Document your sources using FHM's citation capability

  • Feb 18, 2024
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There's a difference between storytelling and telling stories. A good story is true, and you can point to evidentiary sources that back up your narrative.

Family History Machine provides a powerful Citations capability that allows users to connect source citations to family stories. It can be used to identify a small number of key source documents, or create a database of content associated with the story subject.

That's what we did with the database of scientific journal citations related to our family story "The physics experiment that went wrong." This was a subject full of import and drama, but to follow along requires some familiarity with nuclear physics. In the database, we present more than 400 journal articles covering the history of nuclear beta decay, from its discovery and early theoretical formulations leading up to the period of experimental uncertainty in the late 1940s that the story covers.

Citation records include fields for title, author, publication, publication date, and URL, as well as content fields for an abstract or summary, content excerpts and user comments. Citations checked as "selected" are displayed with a star for emphasis.

See it in action in the Physics story. The initial display shows only the starred citations. For those interested in following the story, these are the most important source materials to look at. But readers can search the full database by subject, author and citation type.

Most FHM storytellers will never do anything as elaborate as our physics database. But this capability can be exercised on a smaller scale with just about any FHM family story. We'll be trying that out on some of our current story projects, and will come back to post about our results in a future follow up.