Saturday, February 16, 2013

Citing Wikipedia Articles in RootsMagic 6

While I've been working on a newer family line (Howatt from PEI) I discovered some of my cousins were involved in politics there.  I found this out by doing a Google search on their names and articles from Wikipedia came up in the top searches.

One of my projects this year is to add more social history to my files and using Wikipedia to find short biographies on people, places and events is helpful.  Yes they are secondary sources but there are many wonderful pages there.

The first page I'm working with is for my 1st cousin 5 times removed John Howatt Bell.  He was born 13 December 1846 in Cape Traverse, PEI and died 29 January 1929 in Los Angeles, CA.  John Howatt Bell was the 12 Premier of Prince Edward Island.

To source the page for John Howatt Bell in Roots Magic 6, I chose the "Website as a book" template.  This seemed to fit an encyclopedia style website the best.

Click on the image to view full size.

Wikipedia has a good page on how to cite pages from their website.

I chose to name my source with Wikipedia followed by the persons name or event.  This will make it easy to find in my source list.

The remaining fields I filled in as follows:

  • Author: Wikipedia
  • Creator or Owner: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
  • Title of Website: Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia John Howatt Bell
  • URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=John_Howatt_Bell&oldid=535676491
  • Access type: accessed
  • Access date: 16 February 2013
  • Item of interest: John Howatt Bell December 13, 1846 - January 29, 1929


This produces the following footnote:
Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia John Howatt Bell (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=John_Howatt_Bell&oldid=535676491 : accessed 16 February 2013), John Howatt Bell December 13, 1846 – January 29, 1929.

Another option would be to list the author as Wikipedia contributors since it is a multi user written site.  I opted to use the permalink on Wikipedia for the article   It might not look as "pretty" as the default URL but it will take the person to the page exactly as it was when I viewed it.  Then the person has the option to view older or newer versions of the article.
To find the permalink option, in the menu area on the left hand side of the page click on "toolbox"  permalink is currently the 5th option down under that menu.

Next I copied the text from the Wikipedia page into my detail text field   This way I will always have a copy of that page.  Then I added a weblink to that page.  I set the source rating to Derivative, Secondary, Indirect.

How do you cite your Wikipedia articles?