Formatting 'citation details'

Hi all,

I’m curious to know if there is a commonly accepted way of formatting the ‘citation details’ fields in RM8.

For example, if you were citing a marriage registration source to support a marriage fact between John Stag and Jane Doe, what would you put for the following fields:

Citation name
Person of Interest
Item of Interest

I’ve generally been doing the following but am interested to know if I’m ‘doing it wrong’ or if there is a better way:

John STAG & Jane DOE; Marriage
John STAG & Jane DOE


I’ve been playing around with this area since seeing what RM8 does with citation names when you start from a particular source. It seems to me that it would be useful for there to be some order to the list of citations for a source.

So, I have made relatively minor changes to the templates for the sources I tend to use, such that I just enter the source details fields and let RM8 (and this also works in RM7 and then imported into RM8) generate the citation name.

So, taking all the baptism registers for a particular church as a sample source, I have details fields for -
Person of interest - e.g. Doe, John
Volume - e.g. Baptisms 1897-1905
Reference - e.g. Page 234, Entry 2578

These are essentially the same fields that you are using - I’ve just changed the text displayed in the prompts.

So, an example source is - Baptisms - St Matthew, Little Lever, Lancashire
and a citation name is - Doe, John; Baptisms 1897-1905; Page 234, Entry 2578

(I name my sources ‘Baptism -‘ if I am referencing an online transcription of a single entry, so one entry, and ‘Baptisms -‘ if I am referencing an online page image of the register.

RM inserts a semi-colon between source fields, so for reasons of how I evolved this approach, for some templates the data for the Volume and Reference is combined into one field, so less semi-colons.

The reverse order of the names makes the list of citations for a source easier to use if a source has many citations - as they tend to do when I am lumping all the registers of a particular type as one source and my ancestors didn’t move around very much.

This may not be the way I should be doing this, but it seems to be evolving to suit my purposes quite well after a period of experimentation as I saw how citation names were being used in RM8 - AND realising that my long-standing use of extreme splitting free-form sources was getting harder and harder to justify as the quantity of my sources increased as I focussed more and more on justifying my ‘facts’.

Thanks John, I think I see what you mean.

I suppose the name of the citation is just for us to see at a glance which citations are being used where. I can see in the source template that the actual citation/footnote is generated from [Person of Interest], [Item of Interest], and then a bunch of fields from the Master Source. Whereas for the short footnote and bibliography it use fields only from the Master Source.

I format in a very similar fashion, but I put the protagonist’s surname in uppercase, e.g. DOE, John.
Just makes it stand out more.

In my case, the short footnote also includes the citation fields. This makes the footnotes on reports more complete as the first time a source is referenced, the full footnote is used but for subsequent references, it just uses the short footnote. Without that full detail, when reading the report, one wouldn’t know how to work back to the source.

Here is an example of one of my source citation panels to illustrate - the citation name is built when you enter the other fields and then use the ‘tick’.

I do see the point of using all capitals for the family name, but I’ve not evolved to that (maybe yet). I’m still playing around using RM7 for input and editing - far easier and more responsive than RM8 is at the moment - and then importing my file into RM8 to play, so this is a work in progress. When I finally decide on the approach, I then have thousands of free-form sources to convert to sue far few templated sources.

1 Like

Thanks both for your comments. Yes I’ll change it over to uppercase for the citation names and detail (a practise I have been using elsewhere). Thanks for providing that example John.