Thursday, February 10, 2011

Follow Friday - Citing Online Sources

Each morning, while curled up with my coffee, I check the Geneabloggers website [] to see what’s new, and if there are any items of interest in the daily prompts. Yesterday I read an interview with Elizabeth Shown Mills on the correct way to cite online sources, plus other tidbits of advice on citing bizarre items like wallpaper!

Citing source material is probably one of the hardest and most tedious jobs a researcher has, and citing online information is even more difficult. How many times have we clicked and clicked through a site and finally found a tidbit on our ancestor!! We scurry to jot down the pertinent information, and then click again hoping to find more – completely forgetting to stop and cite.  Well, I have.

I have printed the interview with Elizabeth Shown Mills, as she not only clearly outlines what needs to be cited, but shares examples of how those citations should appear. She explains citations are like layers, and with an online source, you are adding one, if not more, layers.  Doing it correctly the first time through will save you time while allowing others to verify the information you have provided.


  1. I am a clicker...I get excited when I find something that sparks another idea to chase, then I am off on the hunt. Sometimes, much to my frustration, I cannot find my way back to the first tidbit that got me going.... :-) After a few of those errors I now at least copy and paste the url into my source citation. I try not to sweat the details, but I make sure I can find my way back now.
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)

  2. Thanks for the comment, Theresa, and for the great suggestion. I have to make a habit of copying the URL. That would make life so much easier!