The evaluation and analysis of any genealogical conclusion rests on our ability to study a researcher’s citations and documents, as well as the extent of the research that has been conducted. If a work is still in progress, the conclusions are known to be tentative until a reasonably exhaustive search has been completed. We need to know which records have been found, and which searches have yielded no results at all. The entire file of documents needs to be available to study in order to analyze the data as a whole.
Knowing this, professional genealogists and hobbyists alike are wary of current online trees. Most trees do not have any method to record a research log for sharing our full work with others. Yes, several sites allow researchers to add some sources and create links, but where can nil searches be recorded? The greatest weakness of online trees, and a significant reason they are not given more respect, is that there is no ability to see the genealogical conclusions in relation to the full context of research that has been conducted.
ResearchTiesTM is excited to begin the process of addressing this weakness! It is now possible to attach a copy of your research log to FamilySearch Family Tree (or any other online tree that will allow a PDF document to be uploaded). For an example, go to the record of Otis Franklin Bitner (K8TZ-5TP) on FamilySearch.org. You will be required to login to the site, but if you don’t have a FamilySearch account, you can create one. It’s free.
After logging in, scroll down the page to the “Sources” section and notice that the first link is a research log.
Click on the name of the log, and an expanded window will open.
Click on the image of the log, and you will be able to see it in a viewer. Hovering your mouse over the image will display zoom tools at the bottom of the image to enlarge it.
If you prefer, click on “Details” to the right of the image. This will present the option to download the original.
Whether the user is reading the log from the viewer or a downloaded copy, the hyperlinks to your research will be active. Anyone will be able to read the log and view all attached documents. This is an exciting way to be able to collaborate with others and share more than a few select sources.
Are you concerned that your research isn’t finished? No worries! Any source created on Family Tree can be edited at any time. Click on the source, then click edit.
In the section where the log was uploaded, click edit again. You can then click “remove memory” to delete the current log, then “add a memory” to upload a new one. This way, you can always share a current log. Share your research today, and help others to realize the importance of keeping a research log. Let’s all work together to improve the quality of online trees.