Talk:Citing Online Sources
This article needs to be updated with current links to familysearch.org and not pilot.
As of early 2013, the appearance of Family Tree, and the rapid cycle of upgrades that followed, has radically improved the situation for citing online sources as compared with new.FamilySearch. Citations are now very easy to make and attach to individual summary pages, and FamilySearch "Record Search" index pages now all have standardized "academic" citations that can be copied and pasted into a citation field in a broader citation framework. The citation framework includes fields for the source title, a link to an online record (its URL) , and notes, in addition to the academic citation. One has the ability to correct, extend or amend the academic citation. These academic citations, automatically provided by the FamilySearch system, set a de facto standard that should be illuminated and explained. If the intention is an automated adaptation of the Elizabeth Shown Mills system then one ought to be able to find a statement to that effect and an explanation of the methodology, so that users can conform to the standard when citing out-of-system online sources.
Regarding the "Record Search" URLs, presumably the developers of the system are now committed to maintainin them unchanged in perpetuity.
The overall citation system provided by Family Tree seems to be sufficiently flexible for every purpose I can anticipate, with one exception. The ability to handle linked images in-system is in its infancy. The notes field seems to have a size limit at least large enough to include, for example, an extract of a census emumeration for a large family.
The development of Family Tree presents a new set of "facts on the ground" that everyone preparing citations will need to adapt to. This article should be rewritten in that vein.
Thomas B. Higgins (thomasbhiggins<at>gmail<dot>com)