APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2007-07 > 1183654446
From: "Elizabeth Shown Mills" <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Question - Sources
Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2007 11:55:22 -0500
If I have been citing a source for some time, which has had what
appeared to be a legitimate basis for inclusion and have now recently
found a new source that actually proves the original source as not
possible, is there any notation or convention suggested that should be
included addressing the source or information change?
I've tried several times to answer your question more succinctly, but I keep
hitting a road bump we could call fuzzy terms: You seem to be using the
words "source" and "information" interchangeably; and I suspect that your
intent in using the phrase "original source" is different from the meaning
that term has in evidence analysis.
You say you have "found a new source that actually proves the original
source as not possible." Two bumps here:
1. Do you mean that the questionable source is actually an *original*
record? Or do you mean to say that the new source contradicts *the source
you previously relied upon* (which was likely a derivative)?
2. If a source exists, it IS "possible." In fact, the source is not just
possible, it's a reality. I'm assuming what you mean here is that you have
"found new information proving that a certain claim (or information) within
your prior source cannot possibly be true." Yes? No?
Beyond this: You say you "have been citing a source for some time." That
implies you have taken multiple pieces of information from that
source--information that you assumed to be reliable. So, now, are you saying
that ALL information in the previously accepted source must be thrown
out--or that one particular piece of information is disproved by the latest
material you have found?
If your new information disproves ONE point that you had previously accepted
from the earlier-found source, then your action is fairly simple:
- drop the incorrect information from your database or your compilation;
- replace it with the new information that seems to be more reliable;
- cite the new information;
- add a statement (in your text or your reference note) to say that a
counter-claim exists in such-and-such a source but you consider it
inaccurate because ....
If your new information disproves EVERY piece of information you previously
accepted from the earlier-found source, then you'll need to do the above for
every information statement you took from the earlier-found source.
Meanwhile, you should retain, in your evidence files for the family,
whatever pages or notes you took from the earlier source that you now deem
unreliable. But do add a dated note to those pages to explain that you now
consider them unreliable, because .....
Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
*Evidence: Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian*
(Evidence's "briefcase edition" which will still stay in print)
*Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts
to Cyberspace* (the "desktop reference edition" scheduled
for release at the FGS conference)
*QuickSheet: Citing Online Historical Resource, Evidence Style*
*Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers,
Writers, Editors, Lecturers & Librarians*