Publish or Perish?

One recurring topic on the members-only mailing list for the Association of Professional Genealogists is the rampant inaccuracies of lineage society applications. Those of the Daughters of the American Revolution are of particular concern because they’re often cited or used as proof by genealogists who don’t realize how many errors old applications contain.

The most recent discussion of this issue revolved in part around how genealogists can correct these errors without submitting a new application. My solution is, on the surface, quite simple: publication and wide dissemination of the corrections.

Unlike much of the rest of academia, genealogy is not a publish or perish field. Publication is encouraged, however, and there are plenty of outstanding opportunities for doing so.

More importantly, publication offers an outlet for the frustration many of us (rightly) feel when confronted with sloppy research. It’s a positive way to affect change, rather than sitting back and complaining about the situation.

Genealogy might not be a publish or perish field, but perhaps it should be a publish or quit complaining one.

3 Responses to “Publish or Perish?”

  1. Hi Dawn, publishing was indeed the solution I thought of when reading the issues raised in the APG discussion. Even a blog entry with a discussion of the findings and how the evidence changes the popularly accepted facts would be helpful as it could be found by the patriot’s descendants perhaps more easily than an item in a journal unless the journal was on-line.


    • I absolutely agree on all points, particularly regarding blogs. They’re relatively easy to find and are a great way to connect with other researchers and get *good* information out there.

      Thanks for stopping by!


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