Recommended by the National Genealogical Society
Appreciating that publishing information through Internet web sites and web pages shares many similarities with print publishing, considerate family historians...
- apply a title identifying both the entire web site and the particular group of related pages, similar to a book-and-chapter designation, placing it both at the top of each web browser window using theHTML tag, and in the body of the document, on the opening home or title page and on any index pages.
- explain the purposes and objectives of their web sites, placing the explanation near the top of the title page or including a link from that page to a special page about the reason for the site.
- display a footer at the bottom of each web page which contains the web site title, page title, author's name, author's contact information, date of last revision and a copyright statement.
- provide complete contact information, including at a minimum a name and e-mail address, and preferably some means for long-term contact, like a postal address. (Webmaster's Note: I disagree vehemently with the suggestion to post your postal address on your website. Yes, it can be found easily enough, but why make it easy for the bad guys?)
- assist visitors by providing on each page navigational links that lead visitors to other important pages on the web site, or return them to the home page.
- adhere to the NGS Standards for Sharing Information with Others regarding copyright, attribution, privacy, and the sharing of sensitive information.
- include unambiguous source citations for the research data provided on the site, and if not complete descriptions, offering full citations upon request.
- label photographic and scanned images within the graphic itself, with fuller explanation if required in text adjacent to the graphic.(Webmaster's Note: I am on the fence about this. I think the intention is to embed a mini-citation within the image so that it can't get separated, but I would not do so if adding the label covered up any important part of the image.)
- identify transcribed, extracted or abstracted data as such, and provide appropriate source citations.
- include identifying dates and locations when providing information about specific sur¬names or individuals.
- respect the rights of others who do not wish information about themselves to be published, referenced or linked on a web site.
- provide web site access to all potential visitors by avoiding enhanced technical capabilities that may not be available to all users, remembering that not all computers are created equal.
- avoid using features that distract from the productive use of the web site, like ones that reduce legibility, strain the eyes, dazzle the vision, or otherwise detract from the visitor's ability to easily read, study, comprehend or print the online publication.
- maintain their online publications at frequent intervals, changing the content to keep the information current, the links valid, and the web site in good working order.
- preserve and archive for future researchers their online publications and communications that have lasting value, using both electronic and paper duplication. (Webmaster's Note: Hmmm... No, just no, on the paper. I am assuming that any information of lasting value is being published elsewhere and not just on the Internet. Seriously, why kill trees to print out a website?)
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