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BetterGEDCOM support for Evidence Explained and the Genealogical Proof Standard
How do we transfer the source structure, citations and proof.
Wiki EE & GPS Support Pages
Sources and Reference Notes - Terminology (below)
Sources & Reference Notes
....Sources & Citations in GEDCOM
- Application Data
- Application Pages
....Previous discussions: What's Wrong With Sources?
....Modern Style Guides
....Mills, The Evidence Series
.........Evidence Explained (1st ed., 2007, second ed., 2009), aka, Mills 550
.........BetterGEDCOM Supplemental Glossary
and related page, Software Citations
(better known as screenshots for Adrian)
....Citation Specific Fields
Excel spreadsheet: Zotero field names (elements) Zotero Fields_alpha_97-04v.xls
An architecture for sources, reference notes and bibliographies.
We want to round the wagons so those who use //Evidence Explained//
and are guided by the Genealogical Proof Standard
(GPS) have confidence BetterGEDCOM has worked to identify, understand and incorporate related data requirements. We focus first on Sources and Reference Notes--the record of our Evidence. Some work related to the GPS
and //Evidence Analysis Research Process Map//
[link to Best Practices
] has been done and more will become incorporated.
Whether you are a tech from start to finish or couldn't write a line of code if your life depended on it, there is a place for you in this particular BetterGEDCOM discussion. Please join in the dialog as we work to develop information, assess needs and developed specifics for inclusion in the BetterGEDCOM Requirements Catalog
Sources and Reference Notes
What is the problem?
For many of us, Citations
represent the record of Evidence
for our conclusions; the Genealogical Proof Standard
deals with evidence and conclusions and has an element, "Complete and accurate citation of sources." GEDCOM does not transfer Citation data well
, so it does not transfer the record of our Evidence well. Post transfer, producing a simple Family Group Sheet can be a major undertaking.
Separately, as our Application Overview
indicates, trends favor enabling interpretations of Modern Style Guides
, especially those unique to genealogy. Technology exists or is emerging that allows users of other styles to capture essential citation information online. BetterGEDCOM seeks to extend the functionality of it's standard in support of these existing and emerging technologies.
Why don't citations transfer using GEDCOM?
The GEDCOM source system
is based a small group of Citation Element
-like Data Fields (AUTH, TITL, PUBL, etc.). Many Applications
have enabled a substantially larger groups of Citation Elements that further relate to Citation Templates
. [See Application Source Systems
] In order to export comparatively larger and/or more complex data to GEDCOM, Applications group Citation Elements together and associate those groups with GEDCOM's Data Fields or even custom tags. [See Application GEDCOM Export
] A receiving program has no assured way to interpret the details of the data on import; users must manually reconstruct parts or all of the citations.
Related Wiki Pages: Sources and Citations in GEDCOM
, Application Overview
, Application Data
, Application Pages
Additonal References: //ThinkGenealogy, "//Better Online Citations .... (GEDCOM)"
; Terry's TMG Tips, "Considerations for Exporting Sources to GEDCOM 5.5 Files
; , "Do Genealogy Template Sources Survive ... GEDCOM
; Russ Worthington's, BetterGEDCOM "Data Tests"
How do we fix the transfer problem?
When fully implemented, BetterGEDCOM Applications will export all the data necessary for another BetterGEDCOM Application to reconstruct citations from both standard and non-standard Citation Elements and default, standard and non-standard Citation Templates. We have preliminarily identified six (6) requirements for this purpose. [Link to page - Fix the Transfer Problem]
1. Establish an extended group of standard BetterGEDCOM Citation Elements, and
2. Determine the method by which an Application will define and export non-standard Citation Elements, and
3. Discover one or more standardized BetterGEDCOM Citation Templates, where at least one "default" template is based on GEDCOM's Data Fields, and
4. Determine the method by which Applications will export references to that/those standardized BetterGEDCOM Citation Templates, and
5. Discover ways by which Applications will define and export (or export references to) non-standard Citation Templates, and
6. Determine methods by which this comparatively larger export will be consistently interpreted by those Applications that are GEDCOM compatible but have not yet adopted BetterGEDCOM's model.
Somewhat in the way GENTECH
envisioned active management of it's data model,  BetterGEDCOM envisions active management of standard Citation Elements and Citation Templates. We have preliminarily identified one (1) requirement for this purpose:
7. Provide means for active management of BetterGEDCOM standard Citation Elements, Citation Templates and the mechanisms by which references are transmitted.
 GENTECH Genealogical Data Mode
l (2000), p. 3, "the model will be extended."
Related Wiki Pages: Fix the Transfer Problem
Additional References: Rootstech
Online Citations & More!
Various technologies exist or are emerging that support the capture of essential online citation information. BetterGEDCOM intends to use it's standard Citation Element and Citation Template schemes and other technologies to advance the capture of online citations. Perhaps one day, visitors to genealogy centric sites will transfer essential citation information to a user's application via a BetterGEDCOM UUID?
Please join in the BetterGEDCOM discussions about Online Citations & More!
for ideas to extend the functionality. Help us determine the related requirements.
Related Wiki Pages: Zotero (open source) [wip], Blog, A few Zotero screen shots
, former "thing" discussion
Additional References: Wikipedia
," Zotero.org,Zotero-Evidence Explained thread
, Endnote, ThinkGenealogy
, Better Online Citations (series)
Summary of Citation Style Language 1.0
(pdf) specification used by Zotero and others.
From repository meta data to BetterGEDCOM and reports.pdf
- A future scenario
Sources and Reference Notes - Terminology
Many definitions are available on the wiki page, "Supplemental Glossary from _Evidence Explained_, 2007
See also Glossary of Terms
and Definitions under Development
The terms below are "Definitions under Development
- An identifiable field in a citation that is associated with particular data. [Link to Discussion
- specifies the Citation Elements, arrangement of same and punctuation necessary to form a citation. [Link to Discussion
- Changes made to a citation other than to edit data in a Citation Element or Citation Template. [Link to Discussion
Default Citation Template
- A BetterGEDCOM Citation Template based on GEDCOM Data Fields.
- in application software, sometimes "source," a group of citation elements equivalent to GEDCOM's SOURCE_RECORD. Has a one to many relationship with citation specific elements
Citation specific elements
(aka Assertion-level elements) - in application software, those elements added to a master source to form a reference note.
From the article, "The export is complicated, however, by the fact that TMG has far more Source Elements, or even Source Element Groups, than there are different tag types for sources in the GEDCOM specification. TMG deals with this by doubling up the information from several source elements into a single GEDCOM tag. But since there are no accepted standards for this "doubling up" process, various programs importing a GEDCOM file containing such combined tags will meet with varying degrees of success in satisfactorily placing the data in their own systems of recording source data. It is unlikely that the resulting source notes will read much at all like the source notes produced by TMG, even if the importing program successfully retains all the data included in the GEDCOM file."
As Terry points out, at the citation level (reference note), there are essentially two elements recognized by GEDCOM--PAGE and NOTE. The balance of the reference note is transferred as the source definition, as below.
At the source level, Terry reports about five more:
When a repository is reported, there are a few couple more elements.
Adrian wrote, "it indicates the sort of data that TMG wants to capture..."
Actually, TMG comes pre-packaged with even more citation/source data fields* and users can also add more. In order to fit the information into GEDCOM, however, each data field in TMG must be assigned to one of the Source Element Groups Terry has listed in his article.
*For example, TMG doesn't have a Source Element Group for the WWW components of an online source; you also don't see a Source Element Group for "Source of the Source."