In this section you will find technical information about the database. Some are relevant for research at all levels, such as how to cite the database, editorial policy and abbreviations of sources used. Others may only be particularly relevant for those with more experience in the field.
Frequently asked questions:
Q: What’s a factoid? How do I find people in the database?
A: We have a detailed tutorial here.
Q: I am writing an academic paper, and I need to know how to make a reference citation. What do I do?
A: If you are on a record page in the database, such as a Person, Source, or Factoid record, just look for the grey tab to the left of your screen. If you click this, the correct citation form for that page will appear in a small box, which you can click and paste. For information about how to cite the database generally, and more details about citations, click here.
Q: The documents in the database all have three part numbers like this: 1/2/3. Why?
A: Each document has a unique number, based on a forthcoming calendar of Scottish documents. There is a full explanation of the numbering system here.
Q: The documents in the database are also described by a short abbreviated ‘traditional reference’, such as this: RRS, ii. What do these stand for?
A: There is a full list of all the abbreviations of sources in the database here.
Q: Some of the sources in the database have not been published yet. How do I know what documents they refer to?
A: Good question. You can find a list of all the documents in Norman Shead’s forthcoming Scottish Episcopal Acta here. You can find a list of the documents in Keith Stringer’s forthcoming edition of the Acts of King Alexander II (RRS, iii) here (coming soon).
Q: I noticed that some of the documents are classified as ‘ERA’. What does this mean?
A: ERA stands for ‘English Royal Administration’. For a full explanation of these English royal documents dated in Scotland in 1291 and after, see here.
Q: What is a ‘demesne’, an ‘escheat’, ‘feu and heritage’, ‘flemgirth’, ‘multure’, ‘outfangthief’, a ‘poind’, a ‘scoloc’ and a ‘teind’?
A: Check out our glossary here.
Q: Scotland before Robert the Bruce, eh? I think I need a refresher course.
A: That’s okay. We’ve got a thumbnail sketch and a timeline here.
Q: Many of the places in the database have a short abbreviation next to them like this (FIF). What are these?
A: These are abbreviations for the counties that existed in Scotland from the thirteenth century up to 1975. There is a full list here.
Q: I noticed that the spelling of some personal names has changed compared to the ‘Paradox of Medieval Scotland 1093-1286’ database. Why?
A: This is the result of further research, particularly on Gaelic names, which has allowed us to make the spellings of names more accurate and more consistent. All the changes to name forms have been recorded here.
Q: This is all getting a bit complicated. I need a refresher on who were the kings and queens during this time.
A: No problem. We have family trees here.
Q: Where is the fun stuff?
Q: Can I follow you on Facebook?
Q: I am a teacher, and I’d like to figure out how to use ‘PoMS’ in the classroom. Can you help?
A: Yes, we are interested in working with teachers and other educators. Please go here. (Coming soon)
Q: Why do some family names use ‘of’ and others use ‘de’?
A: You can find out why here.
Q: I am interested in getting in touch with the PoMS team. How do I do that?
A: Send us an email here or use the feedback tool on the right side of your screen.