26 August 2010

Top 10 reasons to publish your genealogy on paper

Why should I print my genealogy research on paper (in manuscript form, in a magazine or journal, or as a book) when there are so many easier and cheaper ways to go?
  • Technology is ever changing. Your computer files and multimedia formats may not be accessible in the future.
  • Web addresses and Internet Service Providers change, making it more difficult to find your material. Search engines cannot keep up with the number of web sites in existence.
  • Databases such as Ancestral File and World Family Tree may be good for clues, but are not necessarily reliable. Many of these databases do not cite sources, one of the critical keys to good research.
  • Name collectors—people who download GEDCOM files and merge them with their genealogy databases without checking sources or verifying data—may graft your online tree onto their own unpruned database and then spread misinformation to others, many times over.
  • Facts—such as names, dates, and places—cannot be copyrighted but books and articles are.
  • Researchers are more likely to quote from articles and books with proper citations (especially compared to web publishing and database file exchanges), giving you credit where credit is due.
  • Your article or book is accessible through libraries and interlibrary loans. (Make sure a copy of your book goes to the Library of Congress, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and other genealogical/historical and local libraries as appropriate.)
  • Unlike memory books and scrapbooks, you can have more than one copy.
  • Paper has been around for hundreds of years.
  • You'll have something tangible to pass on to future generations.
  • You can read it in bed.
Okay, eleven.