Sources vs. Footnotes: Which way to go?

+15 votes

It seems like there are many ways to flip a coin on WikiTree. Here are three different examples of ancestor profiles. The first is Anneke Jans Bogardus, whose page lists sources and footnotes. Next, is Louis DuBois and his page gives sources. Finally, Louis' dad Chrétien DuBois, as his profile lists footnotes. Are they all acceptable on WikiTree? Is one way preferable? Perhaps one is more academically correct. For those like me who are fairly new to the site and want to build out the profiles under our management the proper way from the start, what direction should we head? Thanks for the guidance. This really is an amazing community of dedicated contributors and mentors.

in Policy and Style by Rod DuBois G2G6 Pilot (182k points)
If you were asking about "Footnotes" as a heading... that used to be standard but the current guidelines recommend against it. See for the latest.

Cheers, Liz
Thanks Liz, I did not know that. It changes my perspective of the profile examples I used and those Anne directed me to.

I think we updated most of the Du Bois profiles to move the <references /> tag under == Sources == & delete the == Footnotes == header. But the profile for Chrétien DuBois was/is so involved & has so many complicated issues of false info to explain - and it was selected profile of the week before the style guidelines changed - we just left it as it was. Sorry that it caused confusion!

Cheers, Liz

Yep, so many things changed when the new information came down from Europe a while back with the cross referencing of Louis' siblings that did not leave Catholic beliefs. There were so many speculative wives and parents of Chrétien. All those false connections, I can see how much trouble that would have been. This is making a lot more sense now than when I first asked the question. Thanks Liz.

2 Answers

+4 votes
Best answer
<ref></ref> for each occurence

<references /> once under sources heading (software then lists them after tthis line, not labelled footnotes anymore but same concept)

general sources without an actual citation in the bio can be entered  below the <references /> line (start each of these with asterisk to generate bulleted style list)
by Living Anonymous G2G6 Mach 4 (47.5k points)
selected by anonymous
Thanks Mikey.
+8 votes

Every Genealogical fact should have a source. A list of sources at the end of a profile, does not let you know which source addresses which fact.

If you've only used one source in a profile, it's perfectly acceptable to simply list that source in the sources section.

But if I've used three of four sources, how would anyone know which source went with which fact unless I list them as footnotes.

I know there are some people on wikitree who disagree with this

Two of the profiles you mentioned are conglomerates of both techniques. Having Footnotes, backed up by a sources section. The third is footnoted.

Why don't you look at a few of these

And here's the help page

by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
Thanks Anne. Your answer/explanation makes a lot of sense. I appreciate the links as well, there are plenty of examples here. Cheers.
Even when it's just one source for all the facts, I tend to add the source as <ref></ref> note at the end of the para of info in anticipation of duplicate profiles being merged with it.
Oh, that's thinking ahead. Good tip.

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