There are Standards that Genealogists hold to. I too hold fast to them. I cannot imagine spending so much time on research, verification and discovery for it to be thrown aside. If your anything like a true Genealogist you too will want to know of the standards genealogist live by.
There are a few areas where I will open your mind [or simplify] to these standards
Genealogical Proof Standard consist of:One must have proof in genealogy. but what is proof? There are several elements that go into the standard of Proof.
*"In order to merit confidence, each conclusion about an ancestor must have sufficient credibility to be accepted as "proved." Acceptable conclusions, therefore, meet the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS).
The GPS consists of five elements":
1. One must make a reasonably exhaustive search. 2. Accurate source citations. 3. Analysis of all the collected documents & information. 4. Any conflicting evidence must be resolved. 5. A coherently written conclusion.
Each element has its points: 1. Reasonably Exhaustive search:
a] Must examine a wide range of 1st source documents
b] Reducing the probability of undiscovered evidence that can ruleout a quick conclusion.
2. Accurate source citations.
a] Listed out all sources used in your conclusion.
b] Those coming after you must be able to replicate your research.
c] publications, pages, depositories, & documentations will all be listed out.
3. Analysis of all the collected documents & information.
a] Cross reference all data more then twice.
b] To acertain your conclusion reflects all the specific gathered information.
4. Any conflicting evidence must be resolved.
a] In order to have an air tight conclusion of your research. There cannot be any conflicts within your it.
5. A coherently written conclusion.
a] Your conclusion must eliminate any possibility of preconception, of bias, or misinterpitation of the evidence. [Stay to the facts without your personal opinion being interjected].
b] Convey why the gathered evidence brings you to your conclusion.
* taken from http://www.bcgcertification.org/resources/standard.html