How much flexibility exists in Sources sub-header assignment and placement of <references /> endnoted citations? [closed]

+2 votes
265 views

Using Lambert-3324 as a highish-end-of-the-profile-complexity-spectrum example and referring to  Help:Biographies, I would like to know how much flexibility exists in:

  • The assignment of sub-headings to the main Sources header, and,
  • The associated relative placement of <references /> endnoted citations.

I raise these two rather fundamental interrelated profile content formatting issues for a number of inherently problematic reasons.

For long profiles such as shown in Lambert-3324, I find it desirable to group Sources header with a number of related sub-headers, such as ===Biblio===, ===Downloads=== & ===Notes/Endnotes/Footnotes===.

The placement of ===Notes/Endnotes/Footnotes===.and associated <references /> among the Sources sub-headers is in practical terms relative unimportant since Endnoted citations are wikilinked and TOC can be used to zoom down to any Sources sub-heading.

I have found it often desirable for the sake of Sources's overall brevity to include, in multiple-Biblio-item citations using a common endnote, which inherently implies placement of Endnotes sub-heading & <references /> after Sources's Biblio sub-header.

Sometimes there are so many image downloads that it is desirable to list them as Download sub-header of Sources.

Edit 1: formatting issue > formatting issues 

WikiTree profile: Aubin Lambert dit Champagne
closed with the note: Question answered in accordance with information linked to and cited from WT Help pages.
asked in Policy and Style by Anonymous Lambert G2G6 Mach 1 (10.5k points)
closed by Anonymous Lambert
An additional reason for dellineating Sources in terms of Biblio, Download  & Endnotes sub-headers is that there are 55 Biblio items, 24 Download items  & 84 Endnotes.
But if you used the recommended referencing style you wouldn't have nearly as many.
Still another reason for Sources sub-headers flexibility is the need of continuous improvement in Sources sub-header placement and assingment.

6 Answers

+8 votes
 
Best answer

Providing feedback only on the 'flexibility' question, I would say that the policy is not as flexible as the example used in the linked profile. The profile itself is great, but I was quickly turned off by the amount of information under the Sources heading.

From Help:Sources Style Guide:

There should be no "Footnotes" or other headline above the references.

Here is an example of a properly-formatted sources section:

== Sources ==
<references />
See also:
* Smith, Elsie Hawes, ''Edmund Rice and His Family'' Boston, MA: Meador press (1938)

I think one of the fundamental issues we run across on WikiTree is that while some users are advanced in their knowledge and styling of profiles, it quickly turns other users away who could also potentially contribute - but refrain because they don't understand they styling used on the profile, especially when it varies from most other profiles.

We should always aim for consistency - and in this case - simply moving the information contained in the Bibliographie / Bibliography and Téléchargements / Downloads sections to a free-space page, then linking to the page under "See also" would help to clear up the profile and make it less confusing for other members.

answered by Steven Harris G2G6 Pilot (152k points)
selected by Ros Haywood
Thank you, Ros!
I'm glad this was best answer because I was about to basically put the same thing and then I noticed it was already here. I made the mistake of putting notes at the bottom to help people who were looking for further info to let them know where I looked or what I eliminated and got hammered for it. Those were "research notes" and belonged above sources.

So basically you have put a section called notes at the bottom and put all your references in it which should be the very first thing you see under sources? I peronally would leave them directly under ==Sources== where the approved format says they belong. As far as the other 2 tweeks, I see nothing wrong with a ===Bibliography=== and a ===Downloads=== section IN the ==Sources== section BELOW <references/>. Otherwise the space page is a good idea ESPECIALLY if the same info is used on multiple profiles.

A Biblio is inherently a customized document only applicable to one profile.

As Gaile says:

'The only absolute rule (to my thinking) is that the <references /> tag must be placed after the last use of the <ref>(citation)</ref> instance.'

