A good discussion of research logs

The hunt for the perfect research log got a lot shorter after I listened to the recent podcast from Geni.com in which Thomas MacEntee discusses his approach and even offers a ready-made template that covers a lot of what I am looking for in a research log. MacEntee describes it as a “record of a data journey” and I couldn’t agree more. As we forage through repositories, both online and in libraries and other institutions, we are acutely aware that the data we are working through should be documented carefully, even while we impatiently want to move on to the next tidbit. And as we document along the way, we know that some data will prove unhelpful, but the very fact that we found it needs to be recorded, so we don’t repeat the search unwittingly months or years from now. MacEntee’s template (free and easy to use in Google docs) is one that could be adopted or modified by a beginner, but some fields – those for analysis and evaluation – will prove invaluable as one’s genealogy knowledge improves with practice.

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