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Overview

Fields represent values extracted from record detail pages. ORA finds field values in various places, but a common source is a table of field labels and values as seen in this example taken from Ancestry:

Field Data in Ancestry

ORA extracts the field name and value and adds them to the Control Panel:

Field Data Extracted to the Control Panel

Most fields are visible in the Control Panel, but some are intended for use in templates and are not visible.

ORA does not have a pre-defined dictionary of fields that occur in the collections of the supported repositories. It detects fields by looking at the content of pages that include record details.

Fields are assigned to one of several groups.

  • Record group: fields extracted from the page that pertain to the record being viewed.
  • Source group: fields extracted from the page that pertain to the source or collection to which the record belongs.
  • Page group: fields extracted from the HTML of the page or generated at the time the page is viewed.

Record Group

ORA creates the fields in the Record group as it inspects the contents of the page and finds values that are specific to the current record. The field names are specific to the current repository, collection, and record. Field names will be somewhat consistent from one record to another in the same collection, but they will vary based on differences between records.

When referring to fields in the Record group in a template, do not include the group name in a prefix. So, use [Name] and not [Record.Name].

Source Group

ORA creates the fields in the Source group as it inspects the contents of the page and finds values that describe the collection to which the record belongs. The field names are specific to the current collection and may or may not be consistent with other collections in the same repository.

When referring to fields in the Source group in a template, you must include the group name in a prefix. So, use [Source.Title] to refer to the Title field in the Source group.

Page Group

ORA creates several fields in the Page group. These fields are usually hidden, but may be used in Text Templates and Auto Type Templates. The values are hidden because most of them are drawn from HTML values that are often duplicated by other values that ORA extracts form the page.

When referring to fields in the Page group in a template, you must include the group name in a prefix. So, use [Page.Access Date] to refer to the Access Date field in the Page group.

Field Description
Page.Access Date The current data, useful when citations include the current date.
Page.Title The value is extracted from the HTML TITLE element. For many pages, the HTML TITLE element includes both the page title and the site name, and that makes the value less useful than if it contained only the page title. In many cases, ORA will extract a title that is better than the value of the HTML TITLE element. That value will be in the Record group as the Title element. In still other cases, a page title is not useful in a source or citation, and a person's name or other text extracted directly from the record is used in place of a page title.
Page.URL The value is extracted from the canonical HREF provided in a LINK element with rel="canonical". If that does not exist, the value is the URL shown in the browser's address bar. ORA will include a URL field in the Record group, and that URL will usually be better. For example, when repositories support direct links to a specific record, the URL field in the Record group will use that value, and that is the value you should use when including a URL in a citation.
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