • Updates for major online providers after acquisitions and mergers
  • When to cite DOIs vs. URLs
  • When to cite Stable URLs vs. paths and keywords
  • Your 4 Basic Rules for citing websites
  • & many other issues raised by users of past editions."
From the Evidence Analysis process map point of view, the Third Edition incorporates the third level of Sources (Originasl, Derivative, or Authored), Information (Primary, Derivative, and Undetermined) and Evidence (Direct, Indirect and Negative).

The first two chapters discuss "Fundamentals of Evidence Analysis" and "Fundamentals of Citations."  The remainder of the book provides extensive guidelines, examples, Quick-Check models, and examples of source citations for almost every conceivable type of record used in genealogical and family history research today.  Additional material in this Edition concern DNA and Genetic Sources,online digitized records from published or manuscript works which need a layered citation approach, and more.

This book is a necessary work for every researcher's bookshelf or desktop, or reference book computer file folder.  I have used the digital version of the First Edition for seven years and can't do without it.

The Third Edition is in a 7 x 9 page format, and the print is relatively small.  I find myself using a magnifier often.  The PDF version may be better for me because I can search it for keywords and can magnify the text as needed.

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2015/06/book-notice-evidence-explained-citing.html

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Or contact me by email at randy.seaver@gmail.com.

Disclosure:  I was provided a review copy by the publisher and committed to write this review.  I appreciate having this book!

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