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As mentioned at On- and off-topic questions: an attempt to reach consensus (please read first) this is one of a set of questions attempting to reach consensus on the scope for this site.

This question focuses on questions relating to the

Research processes and methodologies

i.e. advice and guidance on best practice when carrying out genealogy and family history research

Please up-vote answers you believe are on-topic, down-vote answers you believe are off topic and add your own suggestions for what should be in or out (with your view made clear).

Related questions:

What is "Genealogy," "Family History," and "Microhistory"?

On- and off-topic questions: Application of technology

On- and off-topic questions: Locating records and documents

On- and off-topic questions: Interpreting records

On- and off-topic questions: Researching specific ancestors

On- and off-topic questions: Other specialist related topics

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  • I had to upvote the question to keep the software happy that I was not only voting on answers!
    – Fortiter
    Dec 4 '12 at 3:08

12 Answers 12

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Getting started/next steps with family history and genealogy research, such as:

  • Must I use a software program to record my family history?
  • Who do I research first?
  • How do I plan a field trip?

These should be specific questions about one aspect of the research process. Questions such as: "I want to learn my family history. How do I do it?" are too broad to be answerable (even if they are on-topic).

ColeValleyGirl view: On-topic

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  • These questions need to be specific. "I want to find my family genealogy. Where do I start?" is waaaay to broad. NARQ. This is stressed in FAQ section two sentence four (I know this one by heart): "If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much." Dec 3 '12 at 22:45
  • @Luke, I think that's a good question/bad question aspect -- it must be on-topic for a newbie to seek advice on the first steps, as long as they do it with a specific question.
    – user104
    Dec 4 '12 at 8:54
  • I'm not opposed to the questions of newbies, but this one just came across as very broad. Perhaps you could clarify this a bit? Dec 4 '12 at 13:53
  • @Luke, edited. Better?
    – user104
    Dec 4 '12 at 15:40
  • +1 Much better. Dec 4 '12 at 18:43
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Techniques and terminology when working with sources, information and evidence, including citing sources

ColeValleyGirl view: On-topic

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Organising and tracking research activities and results

ColeValleyGirl view: On-topic

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Working with others, including interviewing relatives, working with family history societies, and collaborating with other researchers

ColeValleyGirl view: On-topic

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Document and artefact handling and preservation

ColeValleyGirl view: On-topic

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Applying the Genealogical Proof Standard, Inferential Genealogy and other best practice guidelines and advanced techniques

ColeValleyGirl view: On-topic

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How do I best document and present what I’ve learned

ColeValleyGirl view: On-topic

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How should I handle ethics and legalities issues (e.g. copyright, privacy, sensitivity)

ColeValleyGirl view: On-topic

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Working with personal or place names, including naming standards and conventions

ColeValleyGirl view: On-topic

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Calculating/describing the relationship between two individuals in a tree

ColeValleyGirl view: On-topic

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How do I apply genealogical numbering systems

ColeValleyGirl view: On-topic

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How do I measure the progress of my research

ColeValleyGirl view: On-topic

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