Rating a Source-Citation
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I would like to start a discussion about rating source-citations. Below are some steps to rate a source-citation in Family Tree Maker 2008. Family Tree Maker lets you rate the reliability of your sources. You can rate each source-citation to note both the legibility of the source as well as its potential accuracy (i.e., primary source, secondary source, family legend, etc.).

  1. Click the Sources button on the main toolbar.
  2. Find the source-citation you want to rate and click it in the Source-Citations list. (The screen shots are not meant to be a model for proper sourcing, but illustrate how rating sources works.) Family Tree Maker 2008 Sources
  3. Click the Links tab, if necessary.
  4. If the source-citation has more than one individual linked to it, click the person's name on the Links tab. Family Tree Maker Source-Citation
  5. Click the Rate the source icon (a yellow star). The Rate Source window opens. Note: You can click the gray (X) button or the Reset button to clear the current rating. Family Tree Maker 2008 Rating a Source-Citation
  6. Use this chart to change the source's rating:
    To do this Do this
    Use your own rating system In the Quality score section, click the number of stars to indicate your rating. The more stars you choose, the higher the quality of the source-citation as it pertains to that fact.Note: In the Ratings column, self-rated stars appear in blue. 
    Use a standardized rating system Click the Use standardized ratings checkbox. Choose how to rate the source:  
    • Source. Choose whether the source is an original document or a transcription or translation of the original.
    • Clarity. Choose the legibility of the source.
    • Information. Choose whether this information comes from primary or secondary sources.
    • Evidence. Choose whether the source states a fact or requires additional evidence. 
    Note: In the Ratings column, standardized stars appear in gold. 
  7. If necessary, you can add additional comments about your ratings in the Justification field.
  8. Click OK. You will see the rating you chose for the source-citation on the Links tab. Note: You can also see the rating in the People workspace. Click the Person tab.; then select the sourced fact in the Individual and Shared Facts section. The rating appears on the Sources tab in the editing panel.
Note that source-citation ratings measure the quality of a source-citation as it applies to a specific fact rather than to the quality of the source or source-citation in general.  That is because a single record may provide excellent proof for one fact but marginal proof for another.  For instance, a census record often lists a person's name and age at the time of the census.  Thus, that single record provides fairly good proof of the person's name (3 or 4 stars), and only a vague reference to a birth date (1 or 2 stars). Please let me know your thoughts on rating source-citations.