As I say as part of my G2G question above:

'I have found it often desirable for the sake of Sources's overall brevity to include, in multiple-Biblio-item citations using a common endnote, which inherently implies placement of Endnotes sub-heading & <references /> after Sources's Biblio sub-header.' 

I have often used such endnoted-citations to shorten census Biblio reference items an unusually long part of which uses identical wording.

+5 votes
Claude, first I can't help gushing about how wonderful that linked profile is!  I suspect you'll find some members who think the specification of Biography, Research Notes, and Sources headers, plus the location of the <references /> tag are written in stone and then extrapolate some kind of prohibition of straying from that description the slightest bit.

I do not believe that is the intent of those instructions.  The intent is to ensure that all profiles have those specific sections, with unfettered editorial license to flesh out a lower level heading structure.  The only absolute rule (to my thinking) is that the <references /> tag must be placed after the last use of the <ref>(citation)</ref> instance, but that is because it will only pick up citations that precede it.  Personally, I think your organization of the sources is outstanding and, in the case of an extensively documented profile such as this example, far better than not attempting to structure all that material.
answered by Gaile Connolly G2G6 Pilot (536k points)
Well said, Gaile. That really is a great profile. Mine are puny by comparison.
Mine too, Pip.  I was all puffed up once when I had managed to accumulate 13 sources … Claude's work has sure taken me down a peg - it is nothing short of spectacular!
+9 votes
WikiTree is a collaborative site, which is in my opinion why we both need and should follow the recommended style and standards including those related to biographies including formatting and referencing.

Any changes by someone to the recommended styles and standards makes it that more difficult for anyone else to collaborate on that profile.
answered by John Atkinson G2G6 Pilot (316k points)
John.

Csn you suggest specific ways to improve the :Lambert-3425 profile in terms of Sources sub-header assignment and placement of <references /> endnoted citations?

My experience with referencing styles is that they are usually either footnotes/endnotes or bibliography not both, but where I have come across styles that use both, the bibliography is always last, which is what you would get if the <references/> tag was directly under the Sources heading.

I haven't looked at all your referencing fully, and I do like the Legend, particularly when it includes the abbreviations for what I presume are journals, such as MSGCFA.

However there are a couple of things I noticed that I don't understand in how you have organised your referencing - 

For instance why you have included amongst the downloads the link to Famille au Perche, when you have already cited the source under Montagne, Francoise etc (which raises a separate question of whether having this table in your biography is a breach of copyright?).  I don't understand the reasoning behind using both a citation in the bibliography and a link in the downloads?

Also you have this as note 75, Aubin, Réal; 1981, « Les enfants d'Aubin Lambert I, 2ième partie » but the full citation only includes a small amount extra, MSGCF, vol. XXXII, n° 4 (1981), pp. 243-258. so why not include it all in the ref tags in the first place and save your reader from having to search for the full citation?

As I said originally general principles should be that we all use the recommended referencing style and standards.  It's highly unlikely I would want to add anything to the profile, but if I did how would I do that?  Add the source in the recommended style which is what I mostly tend to use which will stand out as being different?  Or try to emulate yours?

I have been in this exact same situation on WikiTree and have been known to not add new information and sources, because it becomes too hard and there are plenty of other profiles to work on.

+1 vote
There are many people here who believe its not flexible at all here at WikiTree, that it literally needs to follow the == Sources == heading.

But that's not the intent and purpose of footnotes, which is what these are. Generally, in most published works they are the last thing on a page. So I agree with your layout.
answered by Dennis Wheeler G2G6 Pilot (388k points)
0 votes

This answer briefly rebuts other answers to date to this G2G discussion.

The discussion is evidently a case of  not only 'When are endnotes not endnotes?' but of there being no best answer to this G2G question.

