As a computer user, you have the further option of
keeping track of your online research on a computer (where you can search,
sort, and print reports of your research results), or if you are more
comfortable with paper copies, you can create online research templates
to print and use as you surf, writing notes and comments by hand.
In order to create a successful research plan, you
need to first know what types of resources are
available online; a resource checklist is a helpful guide to possible
sites of interest. To know which sites you've visited, and with what
result, an online research summary will keep track of your journeys
online. To know which sites you need to revisit at a later date (periodic
checks for new information are important), bookmarks will provide you
with a road map. Using these three elements, you can organize your time
online for maximum results.
probably seen a resource checklist similar to the partial example below.
Such forms list a variety of resources which are used for each individual
or surname you are researching. Traditionally, checklists serve as a
useful reminder of what off-line resources you may have overlooked;
a similar checklist can be modified for Internet use.
Most checklists are divided into subjects
such as Family Records, Vital Records,
Published Sources, Public Sources, and Private Sources. For the example
checklist on the next page, I modified the traditional headings as follows:
Family Records was replaced with Surname Indexes;
Vital Records remained the same; Published Sources was changed to Searchable
Databases, and Public and Private Sources merged into Newsgroup/Mailing