Let’s just say that the burr under Ms. Smith’s saddle is me. It was my work which you used without citing me as the source. If you received a hard copy of my document which was unattributed, then shame on the person from whom you received it.
The facts are these: the document was posted to a private site for a short while about 5 years ago and some members of a discussion group were told how to access it in order to download the document. The file name did not contain a family name and the document would not have come up as an item in any search engine. Only people who were told where to find the document would have had access to it. Only 2 versions of this document were ever posted to the site for download by the discussion group, and the document was posted ONLY to facilitate discussion within the group and allow suggestions and corrections to the material to circulate within the group. It seems that I relied, mistakenly as it turns out, on the integrity of certain group members.
The sarcastic little remark that “proof that the Lewis . . .apparently comes from, take your pick: IGI, Ancestral file, .. group sheets, e-mail messages that are 8 years old,” is nothing more than mean-spirited nitpicking. Not everything placed in a footnote is required to be a proof. In this instance, it was merely an explanation of where I had gotten the material since it was not my original research; it makes no statement whatever regarding the accuracy or inaccuracy of that material. As I said above, this document was intended to stimulate discussion and further research. It was not ever intended to be the final word on any of the relationships described in it. It was however, MY research, errors notwithstanding, and I should have been cited as the source of it when it was passed on. At the very least, you should have stated right up front where you received it. The person who passed it on to you apparently is unaware that the IGI is a remarkable tool for research if one uses it carefully and correctly. The ancestral files available on that site can also lead to many good clues for further research, again if used carefully and correctly. And I should point out that at least I managed to state where I got my information - something you failed to do.
Since I have been engaged in research on the Bibler family for over 30 years, some of the information was quite old and out of date. Until new information was developed as a result of this document being available to the discussion group, I did not know what errors might be in it. The point of posting the document to the group was to find the errors. In fact, there was information in it which, through my own current and collaborative research, is superceded by new information obtained from primary source material, which will now, unfortunately, not be freely shared. I might add, too, that the primary source documents were located because of information found in the IGI.
Since you have, according to your own statement, had several books published, I would think that you would be among the very last people to use unattributed work and not even say from whom you received it or that it was unattributed when you received it. Do you want people to do that with your work? Shame on you.
I don't intend to carry on a discussion of this matter - enough has been said on the issue. But it would be well here to remind all posters that it is important to cite their sources and if they are going to use the work of other people, give them the proper credit for it.
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