Repeat Sources in biography

+5 votes
120 views
In the biography section, what is the accepted method of using inline citations using the same source for multiple bits of information.  For example, an ancestor's death record showed his death, where he lived,  his parent's names, and their birthplaces.  Do I group all that information in the death section and use one citation, use a different heading for each and add repeat citations for the same source or have some way of using one number for the inline citations?  I really like the last idea, because it keeps the information separate for ease of reading and declutters the sources section, but have no idea how to go about doing that.  Thanks.
in Policy and Style by J Clark G2G3 (3.3k points)

4 Answers

+9 votes
The accepted way is to add a name to the first occurrence and then use the short version so:

first ref : <ref name="identifier">citation...</ref>

subsequent ref : <ref name="identifier" />
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (424k points)
Thank you.  That is a huge help.
Can this be done with multiple different sources on the same profile?
Yes. Any <ref> can have a name so you can put as many as you want.
+4 votes

One method of using the same source several times in a profile can be found here:

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Sources#Repeated_use_of_the_same_source_in_the_same_profile

However, that doesn't always meet the needs of documentation. In some cases, I add a citation in the sources sections (description of source, repository, etc.) with the notation "See details below." Below the Sources section, I add a section "=== Details of References ===" where I put the detailed information extracted from the reference. It's sort of sloppy but, as you mention, some sources, such as obituaries, have a lot of detail which needs to viewed in context.

You can add "Details" as mentioned, or add another section such as "=== Obituary ===" within the Bio or below it to provide the information.

by Bruce Veazie G2G6 Mach 5 (57.6k points)
Thank you, Bruce.  I can see why this would be helpful.
+3 votes

I've done it several ways, including the one Doug discusses. I have also used the <span> tags. Currently I am using what is comfortable for me, adds less verbiage to the actual text, and allows complete entry of the source document.

  • Enter the complete information for the document being cited below the <references /> line.
  • Enter a name for the document inline following the data being referenced. 
This will result in a list of sources and a separate list of footnotes for each item being documented. Actually, this is very similar to the way sources and footnotes are handled in a book.
by Shirley Dalton G2G6 Pilot (486k points)
Thanks, Shirley.  I like this option, since I sometimes have very information heavy documents and want to get down with a minimum of fuss and maximum of clarity.
+4 votes
If the source is exactly the same as the last referenced text source, then all that you have to do is type in "ibid " as the source text. That saves a lot of duplication in typing repeated text. It is an accepted practice in genealogical referencing as well as all other types of research.
by George Churchill G2G6 Mach 8 (86.8k points)
Thanks, George.   I will use this when I can.
This convention, while standard practice, seems like a challenge to maintain in a wiki setting.  Anybody can come along and helpfully add a source without realizing that they are changing the citation of a fact somewhere else in the biography.

I appreciate the elegance of "Ibid." in a finished, non-controversial profile, but would want to see it discouraged in profiles that attract contributions from a lot of WikiTree volunteers.
I agree with E. Compton. Ibid falls apart if anything is rearranged or another source is inserted. You have to manually go through and adjust them all. <ref name="ident" /> isn't much more work than ibid and doesn't have a problem with future insertions. the named ref approach only has a problem if you have to move it earlier. The other approaches can work as well but I think ibid should be discouraged in profiles. Fine for printed documents.
I just remembered from the writing class I took with Tom Jones this summer that ibid is fine it you are self publishing but not to do it if writing for one of the top 5 journals. It makes more work for the editors if they need to change anything. They prefer to do that as part of the typesetting stage. Doesn't really apply here but there are other reasons to not use it.

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