Is it necessary to distinguish free from paid sources

+2 votes
in Policy and Style by Neil Martin G2G Crew (340 points)

3 Answers

+2 votes
At first glance it sounds like a good idea but then there are other sources, not online, books especially, some of which can be categorised as no longer available, but remain sources and others available in some countries and not others.Could be getting into deep waters. However some people do note when online sources have to be paid for.
by C. Mackinnon G2G6 Pilot (291k points)
I do it as a courtesy to the casual clicker.  If they can see in advance that a link will take them to a "pay to view" site, they know what to expect.
What Melanie said.
+2 votes
As source is a source. They way people need to take to see the actual source will vary and is not really relevant for the value of the source or the way you cite it.

A paid website that offers access to the source is only the intermediary. If you link to the provider, it is your choice/preferred way to get to the source. In general I would prefer to give free routes to the sources, but if the easiest is paid (or requires registration) that is the way it is.

In giving a reference to the source you should make sure to mention the real source, and not just the intermediary. So Familysearch is not the source, but the record is the source. So Amazon is not the source, but the provider of the image of the book and a way to buy it. So OpenArch is not the source, but the birth certificate stored at an official archive is the source. So FindaGrave is not the source, the headstone is the source (Unless you trust the familytree shown there, then that is a secondary source).
by Michel Vorenhout G2G6 Pilot (253k points)
+1 vote
Most people will know which sites are free and which require payment. At least the major sites. For example, I wouldn't bother indicating that Ancestry is a pay site. There isn't a problem indicating that it is a pay site and it does get done as others have said.
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (447k points)

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