Evidence Explained is built on one core principle: We cannot judge the reliability of any information unless we know
- exactly where the information came from; and
- the strengths and weaknesses of that source.
Beyond this, Evidence Explained differs significantly from other citation guides in several ways.
Evidence Explained vs. Traditional Citation Guides
|Primary focus on published materials; limited treatment of academic papers||
Primary focus on original records not treated in traditional guides:
(The 2 introductory chapters teach the fundamentals of citation and analysis.)
|Emphasis on stylistic matters||Dual purpose; EE provides not only citation styles but instruction in the use and analysis of each type of historical source material|
|Citation models (varying quantities) for bibliographic, full reference note, shortened reference note, and in-text formats||
(In-text formats are not suitable for typically complex citations to original historical documents and digital materials.)
|Limited treatment of digital materials||
Extensive treatment of digital materials—including
|Very limited coverage of legal works and published government documents||Extensive discussions and models of legal publications and published government documents|
|Emphasis on output—i.e., the minimum details needed at publication to enable readers to relocate a source.||Emphasis on input—i.e., the details researchers need to capture while using a record, in order to understand (a) the nature of the source and (b) the strengths and weaknesses of the information that source provides.|