I have been having a private discussion with History Hunter about citing usernames. The discussion started over citing a photograph from a Public Member Tree at Ancestry.
The first try of the citation is on Facebook in the Genealogy – Cite Your Sources group started with “Iveybet,” “Public Family History Content,”.
My first thought was why the quotation marks around Iveybet? It just didn’t look right to me. After several hours of looking at EE and the Chicago Manuel of Style online the following was found.
EE 2.72 Quotation marks p 85 of the PDF. “The genealogical convention for writing nicknames is to place them in quotation marks immediately after the formal name for which they substitute—e.g., Margaret “Peg” Monroe.”
EE 3.44 Research Files & Reports, Personal File Copy p. 156
Clarise Beaumont, avatar,
EE 3.44 p. 158 Citing Second Life and Similar “Web 2” Sites. A Web 2 apparently is a site the emphases’ user generated content. I would suggest that Ancestry’s Public Member Trees are a type of “Web 2” site. The protocol for Second Life is to “mask the identity of its participants behind pseudonyms (or ‘representative figures called avatars’).”
EE 14.4 Author Pseudonyms p. 792 places the pseudonym in quotes,
however, EE 14.20 on page 804 Magazines, Antiquarian (Online Images) the pseudonym is not in quotes.
Mary F****, “Female Teachers,”
Chicago Manuel of Style online:
8.34 “Epithets (or nicknames and byname” shows,
the Wizard of Menlo Park (Thomas Edison)
“When used in addition to a name an epithet is enclosed in quotation marks…”
George Herman “Babe” Ruth
14.209 Citing social media content
The author of the post. List the real name (of the person, group, or institution), if known, followed by a screen name, if any, in parentheses. If only a screen name is known, use the screen name in place of the author’s name.
AK Muckraker [pseud.]
14.81 shows the following for pseudonyms.
——— [Anthony Morton, pseud.]
CMOS does not have a reference to avatars.
This led me to looking up the definitions of the various terms.
Definitions from Oxford Languages
Epithet, noun: an adjective or descriptive phrase expressing a quality characteristic of the person or thing mentioned.
Username, noun: an identification used by a person with access to a computer, network, or online service.
Screen name, noun: a name or string of characters by which a person chooses to be identified in an online communication service such as an instant messaging application or internet forum
Pseudonym, noun: a fictitious name, especially one used by an author.
Nickname, noun: a familiar or humorous name given to a person or thing instead of or as well as the real name
Avatar noun: an icon or figure representing a particular person in video games, internet forums, etc.
If I meld EE and CMOS the best approach for the author would be to use one of the following for the authors slot:
agilchrest [pseud], account holder
Depending on what I want to emphasize and the specific website the authors name would be followed by the appropriate title.
Do you have any more thoughts about this approach?