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Here's what's on my mind this week: Why do people settle on just one record to answer their research question?

In other venues, I see people asking all the time how many records they need to prove the answer to a question -- is one enough? or two? or three?

Maybe it comes from a lifelong interest in logic puzzles, where the reader had to figure out what was what, depending on who lived next door to the red house and owned a parrot, and other combinations of things, but rules like that just don't work for me. If there's a puzzle piece out there that will help me solve the puzzle, I want it -- and it doesn't matter to me how many I already have.

The way I see it, we're already limited by what was mandated (or not) to be recorded, and by record loss, and by what didn't get recorded for whatever reason, so why should we limit ourselves further?

Come to the Conference Room and talk about ways to get beginners to widen their focus, to consider that one document isn't proof. And if you have a really good case where you needed a lot of indirect evidence to solve a puzzle, consider writing it up for a self-answered question.


This is marked as a 'weekly' topic but I think it makes sense for it to run through next weekend, and switch the topic back to the Workshop on 2 February.

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