Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Adding Fact Notes and Research Notes to My RootsMagic 6 Database

I've been spending significant time adding text information to my Fact Notes and Source Text Detail fields in RootsMagic 6.  The reasons are twofold:

*  A Fact Note is published, with a source citation if provided, to an Individual Summary Report; I don't think they are published for any other Report or List in RootsMagic.

*  A Source Text Detail note is published in a Research Note Report, which can include all Facts whether sourced or not.  If a researcher wants to print an individual's Research Note Report with information from each source, they will need to add the information to the Source Text Detail field.

Like many seasoned researchers, over 25 years I added ALL of my fact notes into the person Notes of a person.  In RootsMagic, those Notes are associated with the person's Name.  In those person Notes, I included my sources.  I still do that, and those person Notes with their sources show up in Narrative Reports, Individual Reports, etc., but are not linked to a specific Source by number unless I do that in the person Notes.

I covered the Research Note creation process in my post Creating Research Notes in RootsMagic 5 - Post 1 and Creating Research Notes in RootsMagic 5 - Post 2 in June 2012.  

Here is the process I'm using to take person Notes and adding them to Fact Notes and Source Detail Text notes:

1)  Here is a person's "Edit Person" screen, with the person's Name highlighted:

I click on the "Notes" button (in the right-hand panel below "Person Details," and the "Notes" window opens and I can highlight a portion of the "Notes" text.  I want to create a "Fact Note" for the 1900 U.S. Census record for this person:

I Copy (Ctrl-C, or Edit > Copy) the highlighted text and close out the "Notes" window and I'm back in the "Edit Person" window.

2)  To create the "Fact Note," I click on the "Fact" of interest:

Each "Fact" has buttons in the right-hand panel under "Census Details" (for this Fact) - for "Note," "Source," and "Share." I clicked on the "Fact" button:

The "Notes" window for this Fact opened and I Pasted (Ctrl-V or Edit > Paste) the text information (previously copied from the person Note) into the "Fact Notes" window.  I edited it a bit (I usually take out the source citation since there is a Source associated with the Fact).

That's all - pretty easy, just Copy from person Note and Paste (or type into) a Fact Note.

3)  The next step is to add the text into a Source "Detail Text" field so that it shows up in a "Research Notes Report:"

With the same "Fact" highlighted in the "Edit Person" screen, and with the Fact Note text still in my Windows clipboard, I click on the "Sources" button in the right-hand panel and see the "Citation Manager" window:

If I haven't added a Source yet, I can do that.  In the screen above, I want to add the Source Text Detail to the specific Source, so I click on the "Edit" button on the screen above, and see:

The "Edit source" screen includes the Master Source information and the Source Details fields in the "Citation" tab.  There are other tabs above the Master Source fields, including "Detail Text."

I click on the "Detail Text" screen and can add information to the "Research Notes" and "Comments" fields:

I can either type in text or I can Paste (using Ctrl-V or Edit > Paste) the Fact Note information into the "Research Note" field.  I could type in (or copy/paste in) text to analyze the information in the "Research Note" field.

That's it - some copy/paste (or typing), some editing, some clicking, and I've added a Fact Note and a Research Note to my database.

4)  What about the "Research Note Report?"  What does it look like?  I closed out the "Edit Person" window and was back to the "Family" View in RootsMagic.  I clicked on the "Reports" menu and then the "Research Reports" (or "All Reports") and chose the "Research Notes" Report:

That opened the "Report Settings" screen for the "Research Notes Report" and I chose my report parameters (which included checking the box to "Include only sources with research notes)":

The "Research Notes Report" for my person appeared with the "Source Detail Text" information at the top under the date and place for the Fact, and the source citation as a footnote at the bottom of the page:

I want to "enrich" all of my Fact Notes with information and add "Source Detail Text" for those notes so that I have a complete set of Research Notes for each person.  

5)  This sounds like a lot of work, but if you have previously typed text available then it goes pretty quickly.  I can do one cycle of this in a minute or less using this process.

Do other genealogy software programs have a "Research Notes Report" similar to RootsMagic?  Should they?  Is this a "must-have" feature for you, or a "like-to-have" feature?

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Copyright (c) 2013), Randall J. Seaver


Anonymous said...

That loks good Randy l got a snag rm6 encourages one to split addresses but then won't geocode them & won't find them in mapping and bing maps ain't that good and also we are dealing with historical places that are possibly not shown on modern maps . Am l asking too much

SearchShack said...

Randy - I had been been putting the source information (i.e. details from a census) in the source detail text field. Not sure I understand why you are suggesting copying this same information into the source note field and the person field - is it because the information will print in different report fields? Does the RM search function also only connect information added to person field to that person (vs connecting found info in a source detailed text fiedl)

Lisa S. Gorrell said...

SearchShack, I think putting the census information in the source note field allows it to be printed out into a different report about the individual. Information under the source note and comments only prints out in the Research Notes report.

Randy, I add some information about the source before I type in the transcription so I can easily tell with a glance what the source is. I use the comments section a lot to analyse the source information, similar to what I have learned from Evidentia. It's a place to record what I have learned from the record and any discrepancies there may be (misspelled names, wrong birth/death date, etc.)