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Genealogy Research Journals Project

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The purpose of the Genealogy Research Journals Project is to keep WikiTree up-to-date with the latest research appearing in genealogical journals. Articles in high-profile, peer-reviewed journals are generally well-sourced and have been subject to the scrutiny of expert genealogists, so are almost always excellent sources to include on relevant profiles. Sometimes these articles overturn early theories about family connections and other information, and in such cases it is important to ensure that WikiTree reflects the latest research.

Are you interested in the Genealogy Research Journals Project?


How To Join

To join, just post an answer to our G2G post and one of the project leaders will get in touch.

Project Goals

Our goal is one of maintenance, ensuring that our WikiTree continues to reflect the latest high-quality research. The process has two phases:

  • Identify the latest research. Participants will monitor journals. When a new issue comes out, a free-space page will be created as an "enriched table-of-contents", as in this example. (Details about these pages are in a section below.) As issue pages are created, they should be linked from the source page for the corresponding journal.
  • Update the tree. Participants should try to identify profiles for individuals listed in each issue page. When a profile is identified, a link should be created from the issue page to the profile and the article citation should be pasted in the source section of the individual's profile.

Which Journals? Which Articles

Participants can choose whatever journals interest them. Project preference is for peer-reviewed journals or journals whose articles are well-sourced with primary records. An aspirational goal is to include coverage of the highest-profile journals in the countries of the project participants. For instance, the highest-profile journals in the USA are sometimes called "The Big Five":

  • The American Genealogist
  • The Genealogist
  • National Genealogical Society Quarterly
  • New England Historical & Genealogical Register
  • New York Genealogical and Biographical Record

Articles generally come in two varieties: family sketches documenting a collection of individuals and their familial connections, and "record enumeration", listing a collection of related records, e.g., the list of recorded births in some town or the list of all marriages performed by a certain pastor. This project attempts only to catalog those articles that are family sketches, since the record enumeration articles do not provide enough context with which to locate the corresponding profiles.

Creating an Issue Page

Here is a [issue page].

Issue pages should include the general issue information and a list of articles in the issue. The information for each family-sketch article should include:

the author and title,
a copy-and-paste ready citation for the article, and
a list of names of people profiled in the article.

For example:

  • Author: Gale Ion Harris, Ph.D., FASG
  • Citation: Gale Ion Harris, "Godfrey Spruill, Planter and Physician of Virginia and North Carolina," The Genealogist, Vol. 33, No. 1, 58-80; No. 2, 272-300.
  • WikiTree Profiles:

This example is an article serialized in two issues, and the citation includes the volume/issue/page information for each part of the article. Following the Evidence Explained style, an author's title and credentials are not included in the main citation.

Articles that are an enumeration of records (as opposed to a family sketch) can be listed on their issue pages, but no attempt should be made to enumerate the individuals occurring in these articles.

Many family sketches are serialized with continuations across multiple issues. In this case, a "master citation" should be created and updated until the full article is published. This can be stored in the issue page containing the first appearance of the article, and continuations on other issue pages can be linked back to that first issue page as they appear. Individuals profiled in continuations should be listed on the issue page for the continuation in which they first appear.

When a profile for a person in an article is identified, the person's name in the corresponding issue page should be linked and the article citation should be placed in the sources section of the profile. Project participants are also encouraged to update date/location fields and biographies/research notes sections with information from these articles.

Journals currently monitored

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