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How do we extend BetterGEDCOM's functionality: Online Citations anyone?
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?
Mark Tucker, ThinkGenealogy
, wrote a series of articles for his blog in 2009, "A Better Way to Cite Online Sources
." He looked at various technologies including MARC
[Machine-Readable Cataloging], MARC XML
[Metadata Object Description Schema].
, "MARC standards
," especially for MARC21 and MARCXML
, "Metadata Object Description Schema
Reference Management Applications:
One or more steps removed from the broad technologies reviewed by Mark Tucker are various reference management applications (aka, citation management software or bibliographic management software). These are programs like RefWorks
. See Wikipedia
, "Comparison of reference management software
." These applications import citation element-like data in different file formats (like MODS), allow for the further formatting management of that data within the application (ala, templates), and also export the data. 
Since not long after BetterGEDCOM was organized, we've mentioned Zotero
as an interesting application. It is free, cross platform, open source, will have a multilingual component (experimental now
).  Zotero "supports copy/paste or drag-and-drop" of references into both Microsoft Word
and OpenOffice.org Writer
See also, BetterGEDCOM, XML-based Citation Style Language (CSL)
; BetterGEDCOM blog, "Zotero Screenshots
This particular reference management application supports various Styles
including Chicago Manual of Style
. A listing of the styles Zotero now reportedly supports can be viewed on its, "Zotero Style Repository
." Unfortunately, Zotero does not yet support genealogy-centric styles, Mills
) for example. It's not that users of Zotero haven't asked for support, they have.      It's not that Zotero doesn't have volunteers willing to help, they do! 
Zotero and its volunteers need the style information presented in a systematic way (who doesn't). They have a process called "requesting styles
." Essentially, you select an existing Zotero style, something similar but different. [For genealogical citations, I'm guessing CMOS is the closest of the Zotero styles.] Then, from the Zotero "requesting style" page, "itemize the precise differences that need to be implemented to make that existing style into the style you need." For lack of a better term, Zotero needs a "whole template" comparison (citation elements associated with citation templates).
, "Comparison of reference management software
 Mar 2011, Steve writes
, "But, please, I've got 4110 sources in my library that had to all be entered by hand because there isn't a Zotero citation style that works for genealogy. I just can't go to Ancestry.com, or any of the thousands of genealogy websites and download into Zotero, because it doesn't work. In fact, the largest genealogy library in the world, with millions of items in the catalog, doesn't download anything into Zotero. It all has to be entered manually. Genealogy citations contain much more detail than any other discipline. It'd be nice if just one of the hundreds of available Zotero citations were sufficient, but they're not, so I have to do all sorts of customizing to get Zotero to output the citations demanded by my clients. ...isn't a software program in existence that produces an adequate citation to meet the industry standard as found in Elizabeth Shown Mills book, "Evidence Explained ..." and/or to satisfy the demands of my various clients. So I use Zotero and am glad that it's available."
 May 2010, genealogist writes
, "I use a lot of books from sites like Archive.org which are actually images of the original republished on the web. .... Evidence Explained
by Elizabeth Shown Mills, the "Bible" for genealogical researchers ... The bibliography would also include the date the book was published to the web. Note that there are two "titles" both of which are italicized. Has anyone worked with such a citation, or perhaps created one? Is it possible to create an online book image under the Chicago Style or does it require a new style?"
 Oct 2009, JimWalton writes
, " Mills, in her book Evidence Explained
... gives the following requirements for citin a book that has been republished online .... Quick Check Model on page 661 ... Is there a current style that would fit this and if not, is there one that I could modify?"
 Jul 2009, Jhy001 (John Yates) writes
, "I would like to help establish a zotero Genealogy source style based on Elizabeth Shown Mills' style in her book 'Evidence Explained' ..."
 Jul 2008, patgen writes
, "If part of your question has to do with the niceties of citations, you may be interested in Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained, which has templates for many kinds of online sources. It's primarily for genealogists -- www.legacyfamilytree.com sells both downloadable and hard copies (for c40 bucks)."
 Mar 2011, adamsmith writes, " I have repeatedly offered in various threads to help write a citation style for genealogists, but no one has ever provided even the most basic information that would allow me to do that." Same poster in same thread writes separately, "If no genealogist using Zotero can be bothered to tell me in a systematic way what they need as a citation style that indicates to me that having such a citation style can't be that important after all. ... I really have no time to do all the ground work. If this is something important I need this in a systematic way ..."