Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More on Better Source Citations

Mark Tucker has published Better Online Citations - Details Part 1, on his ThinkGenealogy blog, that does two good things:

1) It has the first side-by-side comparison (that I've read) of how RootsMagic 4, Family Tree Maker 2009 and Legacy Family Tree 7 have implemented the Evidence! Explained style citations.

2) It explains in some detail how Mark proposes that the "source citation miracle" (my description) works - clicking on a link in a database record to download the source information that gets put into the genealogy software so that EE-style source citations are created in reports and charts.

Read all of Mark's post to understand how it all works.

My questions and comments are:

1) What genealogy database provider will be the first to adopt Mark's proposed source citation capture feature? Will they use it as a marketing feature to entice new subscribers, or to keep old subscribers? If one of the large database providers sign on, will the other providers have to match it?

2) What genealogy software provider will be the first to adopt Mark's proposed capture feature?

3) It seems to me that genealogy researchers who are serious about source citations will leap at the software providers that adopt this feature. But it really needs all of the database providers to adopt the feature, not just one or two, especially if they are not the largest database providers.

4) It seems to me that may be in the best position to implement Mark's source citation feature in their FamilySearch Indexing project. The number of FamilySearch databases that would need to be corrected are relatively small, and the feature could be implemented on new Indexing projects as they come online.

5) We haven't heard from any of the major genealogy database providers (Ancestry, FamilySearch, WorldVitalRecords, Footnote, etc.) on this issue yet. My guess is that Mark has spoken to them. Lisa Louise Cooke's latest Genealogy Gems Podcast addressed this in Episode 64: Online Source Citations, GOOGLE Tip, Stephen Danko, Maureen Taylor. In Lisa's show notes, she says:

"In this episode I will play for you the responses from both Ancestry and FamilyLink / World Vital Records to my inquiry about whether record sites providing source citations for the records they provide to their customers.

"Yep, you heard it correctly. For the first time in two years of this podcast not only did they not provide a telephone interview, they didn’t respond to my inquiry at all. That’s never happened before. The silence is deafening!"

That's interesting, and disappointing. My hope is that the companies will respond in a positive way to Mark's proposed source citation feature.


Jasia said...

My guess is that there's been no comment from Ancestry or WVR because they're wishing they'd thought of the idea first and are now trying to figure out a way to put a spin on it so that it sounds like it's their idea for a new feature ;-)

Mark Tucker said...

Only 4 companies/organizations have responded to the survey and none of them are providers mentioned in the video. No software or service provider has contacted me. Do they wish that I would just go away?

M. Diane Rogers said...

So far I think Tamura Jones's idea about integrating EE style into GEDCOM is the best and most practical method. (See the comments to Mark Tucker's original post.)
Many of us use and share on countless smaller Internet sites, etc., not just the 'big' ones (perhaps especially if we are not researching in the USA). GEDCOM is already a genealogical standard.

I also agree with your comment, Randy, that FamilySearch is likely the key player in this, if it happens.

Ralph Manns said...

FamilySearch is working on something. They call it "The Interoperable Citation Exchange (ICE) Initiative". There was a presentation of ICE at the 2009 FamilySearch Developers Conference. Robert Raymonds session recording and slides are available at FamilySearch Developer Network