Re Aubin Lambert proflle example rationale:

  • For 50 years our family was led to believe by reputable genealogists that our first ancestor to immigrate to Canada was born in ancient Normandy province. It is therefore important to very solidly anchor Aubin from a genealogical viewpoint.
  •  Aubin is my ancestor born in ancient Perche province who immigrated to Canada around 1660 and engendered over 10,000 descendants on a through-the-males-only basis.
  • Aubin is one of over 320 immigrants to Canada born in Perche as part of the Percheron Immigration Movement in the 3 decades starting in 1634 who has a lopsidedly influential impact in present-day Canadian demographics.
  • I have taken a leading role in developing, standardizing and cross-referencing profiles for these 320-odd Perche-born immigrants. A majority of these profiles use Harvard referencing style.

Re Harvard Referencing: The reference style used in the Lambert-3425 profile is the Harvard referencing style which is similar to the APA and Chicago reference styles used worldwide and which emulates Shortened endnotes  whereby a Biblio  reference item such as 

is in such profiles shown as the endnoted citation

  • Elk 1972, p. 5

Re Profile Edit View Instruction: 

There is clearly a discrepancy between profile edit view instruction

== Sources ==
<references />
* Lambert, John. The Big Lambert Book. Chicago, IL: Lambert Publishing, 1914.

and Steve's supporting

== Sources == 
<references /> 
See also: 
* Smith, Elsie Hawes, ''Edmund Rice and His Family'' Boston, MA: Meador press (1938)

Indeed, Steve's  idea of creating a free-space page, then linking to the page under "See also" makes no sense to me in terms of either Harvard referencing or profile edit-view Sources instruction.

Re John's 'why you have included amongst the downloads the link to Famille au Perche': The 'Famille d'Aubin Lambert au Perche' is a composite I worked out combined two pages from Montagne. This composite add value below two separate pages from Montagne which are copyrighted. The composite is my own original work that is definitely not a breach of copyright. 

Re John's 'I don't understand . . . using both a citation in the bibliography and a link in the downloads: 

The downloads are shown as a Sources sub-header in order for facilitate access in one sub-header that is unwieldy to access via Image tab. Montagne is a complete Biblio reference item which can be cited like any other complete Biblio reference item. 'Famille d'Aubin Lambert au Perche' is a composite sub-set of Montage. Downloads and Biblio are both lists. Endnoted-citations are link directly to the text. I see no problem in shown as currently done.

Re John's 'why not include it all in the ref tags in the first place and save your reader from having to search for the full citation':

I have corrected this oversight to the standard Harvard style format. I may need to add the page #.

Re John's 'I . . . have been known to not add new information and sources . . .': 

The Lambert-3425 profile is obviously a special case where there happens to be a lot of available information, which not many other of my Lambert ancestors and Percheron immigrants come close to encountering.

Re 'But if you used the recommended referencing style you wouldn't have nearly as many.':

I would rather err on the side of too much information to begin with. I am betting that WikiTree's Lambert-3425 profile will be around at least 50 years from now. This will thus be a lot of time me and other editors to bring improvements to the profile including in terms any needed pruning.

answered by Anonymous Lambert G2G6 Mach 1 (10.5k points)
edited by Anonymous Lambert
+1 vote
well cousin, personally I find there is too much code inside the text, makes it hard to follow when editing.  As a note, Prefen as a link is dead until further notice, so suggest finding a replacement for it.
answered by Danielle Liard G2G6 Pilot (177k points)

Sorry Danielle but code bloat issue and PREFEN obsolescence are off-topic to issues at hand:

  • The assignment of sub-headings to the main Sources header, and,
  • The associated relative placement of <references /> endnoted citations.
I fully share Danielle's point of view. Editing one of those profiles is hell. Please, lets use the K.I.S.S. method!
This comment is still off-topic. You are welcome to raise a separate G2G question dealing with code bloat including in terms of addressing available practical alternatives.
Claude, I believe your initial questions have been answered. The information I linked to and cited is from WT Help pages, and are considered official policy.
Fine. Someone can close the question.

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