Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Note-keeping during the research process

Last night's Second Life Just Genealogy meeting focused on the GPS Genealogical Proof Standard including these key elements.

  • Reasonably exhaustive search
  • Complete and accurate citation of sources
  • Analysis and correlation of the collected information
  • Resolution of conflicting evidence
  • Soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion
What developed was a serious discussion of WHERE to keep a digital copy of research and analysis during the research process that can take many months or years before concluding. One participant explained she has to flip through her paper pages wasting time looking for an obscure notation. We all agreed that paper note-keeping isn't productive since it doesn't permit a computer to do an every-word search of the contents.

The necessity of a note-keeping program assumes we're not ready to place the information into our genealogy management program. (Ol' Myrt here doesn't like to enter names and info until they until a family relationship has been established.)

Two note-keeping options emerged as popular among attendees:

Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a "free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, cite, and share your research sources. It lives right where you do your work—in the web browser itself." However, this concerns me since the majority of my personal research is not done online. Perhaps those more experienced could comment.

Evernote is Ol' Myrt's program of choice for keeping track of research in progress.

The beauty of this "cloud computing" software is that I can connect to my info from any computer with internet access.

WHAT ARE MY DearREADERS "note-keeping" programs of choice? 

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy.