Monday, May 6, 2013

Changes to the Evidence Analysis Process Map in GPS

There have been a series of posts on the Transitional Genealogists Forum (TGF) message board that has revealed changes are being made to the Evidence Analysis Process Map used in the Genealogical Proof Standard by the really smart folks who developed the EAPM.

Interested readers should read the entire thread of messages and the successor threads:

*   Conflicting evidence ... well, on evidence

*  Evidence analysis 3x2 map is adequate in my opinion

*  Evidence Analysis: 3x3 vs. 3x2

In one of the responses to the first thread post, Elizabeth Shown Mills revealed that a third category has been added to the Sources, Information and Evidence definitions used to analyze and evaluate evidence in the Genealogical Proof Standard.  See her post here.

Elizabeth describes the process this way:

"Over the past nine months, a number of us who teach and write on evidence analysis have debated how to handle this. The result is an expansion of the Evidence Analysis Process Map to a 3x3 configuration rather than a 3x2.  Those of you who have had the chance to delve into Tom Jones's just-released guide to evidence will also find the 3x3 treatment there--not as a graphic but as a discussion of principles. The 3x3 graphic will be in the next edition of the Board's "Evidence Analysis Process Map" and the next edition of EE. (But PLEASE don't start emailing to ask when that will be :). 

Verbally, the 3x3 is this:

- Original records
- Derivative records
- Authored works

- Primary (firsthand)
- Secondary (secondhand)
- Undetermined 

- Direct
- Indirect
- Negative

"Those of you who are speakers at NGS or have registered and have access to the syllabus PDF, will find the graphic there."

There is more discussion of why the third item was added to each category, and the definition of the third item in each category.  Please read Elizabeth's post, and the entire set of threads on the subject.  There was meaningful discussion, including some dissent from the changes, in the forum threads.

As Elizabeth noted, her presentation F312 - the Helen F. M. Leary Distinguished Lecture. Trousers, Black Domestic, Tacks, and Housekeeping Bills: "Trivial Details" Can Solve Research Problems (Friday, 9:30 a.m.) - at the NGS 2013 Conference this week will unveil the revised 3x3 Evidence Analysis Process Map.  I'm planning on being there, along with probably 500 others!

I will have more commentary on this as time goes on.  I think I understand why and how these changes were made.  The biggest impact on my own research and evidence analysis will be after I get the answer to my question:

*  Do "Authored" works include published books and periodical articles that draw information from record sources, and interpret them?  

By this, I mean, surname books, locality books, articles, etc. of the type "The Ancestry of ..." or "The Descendants of..."  I have currently categorized those as Derivative Sources, and I think they should now be classified as Authored Sources.  

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Yvette Hoitink said...

I think these should be classified as authored sources. Original and derivative are classifications of records, and the publications you describe aren't records and include interpretations and conclusions by the author, so they are authored works.