Research standards help genealogists plan research, collect data, and reason soundly from evidence.


Planning Research

Research begins with a focused question and seeks to answer it by consulting relevant sources in a logical order, while maintaining flexibility in case of surprises.[1]

Henderson, Harold. “Ten-Minute Methodology: How to Ask Good Research Questions.” BCG SpringBoard blog. 28 January 2016.

DeGrazia,Laura Murphy.Planning Effective Research.” OnBoard 21 (September 2015): 17-18, 23.

Jones, Thomas W. “Focused Versus Diffuse Research.” OnBoard 17 (September 2011): 17–18.

 


Collecting Data

Collecting data includes note-taking, image capture, transcribing, abstracting, quoting, paraphrasing, and separating comments from the source information—all done with careful handling of the materials and respect for archivists and archives.[2]

MORE INFORMATION

Jones, Thomas W. “Perils of Source Snobbery.” OnBoard 18 (May 2012): 9–10, 15.

 


Reasoning from Evidence

These standards address the need for genealogists to seek the best available evidence; shun ill-founded assumptions; and draw conclusions only after carefully assessing the evidence and resolving any conflicts.[3]

MORE INFORMATION

Evans, Stefani. “Evidence Correlation.” OnBoard 18 (September 2012): 21–23.

Evans, Stefani. “Data Analysis.” OnBoard 18 (May 2012): 13–14.

Fox, Judy Kellar. “Ten-Minute Methodology: When Index is a ‘Dirty Word.’” BCG SpringBoard blog. 10 November 2015.

Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. Third edition, revised. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2017. Especially note “Fundamentals of Citation,” Chapter 1.

Little, Barbara Vines. “The Importance of Context in Record Analysis.” Board for Certification of Genealogists, sponsor. Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Mills, Elizabeth Shown. “FAN + GPS + DNA: The Problem-Solver’s Great Trifecta.” Board for Certification of Genealogists, sponsor. Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Russell, Judy G. “No, No, Nanette! What Negative Evidence Is… and Isn’t.” Board for Certification of Genealogists, sponsor. Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Russell, Judy G. “When Worlds Collide: Resolving Conflicts in Genealogical Records.” Board for Certification of Genealogists, sponsor. Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

 


BCG Webinars on Legacy Family Tree

BCG partners with Legacy Family Tree to produce instructional hour-long webinars by BCG associates. The webinars are free when first presented each month and for a limited time afterwards. Access the BCG Webinar Library using our affiliate link at Legacy Family Tree Webinars: BCG. Note: BCG receives a commission if a person registers for or buys a webinar using the affiliate link.


[1] Board for Certification of Genealogists, Genealogy Standards, fiftieth-anniversary edition (Nashville, TN: Ancestry, 2014), 11–15.
[2] Board for Certification of Genealogists, Genealogy Standards, fiftieth-anniversary edition (Nashville, TN: Ancestry, 2014), 15–23.
[3] Board for Certification of Genealogists, Genealogy Standards, fiftieth-anniversary edition (Nashville, TN: Ancestry, 2014), 23-29.