Tips from the Pros: Note the Location of Sources, from Michael John Neill

Tracking your research (the title of the book, page, publication date, publisher, etc.) has always been an integral part of research. However, sometimes there is more to it than that. The location of the reference is just as important.

While reviewing digital files I had saved to my flash drive while in Salt Lake City at the Family History Library, I realized that while I had the book title and page number, etc., I didn’t have the name and location of the database that allowed me to search that book in the first place.

I had located the digital images using online databases that allowed for full-text searches. I was in such a hurry to download the image and the book’s title, author, etc. that I neglected to track the larger database of which the book was a part.

Many scans of older books are now parts of larger digital collections. The name of the website or database provider is an integral part of the source. All scans are not created equally and tracking the provider would allow me to easily search the reference again if I realize there are names I overlooked in my initial searches. Don’t overlook this step in your source citations.

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