Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Cite Your Sources in Research
by Joyce M. Tice
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
Dear Joyce,

First, let me thank you for a remarkable job.  I am so indebted to your efforts.  They have really made the job of finding my ancestors so much easier. 

My cousin and I are putting together a book using FamilyTreemaker to distribute to our family.  There is some info on your site that we would like to include, particulary on the general history of the area.  This would give our family members a sense of how things were while our ancestors were alive.

I know much of the info is copyrighted and certainly do not want to violate that.  Would it be ok to quote the info giving the original source, as well as, you and your site?

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Joyce's Search Tip - November 2008
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Hi Tri-County Guests, One of the common questions I get from guests is whether they can use materials from my site in their family research publications. The answer is, Of course, BUT ONLY IF you cite your sources. That is the scholarly way to do things. It is also the legal way.  I am including the Tri-County mail list in the answer I have given the most recent person to ask this question. By all means read this and follow its guidelines for all information you get from ANY source, Internet, books, copyrighted or not. I am also going to add this note to my site to be developed further later. Thanks, Joyce M. Tice

Hi Daryl and everybody else, Thanks for writing. Even copyrighted information can be used, just as always, as long as the SOURCE is CITED. Not having a copyright does not give you permission to use anything without citing it as a source. Not citing a source is bad scholarship and inappropriate as well as illegal. The information on my site is there to be used by historical researchers, but not without acknowledgment of where it came from. Remember all you learned about footnoted source citations way back in ninth grade when you did your first research paper. In the case of my material, the publisher is Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice. The author is cited on each of my pages. Those who have just retyped for me do not have to be cited, but whomever wrote the material in the first place does. Previously published books that are on the site should be cited just as a reprint editon of a book with Tri-County ... by JMT as the reprint publisher. In those cases, I include an image of the original book's Title Page or a text version of the bibliographic information. For cemetery readings, the people who read the cemetery are the authors, and I am the publisher. In the case of census listings, I am the publisher, and the person who did the transcribing is the author. In that case you would also cite the source as US Federal Census just as if you got it from microfilm yourself. The transcriber would be cited the same as a translator would of translated materials. The reason for this, of course, is that every transcriber will interpret a file differently, so the exact "edition" must be cited for purposes of accuracy and verification. A serious researcher will take all of your undocumented information with the same respect as if you made it up from scratch. She/he can't tell the difference. Whether it was copyrighted or not, WHERE did you get that information and from whom?

One of these days I will do an article on the appropriate way to cite materials published on the Internet. It is really not any different from citing any other sources. Way too many "genealogists" do not cite their sources at all. Undocumented sources are the same as fiction. They mean nothing. They have no credibility at all. They are unusable by serious researchers. It is good to have fun doing your history, but if you want it to have value, cite your sources. if you are not going to cite your sources, then just keep it for your own pleasure and do not publish it to anybody at any time. Most of the people who publish their family pages to the sites that encourage them to do that have NO SOURCE CITATIONS at all. I have seen people who should know better use material from my site with the citation that they got it "from the Internet." That is NOT a source citation. That is theft and poor scholarship. It is an insult both to the provider of and the receiver of that material.

What I really should do, and I wish I had the time, is put on every page all the bibliographic data that is needed for source citation. That way nobody would have any reason to not do it right. Unfortunately, I am a staff on one with 7700 pages already out there. It is an impossible task, so I trust to the scholarship of my audience. Many people think that just because I make all of this available to the world for free, it is theirs to do with as they please. It is no more so than any published book. The Internet is a new form of publication. Just because it is not on paper, does not make it anymore public domain. Implied copyrights are always in effect regardless of the method of publication. Tell the people for whom you are preparing this where you got your information OR just keep it on your own shelf for your use only.


Note from Joyce to a guest on the format of her footnotes using materials from Joyce, site and person l project.:

Hi J., Thanks for this. Very nice.

On the footnotes, I too have a lot to revise in mine.

For anything that comes from my site, its full name is "Tri-Counties Genealogy and History by Joyce M. Tice." Anyone who transcribes, such as Carlton Wolfe on some of his census records, should be "transcribed by Carlton Wolfe." Typists need not be mentioned anymore than in any book. Publisher is always Joyce M. Tice. Any material that comes from reports I have sent you from my genealogy database all have the Sullivan-Rutland Genealogy Project heading on them. So the source there is Sullivan-Rutland Genealogy Project by Joyce M. Tice. That is a separate thing from my site. Any books that are on the site should be documented with original bibliographic materials and the "reprinted by Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice." I am always, or try to be, clear on the difference between transcribing projects from original documents and typists. Most pages of the site have a date Published On Tri-Counties Site On it, that is not universally true, but that is the reprint or transcription publication date.

I have an article on the site about documenting sources, but it never can cover all possibilities. It is important to be clear on the reprint version of books or the transcription version of records since one transcriber might differ from another in interpreting handwriting or presentation.  Thanks a lot. Joyce M. Tice


Subj: [Tri-Counties] Excellent online citation tools
Date: 11/11/2002 8:55:35 AM Eastern Standard Time
From:    billbenson@att.net (Bill Benson)
To:    PABRADFO-L@rootsweb.com

Joyce and Tri-Countonians,

Here are three excellent Internet (and paper) citation guides.  The biggest difference from paper citations appears to be that one should show that the information was "Retrieved" from a web site and the date it was retrieved. Each include examples, but the simplest is from the next source. Note: It is often not easy to identify the author of a web page, or the date it was created / copyrighted / last revised? (Even with some of the pages below.)  I did my best.

American Psychological Association. (2001). Electronic References. Retrieved November 11, 2002, from http://login.ezproxy.library.ualberta.ca/login?url=http://www.apastyle.org/elecref.html

Templates (from above) of citations for an:

Online document:

Author, A. A. (2000). Title of work. Retrieved month day, year, from source.

Online periodical:

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (2000). Title of article.
Title of Periodical, xx, xxxxxx. Retrieved month day, year, from source.

--------  Other excellent online citation tools:

Tong, Josie (?). (2002). Citation Style Guides for Internet and Electronic Sources. Herbert T. Coutts Education and Physical Education Library, University of Alberta. Retrieved November 11, 2002 from http://www.library.ualberta.ca/guides/citation/

Brandes, Jay. (2002, October 27). Citing the World Wide Web in Style: American Psychological Association and Modern Language Association Formats.
FL&WR Regional Library, Troy State University. Retrieved November 11, 2002
from http://www.tsufl.edu/library/5/citation.htm

---------  Good Luck!

Regards, Bill Benson


Published On Tri-Counties Site On Nov 2002
By Joyce M. Tice
Email: JoyceTice@aol.com

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Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA