Any way to make it clear that "It's on Ancestry" is not a source?

+12 votes
I understand that Ancestry is a wonderful resource.  I use it myself.  However, there has got to be a way to convince people that "It's on Ancestry" is not an acceptable source.  At the very least a link to the record, or tree, or something needs to be included.  The same goes for "It's on FamilySearch."  Again, a good resource, but just listing the name of the website without any other clue on where to find the info is super frustrating.  It's like my husband telling me where to find something in his workshop.  It's in there somewhere.  Good luck.  I am wondering if there is something we can do to educate new editors.
in The Tree House by Living Emmons G2G6 Pilot (168k points)
edited by Living Emmons

This question thread would actually be a really nice thread to point editors at when you would encounter such a profile yes

5 Answers

+8 votes
Best answer

How about a friendly message that directs them to the Sources FAQ?

A message is nicer than adding the { { Unsourced template to the profile.

by Kay Knight G2G6 Pilot (487k points)
selected by Living Emmons
Thanks for the star
+7 votes

There are a number of WikiTree pages where the problems with user-contributed online family trees and various Ancestry databases are discussed. You can try pointing people to those pages for advice. Information on the shortcomings of these sources can be found at Help:Uncertain (in the section What are examples of sources that provide uncertain information?) or in the answers to the pre-1700 certification quiz or virtually any of the pages in Category: Reliable Sources for Pre-1700 Profiles.

by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
In my humble opinion: those pages suggest that sourcing is only important for pre-1700 profiles...
+9 votes
It sounds like someone didn't want to do the work (in which case they shouldn't have even stated it), or they don't quite understand what sourcing means. Personal opinion is that there are some people that join without understand that there is a level of commitment here, unlike some others. Yes, I understand the frustration. Look at the bright side, it's better than giving you bad info presented as valid.
by Mark Hough G2G6 Mach 2 (21.9k points)
+4 votes
It is covered in the Honor Code under the Sources section.

It even tells you how pressing the "s" key when looking at an Ancestry source image will bring up the citation to use ( with maybe some editing ).

It couldn't be made any simpler and it is one of the first things any prospective member will come across.

So these people you are talking about, may have simply signed the Honor code wthout reading it fully, or taking onboard what it says and means. The only answer to that is for the Greeters to check with them that they understand sourcing from the outset.
by Joe Farler G2G6 Pilot (135k points)
+4 votes
I totally feel with you.

I have tried with some editors in the friendliest way possible (I think) to explain that this note "it is there" or "The birth certificate" is not good sourcing at all.

But it does not leave me with great feelings, as some of them are really defensive about it and probably feel hurt or simply deny it as no other websites make a fuss about it. You gotta remember that it has not been (is?) the standard in common genealogy to cite sources....

So then I end up just putting the {{unsourced}} tag on the profiles, which also hurts people's feelings apparently (which is silly, it just creates a nice overview in the manager's and data doctors menu with profiles to work on).
by Michel Vorenhout G2G6 Pilot (262k points)

I think just citing "birth certificate" if it's one's own profile or the profile of one's parent is fine. I think the defensiveness stems from people not wanting to admit or examine that they've copied internet trees with no sourcing or very poor sourcing. Some are also very attached to family stories of royal or notable ancestry or what-have-you, and they're afraid they'll be told 'you're wrong'. I think when some people hear 'You're wrong', they process that as 'you are not important' or 'your family lied about X, Y and Z', even though that's not at all what most Wikitreers are trying to convey.

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