Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rating My Genealogical Maturity - 2012

Through a recent blog post on Tonia's Roots I have found the Genealogical Maturity Model on The Ancestry Insider. While I don't agree with everything on it, I think it will be useful to help me identify areas of my genealogical work that could use some improvement.

So, here's my assessment as of right now, leaving out the Conclusion Trees section, which I find unpleasantly elitist (and apparently I'm not alone in that):

Sources

# Level Sources Check
1. Entry Typically relies on compiled genealogies.
2. Emerging Mostly relies on compiled genealogies and online sources.
3. Practicing Uses a limited number of record types and repositories. Mostly relies on online and microfilmed sources.  x
4. Proficient Uses a wide variety of record types. Often contacts record custodians to obtain copies of high-quality sources.
5. Stellar Insightfully pursues research at multiple, targeted repositories, making use of a plethora of records and record types. "Burned counties" are not roadblocks.

The number of record types I use is increasing all the time, but I still don't use much that isn't available online. The parish records I'm looking at now for my One Place Study are probably the first offline records I've used.

Citations

# Level Citations Check
1. Entry Captures URLs for online sources and citations for published sources.  x
2. Emerging Increasingly captures necessary information for manuscript sources.
3. Practicing Typically produces complete source citations.
4. Proficient Gives complete and accurate source citations including provenance and quality assessment.
5. Stellar Overcomes limitations of genealogical software to create well organized, industry standard reference notes and source lists.

OK, I admit it. Most of my citations are just links to the record online. I really should work on this.

Information

# Level Information Check
1. Entry Typically does not realize the need to judge information quality and has no basis for doing so.
2. Emerging Emerging realization that information quality differs. Muddles evaluation by thinking of primary/secondary sources instead of primary/secondary information, leading to muddled evaluation when sources contain both.
3. Practicing Judges information by source type, informant knowledge, and record timing. Applies "primary/secondary" to information instead of sources.  x
4. Proficient Additionally, learns history necessary to recognize and evaluate all explicit information in a source.
5. Stellar Additionally, utilizes implicit information in a source. Finds information in cases like illegitimacy that stump most researchers.

Evidence

# Level Evidence Check
1. Entry Limited understanding of evidence and the role it plays. Typically ignores conflicting evidence.
2. Emerging Captures direct, supporting evidence and increasingly depends upon it.
3. Practicing Additionally, captures directly conflicting evidence.
4. Proficient Additionally, recognizes and captures indirect, supporting evidence.  x
5. Stellar Additionally, recognizes and captures indirect, conflicting evidence.

Conclusions

# Level Conclusions Check
1. Entry In the absence of analysis, reaches conclusions by instinct.
2. Emerging Learning to evaluate the quality of sources, information, and evidence. Emerging ability to resolve minor discrepancies.
3. Practicing Additionally, resolves conflicting evidence or uses it to disprove prevalent opinion. Usually applies correct identity to persons mentioned in sources.  x
4. Proficient Additionally, when necessary creates soundly reasoned, coherently documented conclusions utilizing direct and indirect evidence.
5. Stellar Additionally: Publishes clear and convincing conclusions. Teaches and inspires others.

Overall Level

Category Level
Sources  3
Citations  1
Information  3
Evidence  4
Conclusions  3
AVERAGE
 2.8

So, just under Practicing. Not quite the result I was hoping for! Obviously, citations are what I need to work on the most. So as a next step, I think I'll look up what citation formats are standard in the genealogical community, and start applying them to my citations on WikiTree. That, and my New Year's resolutions...

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