Have changes to a source be reflected in citations

I have a lot of sources I need to revise. They are freeform because the database was ported from another program. I was hoping I could just edit the source, and then the citations of that source would automatically reflect the changes in the source. But that does not seen to be the case. How can I also change the citations without having to edit each and every one? Do I do a “Reset to Default”, which I have seen mentioned in another post?

I’m going to assume you are using RM8. If you are using RM7, then the answer will be very different. Also, I’m guessing a little bit because I’m obviously not 100% sure of the actual nature of your sources. With those caveats, here goes.

After importing the data into RM8 and before doing anything else to clean up your sources, go into the Sources tab. Click on the THREE DOTS menu, and select in turn the Merge Duplicate Sources option and the Merge Duplicate Citations option. Having done that, any changes you make to “one source” will be applied to all instances of that source because they will have been merged, and the same is true for citations.

This will only work for sources that truly are duplicate with each other and with citations that truly are duplicate with each other. If you have sources or citations or both that are nearly the same and for all practical purposes actually are the same, you can do a manual merge from the same THREE DOTS menu.

Yes, I have RM8.

I did as you suggested. I selected merge sources. It didn’t seem to do anything. It doesn’t tell me how many sources I now have.

Then I did merge citations, and it did show that it was doing something.

I have not yet tested if it will now populate citations with changes to the source.

Now, I suppose have to combine some other sources manually using the Merge Sources command.

But alot of these “duplicates” only look like duplicates on the list. For example, I might have an interview with a person. There are two separate interviews on two separate dates. Should those be two sources or one source with perhaps different details (maybe in the citation)? I would prefer two sources. If two sources, then I should change the name of the source to indicate the date, right?

Also, in the past, I have had a “general source” for a person (such as myself) and added details depending on the circumstances. I don’t want to have myself in their 100 times. I am still figuring out how to do that in RM.

A great deal depends on which source templates you use and whether you are a “source lumper” or a “source splitter”. If you are not familiar with those terms, it simply has to do with which items of your sourcing data you put into the source part of sources and citations and which items of your sourcing data you put into the citation part of sources and citations. In RM8’s Edit Person screen, when you go into sources there will be five panels of sourcing data on the right hand side of the screen called Master Source; Master source text, media, etc; Citation details; Citation text, media, etc; and Quality. The first two panels contain source data. the last three panels contain citation data.

If you are using RM’s built-in source templates, the the decisions on how to distribute your sourcing data between these panels is made for you. If you are using RM’s free form source template or if you have defined your own source template, then you can decide which of your sourcing data is source and which of your sourcing data is citation. Please describe which template system you are using.

Or are you primarily importing data, say from GEDCOM or from FamilySearch or from Ancestry? If you are primarily importing data, then the data you are importing is making the sourcing decisions for you.

But for example, I use my own source templates and I put all sourcing data into the source part of sources and citations. With you example of interviews with the same person on two different dates, I would have two sources, one for each date. If I were putting sourcing data into both the source and citation fields, then I would probably have one source , namely the person, and then two citations, namely one citation for each of the interview dates.

“Source lumper” or “source splitter”! I have not heard the term, but I think I know what you mean! My sources are free-form, because that is how they came over from the import done by a very kind man, Jim Byram. They are free-form, so, as you say, I decide what I put where. I would prefer to have a separate source for individual interviews, but sometimes that gets too unwieldy. I would want one source for myself for example.

I am not source what you mean by that. I would think source data would always be in the citation.

Ok, so suppose you had an interview with John Doe on 1/12/2015 and another interview with John Doe on 6/30/2015. So your footnote sentences might be something like “John Doe, personal interview, 1/12/2015” and “John Doe, personal interview, 6/30/2015”. And maybe you also had an email from the same person, so you might have a footnote sentence something like “John Doe, email, 9/14/2018”. I’m not sure how Evidence Explained these footnote sentences really are, but let’s work with them anyway.

Using free from sources, you have to work strictly left to right in the footnote sentence. The logical way to do this one would be that your source would be “John Doe” and there would be three citations "personal interview, 1/12/2015”, “personal interview, 6/30/2015”, and “email, 9/14/2018”. Does this concept come even remotely close to the problem you have at hand? If not, could you post a couple of the examples you are working with?

Obviously, my made up examples are pretty simple. Citations for census and things like that can be more complicated. But I was responding to your mention of personal interviews.

By the way, as an extremely source splitter and if I were using the free forum template, I would have three separate sources - one source for each of my footnote sentences. In this case, everything would be placed in the Footnote field and the Page Number field would be left blank.