Thursday, May 31, 2012

Creating Research Notes in RootsMagic 5 - Post 1

In Samples of Essential Reports for Genealogists, I noted that samples of Elizabeth Shown Mills' research plans, reports and notes were on the Association of Professional Genealogists website (see  

A major takeaway for me was that Elizabeth apparently used RootsMagic 5 software to generate the Research Notes report (and probably edited the report afterward).  Elizabeth's Research Notes report is  Research Notes: Samuel Witter (1787–1876): Research Notes.  That got me to wondering where the Research Notes were in RootsMagic 5, and how to create a Research Notes report.  

I checked the "Help" button because the process was not obvious to me.  The first line of the "Research Notes" item says:

"Prints the research notes and comments for every citation for a person or family."

It appears that a "Research Note" is associated with a source citation.  The "Research Notes Report" contains all of the Research Notes and Comments for every Source citation associated with the selected person or family.  

OK, so the first step is to Create the Research Notes themselves.  Here is the process I used: 

1)  From the "Edit People" window for Alpheus B. Smith (1802-1840), I clicked on the 1826 "Deed" Event:

2)  I clicked on the "Sources" button for the "Deed" Event, and the "Citation Manager" for this Event opened:

3)  I want to "Edit" the content of the source citation, so as to add a "Research Note," so I clicked on the "Edit" button and say:

On the screen above (the "Citation" tab), I can edit the Source citation elements, or can click on the "Master Text," "Detail Text," "Media," "Quality" or "Repository" tabs to enter information about this source.

4)  I clicked on the "Detail Text" tab, and saw:

The green background area on the screen above says:  "Changes on this page applies only to this citation."  There are two fields for data entry - the "Research Notes (summary, transcription, extraction, or text from the source)" and "Comments."

5)  I had transcribed this Deed on my blog, so I copied the transcription from my blog post to the "Research Notes" field.  I edited it a bit (taking out the source citation embedded in the text) and it looked like this:

6)  When I was done, I clicked on the "OK" button and on the "Citation Manager" window I saw:

The "Research Notes," and any Comments I make about them, are in the lower right-hand panel of the "Citation Manager" window.

As noted above, In order to create the "Research Notes Report," the user needs to add content (Research Notes and Comments) for all of the Sources that they used for the Person.   

Note also that these "Research Notes," which are associated with source citations, are not the same as a "Person Note" (associated with a Person on the "Edit People" window) or an "Event  Note" (associated with an Event on the "Edit People" window).  

Note also that these "Research Notes" are not associated with the "Research Log" feature in RootsMagic 5.  

In the next post in this series, I will demonstrate how to create the "Research Notes Report" in RootsMagic 5.  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver


Gina said...

I can't wait for part 2. Thank you for taking the time to "reverse engineer" Ms. Mills' research report. Her report is exactly what I want, and your instructions will be very helpful to me.

Lisa S. Gorrell said...

I, too, can't wait for installment II. I created a Research Note Report and didn't like what I saw. I had used sources from my ancestor's death to cite his birth (before I found the baptism record). Having the complete transcription of an obituary or find-a-grave site isn't necessary for all citing. I may rethink how I cite other information. I'm still new using RootsMagic, having come recently from Legacy. I switched primarily because of Elizabeth Shown-Mills' comments about the research notes.

Nettie said...

Thanks Randy for publishing your process. I have been using those research notes with the Comments for/since they were put in RM I like them as they help make planning time for my To Do List so much easier.

I hope others have checked out the forum for RM5 as there is conversations/discussions on how others use this also.
I do a complete trascription of any source I find and then the whole report for each person goes into my Research Report in Word. Elizabeth has done a good job working with Bruce Buzzee to make this work for us.

Michael Giallella said...

I have been waivering between Family Tree Maker 2012 and RootsMagic 5 for 4 weeks now - this post sealed the deal for me. What great musings!